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IMA Volunteerism: One Step Ahead

By Fatema El-Wakeel, CMA
May 1, 2021

When I think about what I love most about volunteering, I think about my passion for sharing knowledge with others. For me, gaining knowledge and learning helps you control your own destiny and manage your goals in life.

 

That’s why volunteering to share what I know and helping others enjoy the advantages of a better education, career, or profession means providing individuals with tools they can use to have a better life.

 

My family, who used to provide lessons to young students with limited access to education, got me involved in volunteering at an early age. They taught me that volunteering is how I can add value to my community and enhance people’s lives. I’ve followed that path and tried to share knowledge in different ways, serving as a keynote speaker at conferences, a guest lecturer at universities, and a public speaker in different forums around the world. I’ve also shared my insights in articles, papers, and a personal blog.

 

My IMA® membership has afforded me many opportunities to volunteer since I first became a member in 2006. Over the years, volunteering with IMA has provided me with many memorable experiences, including being a founding president of two chapters (in Egypt and the United Kingdom). But I have to say that the highlight of my IMA volunteering experience has been serving on the Global Board of Directors, where I was invited to serve three years ago.

 

Working in data analytics and having this role means that IMA gives me a platform to add value to the profession and colleagues through my area of expertise. Attending Board meetings and discussing strategy, road maps, and developing the profession are privileges I cherish.

 

As well as being on the IMA Global Board, I’ve also had the honor of serving on the Technology Solutions and Practices Committee, which addresses digital transformation and data analytics; the Committee on Ethics, where we discuss the importance of ethics in digital transformation and how data analytics can support ethical challenges; and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which supports diversity of thought and encourages equity, both of which are incredibly important in the data analytics field.

 

Volunteering is beneficial for the community, and it’s helped me grow as a professional and an individual. It’s given me the opportunity to always stay one step ahead of my career. For example, I was a chapter president in my 20s, which meant I was responsible for a board and members at a very young age. This experience taught me how to accept a huge responsibility, be a leader, and be accountable to a community.

 

Afterward, I began serving on the IMA Global Board, which helped me develop a strategic mind-set that I now use in my job. I so enjoy volunteering and appreciate how it shaped my leadership qualities and gave me the opportunity to have experience outside my professional role.

 

Fatema El-Wakeel, CMA, leads the Data Analytics Centre of Excellence for Jaguar Land Rover Global Financial Services in the U.K. You can reach Fatema on LinkedIn. Visit her blog at analyticsdrivenstrategy.com.
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