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How to meet the right people in business and finance

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

How do you build a professional network when society is experiencing such dramatic disruptions? Good question. CIMA provides the community you need to make valuable connections as you enter the job market.

In our rapidly evolving business world, you need professional connections more than ever. A strong network is your key to unlocking the best employment opportunities, collaborating with colleagues and flourishing in any role. 

But how do you build a network when you’re just starting out? Where can you make contacts, given all the recent disruptions to the way we work and live? Where’s the best place to begin?

If you plan to work in finance and accounting, CIMA® is the answer to all of your networking questions. With members and students working across 179 countries, we’re the largest, most influential body of management accountants in the world. We’ve built this global community with a single purpose: to support our members, including university students and new graduates, at every stage of their career.

Before I started with CIMA, I never would’ve guessed I’d end up working for a company in the fashion industry. But, with the help of CIMA’s recommendations and a few fellow members, I landed this exciting position as soon as I earned my CGMA® designation

How CIMA helps you make the right connections

Every network starts somewhere, and yours starts with CIMA. No matter where you are, we connect you with peers, potential employers and other professional contacts. 

Here’s how:

  • Conferences, career fairs and other free events — For over a century, CIMA has hosted and sponsored premier networking opportunities for our members all over the world. We pioneered virtual attendance options years before the current global situation paused in-person events, allowing us to instantly pivot to an interactive online model. No matter where you are, you can still meet employers, thought leaders, fellow students and members at our frequent events.
  • Thriving online communities — Your social media account is your passport to a new frontier of potential fellows and friends. Our pages on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn serve as 21st-century community centres where we’ll welcome you with open-arm emojis. Members from different cultures and countries come together online to share insights, swap stories, promote virtual events and offer support.
  • Global Career Hub — Our members-only jobs board hosts tens of thousands of new employment opportunities every month. With listings posted across a range of industries, from all over the world, this exclusive resource empowers you to connect with employers in your backyard — and across the globe.
  • Member and student directory — A quick search in our digital database confirms if a finance professional is an active CIMA member or if a student is studying with us. To strengthen existing connections and make new ones, you want your name on our directory.
  • Local networks — Depending on your area, you can connect with one of our regional groups of community volunteers. Comprised of members, students and staff, these local teams coordinate events, offer advice and provide referrals.

How building experience builds relationships

The instant CIMA community is only one way we help you make connections in business and finance. While studying with CIMA to earn our globally recognised CGMA designation, you’ll acquire invaluable real-world work experience that introduces you to individuals across a range of industries. The more time you spend on the job the further your network will spread, and the more your contacts see you in action, the more likely they will be to recommend you.

We can’t overstate the power of referrals, and to earn them you need to prove yourself. Once you established a relationship with another professional, don’t be shy about asking them for leads or to offer a recommendation. You should also leverage your network on behalf of colleagues — you want to be the associate who sets up referrals for other people, not someone who only uses contacts to advance themself.

I love working abroad, and credit CIMA with helping me become a management accountant at a global organisation. The experience and connections I made really opened the door to this opportunity

How to get started with CIMA

We know how important workplace connections are to your professional development. At CIMA, we make it easy to balance your studies with a day job. If you’ve already studied finance and accounting, there’s no need to start at the beginning, either; we offer a range of exam exemptions for experienced students. This way you can jump in at the level that’s right for you and focus on learning new skills, making new contacts and transforming your career.

Want to find out more about CIMA? Explore their profile here