IMA Volunteerism: My Volunteer JourneyBy
When I find myself coaching colleagues on how to become well-rounded professionals, I recommend that they find something they are passionate about and volunteer. What does the word “volunteerism” mean to you? Personally, I define volunteerism as the act of selflessly providing your time and talents to an organization/community without the desire to receive anything in return. And while I volunteer in various capacities within my community and profession, IMA has a special place in my heart.
I joined as a student member in 2007 while I was completing my bachelor’s degree. The following year, I served as president of the student chapter of my alma mater. During college, I attended IMA Student Leadership Conferences and the Annual Conference and learned the value IMA could bring to my career. For more information about this, please read my April 2011 Strategic Finance article, “Bridging the Gap: From Student to Young Professional,” which is still relevant to this day.
In 2008, I received an IMA scholarship and in 2009 received the Stuart Cameron McLeod Society (SCMS) scholarship. SCMS is a group composed of current or former officers and directors within IMA who are devoted to aiding students and the profession. Little did I know it at the time, but IMA believed in me before I believed in myself. Even though I had terrific grades and extensive volunteerism, I had never received a single scholarship. IMA saw my potential and encouraged me to be who I am. In honor of its 100-Year Anniversary, IMA has now developed the IMA Century Student Scholarship Fund. To make a donation, visit https://ima100years.org/contribute.
After graduating and receiving my job with Deloitte & Touche LLP (thanks to my IMA network), I became even more involved with IMA. I’ve had the pleasure of serving on various committees, including the Technology Solutions & Practices Committee and IMA’s Annual Conference Program Committee. I was also inducted into SCMS and now serve as the Scholarship Committee chair for the very same scholarship I once received.
One of the most rewarding experiences in my tenure with IMA has been serving on the Global Board of Directors. Board members assist in driving IMA’s vision and mission. I’ve enjoyed representing our membership base, driving our continued growth, and providing our members with leadership experiences as well as awards and recognition. I highly encourage you to apply to serve as part of IMA’s Leadership Team!
In reflecting on my service to IMA, I’ve received much more than I ever anticipated. I have received a second family and lifetime friendships. I have gained lasting memories. I have received encouragement and motivation. And I know there’s more to come. I encourage you to volunteer your time. You may be surprised what journey awaits.