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​#IAm Mike Padilla

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​I've been working as an internal auditor for more than a decade, and it is a profession I love. The fact that we can help organizations achieve their goals and contribute to their efficiency and effectiveness gives me an unbelievable feeling. I consider internal auditing my career, not just an interlude on my way to some other job, and I aspire to someday lead an internal audit team at the chief audit executive level.

That being said, I've no doubt that my Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation has helped me get to where I am and will continue to do so. It's an honor to be among the more than 200,000 CIAs worldwide who advance our profession daily. In addition to the CIA, I maintain my Certified Public Accountant license in the State of New Mexico, and my Certified Fraud Examiner license. Next on my list is to obtain The IIA's Certification in Risk Management Assurance designation, but like most business professionals, the timing will have to coincide with my busy schedule.

Those aren't my only professional designations, though. Let me tell you about my other certification.

Away from my work life, most of my friends have jobs outside the audit world. In fact, my best friend is in the craft beer industry. Owning his own craft beer consulting business, he taught me about craft beer for years before the recent industry boon. I'm also originally from Albuquerque, N.M., home to a disproportionately large number of breweries, including award-winning breweries such as Marble, LaCumbre, and Bosque Brewing. Add all of it up, and it wasn't hard to predict that I would become a craft-beer-aficionado-wanna-be in the mid-2000s.

Fast forward to 2019, and I found myself in between jobs, in a bit of a rut, and with a little time on my hands. While not necessarily the most career-forward move, I decided to pursue becoming a Certified Beer Server (even though I had never officially served a beer up until that time, and to this day still have not).

This certification is considered the first level cicerone certification. For those not familiar, a cicerone is similar to what a sommelier is for wine, but for beer. While relatively straightforward, to be a Certified Beer Server requires knowledge of beer styles, flavor profiles, and of course, proper serving. The fourth level cicerone certification is the Master Cicerone, and fewer than 20 people have achieved this status worldwide, according to the Cicerone Certification Program.

While I've dabbled in home brewing, and one day could see myself owning a brewery, for the time being, helping organizations as an internal auditor continues to be my passion. I do enjoy visiting microbreweries and even found a local one that makes a beer called "Audit In Progress" (released around April 15 every year). I also enjoy talking craft beer and doing tastings with co-workers. It's a pretty good way to relax between audits.

Although becoming a cicerone is not for everyone, I highly recommend learning a skill outside of audit — it can help auditors branch out, continue learning, and maybe even meet some people who aren't auditors.


Mike Padilla, CIA, CPA, CFE, is a senior manager of Internal Audit at Seattle-based Starbucks Corp., currently working remotely from Orlando, Fla.

Photo taken at Park Pizza & Brewing Co. in Orlando, Fla.

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