Note from Alex: This is a guest post from Shafic Suleman. Shafic took the ERP exam in Edinburgh and passed in November 2011. He writes about his experiences and preparations for the ERP exam. Enjoy!
My desire to learn more about energy started when I was a kid, I have always wanted to learn, and solve problems relating to electricity, gasoline, diesel and alternative energy, I developed the interest and starting selling kerosene to my community locals for use as fuel at homes, which made me a very rich kid in my community those days.
However my dream came through when I was introduced to GARP’s Energy Risk Professional in 2010, after taking a critical look at the bulk of course guild lines I realised that this is it, my future, my career and my dream to get into the energy industry. Slowly I scan through the ERP study guide night over night and the more I scan through the guide the higher my desire and interest in ERP. The Energy Risk Professional course contains everything you would need to know about the energy industry and risk management.
In November 2010 I decided to attempt the ERP exam, after several days and nights of preparation. On 20 November 2010 a Saturday, it was due to write the exams. Sincerely, in my heart I felt that I still needed a whole year more to study. With hope and conviction of passing the ERP exams, I travelled all the way from Ghana to Nigeria which by then is the only closest GARP exam centre to write the ERP exams. I reported at the exams centre an hour before time to start the morning session since Nigeria is a bit different from Ghana even though both countries are in West Africa.
After 30 minutes of checking in and clarification of exam tickets and National Identification cards I found myself in the exam room and a proctor reading the exams instructions to us, the correct calculators to use for the exams that is HP or Taxes Instrument calculators which are the only permitted calculators. I was finally told to start work at exactly 8:30 am and the morning session would last for 4 hours.
The exams was getting interesting in the morning but slowly after 2 hours I got so tired, since I was used to writing exams which only lasted for a maximum of 3 hours, the ERP exam first session lasted for 4 hours, I was exhausted after the morning session, but the afternoon session was worse because by then I was completely exhausted. After the exam, I realised that I would not pass. Because the exam really challenged me beyond my imagination and after a long night sleep, in the morning I woke up feeling so fulfilled that I am pursing my dream career to becoming an energy risk professional notwithstanding the fact that the November 20, 2010 exam was tough.
After six weeks I had my result, the results was good but I did not pass the ERP exams because I did not meet the passing requirement from GARP, I was willing to go for it again but I was not financially sound, not until a friend came to my rescue to fully finance all my trips and cost of the ERP exams. In May 2011 I attempted the ERP exams again, without passing but this time around my performance was much better as compared to the previous sitting giving me greater hope and about an inch to successes.
In 2011 I secured the GARP ERP course pack and registered for the November 2011 ERP exam, as usual on 19th November 2011 I found myself in an exam room at Edinburgh and been told what to do and what not to do, by now I am fully aware of all the rules of the game and tricks involved, for once the morning session was very smooth and interesting to me, instantly I realised that this was my final attempt of writing GARP ERP because I knew what I was doing and could instantly identify the confusing and similar answers of GARP from the correct answers, GARP could not swerve me in any way again, I was more focus, steady, with my bottle of drinking water by my side and answering the questions, one question after another, minute by minute and second by second with more confidence than before and more hope for success. As usual I was very tired after the morning session but I had my launch with me so I relaxed on my sitting table by taking a quick-nap.
The afternoon session was a bit difficult as compared with the morning session but things went from difficult to easy and finally it was all over again, but this time around I was more optimistic that am going to pass my dream ERP exams, six weeks later the result were as I expected, I passed my long-awaited ERP exam and the question I now ask myself is what next for a 25 year old Energy Risk Professional? And what are the prospects for me in the energy industry?
MSc Energy Management
Robert Gordon University