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IMA Volunteerism: Learning Leads to Leadership

By Aditya Shelar, CMA, FRM
October 1, 2020
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Volunteering with IMA® has turned out to be a key stepping-stone in my career.

 

My involvement with the association began in 2017 when I was part of the winning team of the IMA Student Case Competition in India. Working on that case study gave me my first opportunity to develop my fundamental leadership skills of decision making and problem solving.

 

After earning a CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) scholarship, I began attending many IMA chapter events. These events helped me gain insights from experts in the profession, expanding my knowledge and introducing me to current market trends and innovative practices. Even more important, these experiences helped shape me into a more dynamic leader.

 

When the opportunity arrived in 2018, I volunteered as a founding member of IMA’s Pune Chapter. While working with Deutsche Bank as an analyst in the credit risk function, I was appointed the chapter’s treasurer, where I worked on financial planning and budgeting. Thus, as I was learning to analyze credit risk for my company, I also was learning fund management as the treasurer of an IMA chapter. Later, I assumed the role of chapter vice president, helping to arrange speakers for our events and expanding our chapter’s outreach.

 

I was thrilled when my passion for volunteering helped me earn a seat on the Council and Global Components Roundtable Committee, which has been an excellent opportunity for me to network with the IMA Global Board of Directors. Because of my involvement with that committee, I had the chance to meet the senior leadership team in person in Austin, Texas—a memory I will always cherish. In addition, engaging with the Member Relations Committee to help restructure the chapter competition and volunteering guidelines gave me a chance to brainstorm my ideas with some of the finest leaders in our accounting community.

 

The leadership skills I learned via volunteering have enhanced my professional conduct in multiple ways, including improving my business communication and networking abilities. They’ve also helped me excel in my corporate career. For instance, in the short time I have worked at my current company, I have been part of multiple projects playing dynamic roles, ranging from research lead to “scrum master.” This has given me the opportunity to engage frequently with the senior leadership team and be part of management decisions.

 

John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” In the way that my volunteer activities have been the building blocks of my leadership persona, I consider myself lucky to be guided by the wisdom of my mentors at IMA. I look forward to doing the same by mentoring aspiring future leaders to go beyond academics to develop the same competencies that helped me become a leader.

 

Aditya Shelar, CMA, FRM, is a business analyst at FIS Solutions (India) Private Limited and a member of IMA’s Pune Chapter. You can reach him at aditya.bmcc@gmail.com.
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