Sharing the Message: When Students Learn about IMA[R] and Its Activities, They Usually Want to Join and Participate, So It's Up to All of Us to Spread the Word
Macaulay, John C., Strategic Finance
I recently was invited, as part of a team organized by IMA's Dallas Fort Worth Area Chapter, to speak with a group of students at a university in the Dallas area. The group was led by two very enterprising young women who, with the school administration's support, wanted to create a campus group that was open to interested accounting and finance students and that would supplement the honor society. About 30 students showed up, all willing to devote an evening of their precious study time to hear what we had to say.
I spoke to these students about IMA and the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant)--about the advantages of membership in our organization and the global reach and respect of our esteemed certification. I must admit that the experience was both discouraging and encouraging. Discouraging, because I was struck by how few students knew about our association or our well-regarded designation. Encouraging, however, because I saw just how interested these students were in what our organization has to offer once they were introduced to it. After the official remarks, the students showered us with questions, particularly about the logistics of earning their CMA. They really liked that they could take the exam while they were still students (as opposed to some other certifications that wouldn't let them do this). One student, who was from China, even asked if he could take the exam here in the United States and then use his certification when he returned home (which he can). It's clear that the more these students learned about IMA, the more they realized the benefits the organization could offer for their professional futures.
I'm certain that opportunities like this exist all across the U.S. and internationally--students who haven't been introduced to our organization and certification but who would certainly be very receptive if they were. Although our academic members play an important role in sharing this message, it also falls on our general membership to help "spread the word. …