Volunteering is at the heart of IMA’s culture. At the same time, our student network has grown to 15,000 members and 150 chapters, nearly double the levels of only a few years ago. In January, IMA combined these assets to create and launch the Campus Influencers Program. The vision was clear: Since management accountants help lead value creation inside organizations, why not encourage them to share their career insights with accounting students in higher education? What better way to inspire tomorrow’s finance professionals than by imparting our wisdom?

Today this grassroots movement to seed the next generation of management accountants is 40 members strong in its pilot stage and will be expanding to a full launch this fall. I want to personally invite you to join this worthy cause and continue IMA’s legacy of building the future of the profession.

The Campus Influencers Program is a turnkey campus-outreach initiative open to all IMA members. Using IMA materials and instructions, volunteers reach out to local colleges to schedule a presentation for an accounting/finance class or club. After they make a connection with professors or faculty advisors, volunteers set up and deliver a scripted PowerPoint deck to students interested in accounting or finance. They educate students on what management accountants actually do to deliver value, the inspiring career paths within the profession, and the lifelong career support that IMA and CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification can provide to enable success.

The students, who are often eager to map out their future after graduation, receive invaluable career information. And the volunteers enjoy the rewarding experience of helping those who are about to embark on their first careers. Although we ask Campus Influencers to present once or twice a year, some choose to continue their connections with students and professors for enduring relationships.

If you are enthusiastic, active in your local chapter, or simply willing to give your time, this volunteer experience is for you. And if public speaking isn’t your forte? Consider helping IMA by overseeing locations where our trained staff can deliver the presentation by webinar.

No matter how you contribute, your impact on the future of our profession could be immeasurable and memorable. Become a Campus Influencer (campusinfluencers@imanet.org) today. I’ve always been proud of IMA’s long tradition of paying it forward. Let’s make sure our CMAs-in-training aren’t left behind.

Are you ready?

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