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IMA Life: Emboldened to Serve

By Jordan Thompson
December 1, 2020
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When I began taking online classes at Grand Canyon University in 2018, I had little idea of how I wanted to proceed in my professional life. I hoped that getting a degree in accounting would help me land a job somewhere, somehow, but I had no specific process in mind for how this would be done.

 

My academic advisor recommended that I join our school’s accounting society, noting membership could look good on a résumé, so I signed up.

 

At the first meeting, I learned that the group was a student chapter of IMA®, which I hadn’t heard of before. As I discovered more about the organization, my interest grew. The idea of an association that supported accountants working inside organizations rather than in public accounting appealed to me since nearly all my work experience had been at my family’s small manufacturing company. I was also curious about the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification and how it could help my career.

 

Soon after that first meeting, I attended an informational luncheon for chapter leaders and had the chance to apply for a position on the leadership team, volunteer to edit the newsletter, and join a mentorship program. Eventually, I became our chapter’s secretary and, later, the communications director. These roles gave me the chance to work with others who also were looking to advance themselves while in school. I’m grateful for the camaraderie I was able to enjoy with my leadership team.

 

William Frasier, a longtime IMA member and my mentor, gave me valuable insights into how to conduct myself at all levels of life, including my career. Most of all, I learned that serving others is always more important than serving oneself. All this experience has emboldened me to reach out to others in ways I wouldn’t have done before. IMA has helped me develop greater self-confidence and a belief that I can do difficult things.

 

Inspired by these opportunities, I became an IMA student ambassador, a campus ambassador for Wiley, and a Max Up ambassador. I reached out for more volunteer opportunities with our local IMA professional chapter, the Arizona Valley of the Sun Chapter, which invited me to work with its education board and to assist with the chapter’s award-winning newsletter.

 

I marvel at the opportunities IMA gives us students—the incredible experiences we can enjoy and learn from while still in school and that enhance our chances of finding a good job after graduation. Thanks to IMA and the support of my wife and family, I’ve decided to pursue my master’s degree and also become a CMA candidate. Being nominated by our faculty chair, Donna DeMilia, for the CMA Scholarship, I’m grateful to enter the CMA program and to have the opportunity to develop myself further as a person and a future accountant.

 

I can’t express enough my gratitude for what I have gained. Thank you, IMA!

 

Jordan Thompson is a recent graduate of Grand Canyon University and a member of IMA’s Arizona Valley of the Sun Chapter. You can reach him at jordandale.thompson@hotmail.com.
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