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Meet Adam Zdroik, CIA – Add Distinction, Avoid Extinction

Adam ZdroikAdam J. Zdroik, CIA
Senior Internal Auditor
Sealed Air
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

1. What prompted you to become certified?

After transitioning into internal auditing from public accounting and working within the profession for a few years, I realized how much I enjoy the challenges and opportunities the profession offers. I wanted to obtain certification to support professional advancement and to emphasize my commitment to the professional practice of internal audit.

2. What IIA certification(s) do you hold, and why did you choose to pursue it (them)? Do you plan to pursue other IIA certifications, and if so, which ones and why?

I hold the Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®), which I chose to pursue to compliment my role as an internal auditor. My current employer requires staff to earn applicable certification(s) to be promoted to a senior level and beyond. The certification itself, as well as the preparation required to pass the exams, has provided me a lot professional growth. It has prompted my interest in other IIA certifications like the Certification in Risk Management Assurance® (CRMA®), for which I am currently preparing.

3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?

It helps to support and emphasize my commitment to the field. It has also afforded me greater responsibility and more opportunities and experiences within my role. After becoming certified, I was promoted to the senior level which has allowed me to lead global audits and lead audit staff.

4. How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?

It put me on the track of continuous improvement and career development. I realized the immediate benefit of being promoted from a staff level auditor to senior level auditor after successful completion. As a senior internal auditor, I lead audit engagements which has allowed me to improve on my leadership and communication skills. In the long-term, I believe my CIA certification will make me more marketable for future opportunities and projects as it helps me promote myself as a subject matter expert in the audit field.

5. Has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?

Yes, I believe both the process of studying for each exam part and the continuing professional education requirements expected of a certified professional have improved and fine-tuned my audit skills and overall approach within planning and fieldwork. Three core skills the CIA has helped me strengthen are leadership, communication, and problem solving. It has also peaked my interest in evolving audit practices within Internal Audit and Data Analytics.

6. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?

Put in the time and dedication to obtain and hold active certification. It will only benefit you in the long run. There are a lot of different IIA certifications that complement each other, but you have to start somewhere, so choose the one that you find most interesting to get you on a certification track. A consistent study schedule is key to passing. If you stay focused, you can accomplish a lot in a short period of time. I passed all three parts of the CIA in five months. Also, my employer sponsors the study materials and continuous education requirements, so be sure to check what support your employer may offer.

7. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?

I have my own personal career development plan and my employer has a separate evaluation system. Proper planning helps promote continuous improvement and new opportunities within education and skill development. Planning helps keep me agile and adaptable to changes within the profession and my organization and development is a key driver in my career.

8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

I have received a lot of good advice. Two statements that really resonated with me were: “Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” and “Experiment, evaluate and evolve or learn how to become extinct.”


Adam Zdroik, CIA is a senior internal auditor for Sealed Air, a global manufacturer of packaging supplies and solutions. After earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, he began a career in public accounting. He transitioned into internal auditing after discovering the diverse subject matter and unique development opportunities the profession offers. As a lean six sigma yellow belt trained professional, Adam seeks value add auditing and continuous improvement. He is also an active member of The IIA’s Charlotte, North Carolina Chapter, which he joined after transferring with his company from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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About the CIA

As the only globally recognized certification for internal auditors and The IIA’s flagship credential for more than 40 years, the CIA sets the standard for excellence in the profession. Learn more.

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