Along the way I’ve also served as an associate editor of the IMA Educational Case Journal and as a member of various committees, such as Academic Relations. While these roles provided benefit to IMA, they also helped challenge and develop me personally and professionally. They helped develop me into a leader and led to my role as IMA Chair-Elect. I’m looking forward to the work I will continue to do to help benefit IMA, but I’m also excited about tackling the challenges of the role, which is exactly why I say that volunteering makes a difference in the life of the volunteer.

While it’s true that volunteering your time is gratifying when you find something you enjoy doing, I believe it’s also true that a great deal of gratification can come from volunteering that will get you out of your comfort zone.

I’ve read that effective leaders often spend time soul-searching to recognize their areas of strength and those areas of weakness they need to work on. You don’t have to be a leader to be reflective. Thus I challenge you to do a self-assessment to find the strengths and the gaps in your personal or professional skill set and then look for volunteer opportunities within IMA to apply those skills and eliminate gaps. You might consider:

  • Helping plan the experiences of others by serving on a program committee.
  • Providing a service to student members by judging submissions in the IMA Student Case Competition or serving as an advisor to a student chapter.
  • Sharing what you know or have experienced by submitting articles and/or cases or by reviewing articles submitted to Strategic Finance or Management Accounting Quarterly.
  • Honing and sharing your leadership skills by joining the IMA Leadership Academy or IMA’s mentoring program, becoming a chapter or regional council officer, or joining the IMA Global Board of Directors.
  • Helping advance the industry’s knowledge base by joining the IMA Research Foundation.
  • Helping advance the profession by joining the ICMA Board of Regents.
  • Advocating for the profession and IMA by working with one of the following committees or organizations: Financial Reporting Committee, Small Business Financial and Regulatory Affairs Committee, Technology Solutions and Practices Committee, the IMA Committee on Ethics, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

There are numerous opportunities to volunteer with IMA and make a difference. For some ideas, go to Volunteering with IMA at and About IMA at

About the Authors