Why did you first volunteer?
I value my CIMA membership and strongly believe the best way to guide the direction of the organisation and ensure relevance to members such as myself, is from within. By way of an analogy, if I visualise membership as being the heart beat of CIMA then volunteering is the blood that runs through it. So I asked myself “why wouldn’t I get involved?”
Initially I thought local committee membership was an elite group not accessible to all, but after an in innocuous conversation at a local area event, I understood this not to be the case. The rest, as they say, is history…
What skills have you developed by volunteering?
I have been a volunteer for a number of years on local and national events. Despite appearances, no two events are the same. Putting on these events has its challenges at times and as such agile leadership is a key skill I’ve developed. Project planning, networking and collaboration are additional skills developed.
What other benefits do you get from volunteering?
I believe there are two main benefits.
It sounds a cliché, but a sense of giving something back. I’m probably only half way through my working career and very much welcomed the support over the years from CIMA and more senior members. I feel now is the time to share some of that with the next generation of CIMA members and volunteering on local committees is a satisfying way to do this.
The other benefit is around navigating rapidly changing technologies and the increasing breadth of our roles as finance professionals. When thinking about event-content and identifying relevant speakers, as a committee we have to think broadly. This broad-radar approach indirectly helps me ensure I stay relevant in the workplace and ahead of developments to the profession.
What’s your favourite thing about being part of the committee?
There are a few things:
Knowing that as a committee member, without volunteers like us the local area network events won’t successfully happen. The sense of achievement from organising/hosting a well-attended event where members’ feedback the event was of relevance to them is a rewarding aspect.
The committee is a team reliant upon supporting each other to achieve a common goal. As a committee volunteer there is the flexibility to self-decide upfront to what extent I get involved.
As the voice of the members in the local area, being able to influence and shape the direction of the organisation is highly satisfying. Head office wants to understand what is happening in the local areas and being a volunteer is a great way to get involved in shaping an organisation that continues to be relevant in years to come.
What do you consider the greatest attribute of the UK Areas?
In my view, membership diversity and growth across both industry and Members in Practice is a huge attribute of the UK Areas. This creates a huge potential for networking and learning from others. As a volunteer, I want to ensure this continues and develops further.
What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?
Don’t delay; get in touch with your local area committee to discuss ways you volunteering can help. You’ve worked hard for your membership and it comes down to each member to help ensure CIMA qualification remains relevant for future years.