Pauline Gilbert, CMA
Position: Financial Analyst
Board Position: Secretary & VP of Administration
1. You are originally from France. How did you come to be in the UK?
I left to go to the US first as I have always been very attracted by this country. As I was working in the US, there was a job opportunity for me within the same company in the UK and decided to go for it.
2. What motivated you to volunteer your skills to be a chapter board member?
I was new to the UK and eager to continually learn and network. I realized that IMA members in the UK did not have the same support as in the US and decided to get involved to offer UK members more opportunities to professionally grow, learn and network.
3. How do you balance your day job with your responsibilities as a chapter board member?
During month end period, it can be challenging as my work load is quite heavy. But usually I have enough time dedicated in the evening the rest of month. I allocate enough time to be able to deliver the board's expectations. It is all a matter of being organized setting up personal deadlines.
4. Can IMA members contact you for advice or guidance? What are the skills where you have particular depth?
Of course! I just passed both CMA exams so the testing materials and techniques are still fresh in my mind. I could provide advices or study tips. I also have experience in PFR, general accounting, financial and variance analysis and capital budgeting and investment decisions.
5. Is it hard work running an IMA chapter? Did you bring management/directing skills you already had? Do you also benefit from the experience?
It depends on the time. The set up and kick off period was quite challenging as many tasks had to be performed in a short period of time on top of our regular jobs. Since then, we have found our rhythm and the volunteering load is much less heavy. I do benefit a lot from this experience. Setting up a chapter is like setting up your own business, which I would love to do later on. There are many important steps that we would not necessarily think of.
6. How can the IMA support its members in the UK workplace?
The IMA can provide learning and networking opportunities. It would be good also to establish strong partnerships between our chapter and Universities to retain students early. Also, they would be better off starting the exams early and getting it out of the way.
7. Would you recommend volunteering? Do you find it satisfying/motivating/hard work/stimulating/challenging/big responsibility/opportunity to network/build your own brand/good for self-esteem/good for resume/a learning experience?
I would definitely recommend it, especially since the commitment period is only 1 year. It can be challenging sometimes to manage the workload but it is great to continue building leadership skills and network across the country while helping the IMA community.