Sireen Abu Shanab, a self-motivated accounting student at the University of Jordan, was one of six participants from the Middle East/India region selected to attend IMA’s Student Leadership Conference (SLC) in Charlotte last November. Sireen is president of the student chapter on campus and has plans to pursue her CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) very soon. Here, she tells about her experience:

How did you get selected to attend the SLC?

I participated in the IMA Student Leadership Conference video contest, and my video was recognized among the winners in the Middle East. I was thrilled to learn I was awarded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the SLC in Charlotte.

What’s been some of your most meaningful experiences as student chapter president?

Our IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) student chapter was established in October 2018, but the journey for me began months earlier, when I started telling my friends about all the benefits of IMA membership and encouraging them to explore new horizons and opportunities. 

Among my most memorable experiences was when I stood along with my vice president before 150 students and spoke so passionately about something – being an IMA member – that I believe could make a difference. I remember looking at the audience, realizing the significance of being a leader: People will listen, people will understand and eventually be inspired, and I have to make it worthwhile. 

What have been some your goals at chapter president?

My initial goal as president was to spread the professional culture of IMA, and to give more value to students who are pursuing a promising accounting and finance career by exposing them to the real business world in and outside of Jordan.

In 2019, our university was able to make significant changes in our business faculty, making a noticeable impact by providing solid opportunities for students, including internships for all business students, industry tours, and even job vacancies at top international firms for our academically distinguished students. We hope to continue to provide exceptional opportunities with the support of our parent IMA chapter in Jordan and our IMA regional council (JAMA).

What was your most memorable moment for you at the SLC and which speakers did you enjoy the most?

The most memorable moment for me was at the student leadership roundtable session, when I shared the story of the launch of our IMA student chapter as the first in Jordan. I felt so grateful to everyone on the team who devoted time and effort to this endeavor and who helped develop the chapter even further. Among my favorite sessions, I would have to say it was the one by Loreal Jiles, who talked about robotic process automation. She was very insightful and so passionate about the topic.

How has IMA been part of your experience as a student?

Ever since I joined IMA in July 2018,  I’ve enjoyed new chances to better myself on a personal and academic level every day. I’ve learned so much from IMA members all around the world and long-tenured professionals who have given me inspiration to progress in life. 

Looking ahead, I'm currently in very close contact with our regional council, and I would love to further the IMA message when I graduate by being an active member. I also plan to volunteer with IMA as a speaker or organizer at an upcoming IMA conference.