Given that incentive, I started attending IMA® student chapter meetings. By the winter term, I decided to switch my major to accounting as I learned I had a knack for it. (I completed that term’s homework in the first week of class.) I did well, earning a 4.0 GPA, and was invited to attend an annual awards dinner.

There, my friend Chris Wozniak, that year’s Ann Arbor Chapter scholarship winner and incoming president of the EMU student chapter, introduced me to Sue Bos, a longtime IMA volunteer leader, who encouraged me to attend Ann Arbor Chapter meetings that fall. That introduction changed me—and my career—for the better.

Following Sue’s suggestion, I started attending chapter events when I could, and, over the next year, she and I became friends. At the end of the school year, I was elected copresident of the student chapter, and that summer I began attending Ann Arbor Chapter board meetings as a guest, where I learned a lot that helped improve our student chapter.

It was just the beginning. I graduated that fall, and I became the Ann Arbor Chapter’s new community service director and later its social media director. I returned to EMU for my master’s degree that summer, and, during the fall recruiting season, Sue provided a reference to a potential employer that all but sealed my internship at a local CPA firm.

She continued to provide encouragement, asking me at the end of my master’s program if I wanted to join the Michigan Council board as a regional director. I said yes. That year, IMA’s Student Leadership Conference was in Detroit, where I live, so I attended as a professional (I previously attended as a student). There I was introduced to the president of the Stuart Cameron McLeod Society (SCMS). Again thanks to Sue, I applied for induction the next year.

I am a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a current CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) candidate, and IMA has enriched my short career as a professional, impacting me in many ways. In return, I’ve tried to give back to the organization when possible, such as speaking at chapter events, writing articles, and volunteering in various global and local roles. I’ve learned that the more I put into IMA, the more I get back, and this wouldn’t be possible if Chris hadn’t introduced me to Sue.

Recently I accepted an adjunct professorship teaching managerial accounting at a local community college. I’ve given students the same extra-credit opportunity I took advantage of—to attend chapter meetings—to guide them to IMA, where they can experience the benefits I’ve enjoyed.

And thanks to IMA for helping its members like this for 100 years!

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