Take a Chance and Volunteer.

AuthorSaunders, Rachel

Volunteering your time is far more gratifying when you find something you enjoy doing. For many years, my mom taught children's choir at the local churches while working full-time and taking care of me and my three sisters. She absolutely loved it. Hearing all the tiny young voices and helping them improve was pure joy. Later, she started a kid's club at the church. She enjoyed teaching the kids and forming them into well-rounded individuals. It was truly her gift that she shared and loved. I have always looked up to her and have only hoped that I could become as giving an individual and find the niche where my talents and experience fit best.

Until my involvement in IMA[R], I had volunteered for a variety of causes in my free time. It was such a fulfilling experience, and I always wished that I could do more.

Many years ago, I started a new job and saw that my manager, Greg, had some IMA paraphernalia in his office. I didn't know what IMA was and wasn't forward enough to ask since I was very shy back then. A couple of years later while trying to climb the ladder there, I went back to school to pursue my undergraduate degree in accounting. During my last year of college, members of the local IMA chapter came to one of my accounting classes and spoke about IMA and the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant) certification. I was hooked. I had been trying to figure out if I really wanted to be a CPA and knew it wasn't for me.

I joined IMA during my last year of school. I attended a few of the local meetings and regional seminars but wasn't sure how my experience would ever be able to benefit the organization. A couple of years later, I decided to pursue my CMA.

I reported directly to Greg, and he suggested that I volunteer to be director of CMA/CFM programs for the local chapter. Sharing my CMA experiences while...

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