Meeting like-minded professionals in this way prompted me to get more involved and volunteer for what I recognized is a forward-thinking organization. Some months later, I was asked to join the board of IMA’s Switzerland Chapter, and I immediately said yes.

Serving on an international and diverse chapter board has given me opportunities to develop my leadership skills, such as through organizing events and expanding the chapter’s outreach efforts. An excellent example is the Virtual Management Accounting Conference we held in June 2020, which attracted a global audience. I enjoyed bringing together speakers from academia and practice while leading a panel discussion and serving as moderator.

As I’ve become more active within IMA over the past few years, I’ve experienced the benefits from volunteering on a global and local level. This engagement has not only raised my professional visibility, but it’s also enabled me to learn from and make valuable contributions to the accounting and finance community. For example, I’ve been honored to serve on the Councils and Global Components Roundtable Committee, where I get to contribute ideas on how to better serve our members.

I’ve enjoyed the IMA connections I’ve made during my travels around the world—from attending the 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, Calif., to being invited as the first international guest speaker at an event in Nanjing, China. As IMA grows more global, we’re looking for new ways to foster relationships and share best practices.

This inspired me to arrange a collaboration between the Switzerland Chapter and the CMA Nanjing Elite Club. With the encouragement of the IMA community, we were able to organize a successful bilingual webinar in September 2020. We created new value for members and set a precedent within IMA with our collaboration. Most recently, I was happy to be an international judge for IMA China’s Student Case Competition.

Another high point was when my passion for volunteer leadership helped me earn an invitation to participate in the Young Professional Leadership Experience in Amsterdam in 2019. With young professionals from other regions, I shared my perspective on the value of IMA membership and career challenges to the Global Board and committees. I recommend applying to a committee that interests you. It’s a great way to impact our organization and profession.

By volunteering with IMA, I’ve developed a global mind-set and gained valuable leadership experience while having a positive impact on others. If you connect with fellow IMA members around the world, create new value with your ideas, and contribute to the community in different capacities, you, too, can develop the skills needed to become a global leader.

About the Authors