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Down the Rabbit Hole of Certification

Our newest team member, Tara, gives her take on learning the certification process.

Being the newest team member (a mere six months), I have submerged myself head first into the world of diverse business certification. As with any journey, obstacles loomed, alongside the fulfillment of assisting others enhance their personal business goals. Now, I could detail all the shining, happy moments. Instead, I wish to share my trials and tribulations delving into the process of certification.

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice tumbles through the rabbit hole into an alternate reality. Just as she grasps one situation, another twist to the story is presented for her to conquer. Certification is another diverse world, an alternate reality. I never realized the layers upon layers of information that exists, or the extensive, unfamiliar vocabulary of acronyms. It’s intimidating! As Alice, each time I believe I achieve understanding, something new arises, showing that I have a fraction of knowledge in this vast world of information.

Acronyms. Let’s discuss the prolific, overwhelming number of acronyms. I will admit my shame and confess that during my first week of work, I stood completely clueless with each of them. Everything sounded like a mixed bag of Scrabble tiles: DBE, NAICS, WOSB, ACDBE, UCP, SBA … Wait! Wait up and let me research. With no Google Translate being offered for the language of certification, I found myself saving a glossary of terms on my desktop (find ours HERE), researching and scribbling words on post-it notes, and probably pestering my co-workers with far too many questions. Thankfully after several months of certification language immersion, the terminology isn’t so daunting, though my introduction was surely a bumpy ride.

After completion of the first certification, I thought to myself, ‘oh, that wasn’t bad at all!’ Have you ever looked back and laughed at yourself? This is one of those moments. Be prepared for an onslaught of questions upon applying; the exact date your kitchen sink was manufactured, a receipt for a car bought in 1986, or how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Humor aside, the amount of documentation collected, databased, and submitted for the process is no joke! It’s meticulous work, requiring a scrutinous eye, and above all; the utmost organization of data. Imagine making a recipe that does not include a single step and only a few odd ingredients are given. This is where we shine in helping you become certified. We take the sporadic ingredients, fill in the blanks, and present our ‘certification recipe’ in a concise, organized format, alleviating stress and unnecessary woes for our clients.  Despite the tedious task of sifting through unnerving amounts of information, it is strangely satisfying and rewarding upon receiving the certification approval status.

My journey into certification, with a large course of alphabet acronym stew and a dense, heaping pile of information, is just beginning.  I have plummeted down the rabbit hole, and resurfaced with a new understanding; a first-hand perspective on this intricate process. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a certification to dive into!