IMA Volunteerism: Campus InfluenceBy
I first heard of IMA® in 2014, when the IMA Europe office made a presentation about the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification to the management control department of IÉSEG School of Management, the business school I had just joined as a staff member.
Having previously worked for 10 years in industry as a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) manager, I immediately saw the relevance of the certification for my students. I agreed to take on the lead role of introducing the CMA to students at our school, and that’s how my IMA volunteering began.
Before long, I joined the newly launched IMA French Chapter, where I met some amazing people who had strong ethical values as well as diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. To date, IMA’s French Chapter includes no less than six nationalities from all over the world, which is quite unusual for an association in France.
My volunteer work initially consisted mostly of raising awareness regarding the CMA among professors and students at French business schools. In my presentations, I made use of materials from IMA’s Campus Influencer program, which has been instrumental in informing students in the academic community about the advantages of IMA membership and CMA certification. As a result of these efforts, I’m pleased to say that three highly regarded French business schools, including my own, now include the CMA as part of their curriculum in finance and accounting.
Eventually, I assumed a more active role within the French Chapter, serving as a board member and sourcing topics and speakers for CPE events. In this role, I realized that organizing such events allows you to apply creativity, networking, and team-building skills, as there are so many details to coordinate.
This past year, I became chapter president, which has given me the opportunity to meet (at least virtually) and regularly speak with the other chapter presidents across Europe. I’ve gained a privileged source of information for local particularities in the finance and accounting job market, information that I can then pass on to my international students looking to settle in Europe.
I also very much value how IMA global and the local Europe office support our chapter. In France, where awareness of IMA and the CMA is relatively new but growing, volunteers need an entrepreneurial spirit to move things forward. That’s why it’s especially important to have a strong and reliable team backing us up.
Among my most memorable experiences as an IMA volunteer was when IMA CEO and President Jeff Thomson came to Paris in 2018 to celebrate IÉSEG School of Management being the first French business school recognized under IMA’s Higher Education Endorsement Program. In addition to Jeff’s inspiring speech that evening, this event to me embodied some of IMA’s core values: developing and empowering people, aiming at global influence, cultivating team spirit, and sharing our successes.
I’m so glad to be part of the effort to spread awareness about IMA in Europe. Today more than ever, we need the values and skills that IMA and the CMA can offer.