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Inside IMA

IMA Chapters Going That Extra Mile for Students

Many IMA® (Institute of Management Accountant) chapters and councils work hard to increase IMA’s footprint among academic and student members. Two such chapters – Long Island and Denver – go that extra mile to support students and encourage the future leaders of the profession to pursue IMA membership and a career in management accounting.

Long Island (N.Y.) Chapter
At the Long Island Chapter, a “very supportive board” is part of the driving force behind the effort, says Marvin Rosen, current vice president of student activities. “We all have a firm commitment to reaching out to students and to giving them opportunities to learn about management accounting and serving in leadership roles.”

The chapter has a dedicated IMA Student Chapter Committee that organizes activities for students. This includes managing relationships with nine Long Island colleges, some of which have IMA student chapters (Long Island University, Molloy College, and Stonybrook University) and others that don’t (Hofstra and Adelphi).

Notes Rosen, “A big part of our message is how IMA can support you throughout your entire career. We explain to the students that while Beta Alpha Psi will take you through college, with IMA you can make contacts that can help you throughout your whole life.”

Most recently, the committee organized a young professional bowling event, which was attended by approximately 60 young professionals from about a dozen Long Island employers. The chapter also invites students to attend their monthly dinner meetings – students can attend for a significantly discounted rate, and the cost is made up by corporate sponsors and through Memorial Education Fund (MEF) grants.

The networking at these meetings is intentional: “We have students wear special name tags, and we ask all board members to make a special effort to speak to student attendees,” explained James Smith, CPA, vice president of the membership committee.

These efforts have paid off. Two former student members became associate board members and are now serving as full members of the chapter’s board. Both students have been instrumental in planning the chapter’s student and young professional events.

Denver Centennial Chapter
The Denver Centennial Chapter also devotes considerable resources to support students in their area.

Over the past 10 years, the chapter has been able to grant generous financial scholarships; this year, $8,000 worth of scholarships were awarded. The chapter’s five-person scholarship committee (composed of CMAs) independently reviews the applications of eligible recipients. Students must submit transcripts as well as an application and a letter of recommendation.

“They look at a variety of factors, not just a high GPA. They consider financial need and also look at the level of leadership involvement, as well as IMA membership,” explains Mike Westcott, chapter president.

The chapter also hosts a number of special events, including, for nearly 20 years, an annual Student Night, which attracts students from about a half dozen schools: University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, Denver University, and several others. The chapter holds dinners that feature guest speakers, including graduate students, recruiting firms, and even, in prior years, past IMA Chairs. Students and faculty members can attend these dinners for just $10, thanks to subsidies by sponsors and the chapter’s treasury.

The chapter partners with two other IMA chapters in hosting an annual Rocky Mountain Area Conference for Finance & Accounting Professionals. Proceeds from this conference are distributed to the three chapters, and the Denver Chapter uses a portion of their proceeds to fund their student scholarships.

“We’re very fortunate to have a conference that provides us with good financial resources, and we’re also able to attract sponsorships for our student activities,” says Westcott. “We’re very pleased to be able to have dinner meetings where students get to hear about the various options open to them outside of public accounting.”

For more information about how your chapter can get more involved with students in your area, please contact Jodi Ryan, IMA director of student and academic relations, at jryan@imanet.org.