With a student body as diverse and international as McGill’s, it should come as no surprise that many students plan to continue travelling the world after graduation. The International Management Association (IMA) of Desautels caters to the aspirations of these students.
“The International Management Association is a club for people who are interested in working internationally, as well as International Management majors,” explained Saul Muskin, IMA president and U2 Management student. “We try to be what we call a ‘networking resource platform.’”
The IMA’s primary goals are to provide students with events and networks that help them build professional connections and expand their international basis.
“We have social and professional events,” said VP External and U2 Management student, Quentin Godefroy. “The social ones include pre-drinks, apartment crawls, [and] frosh. The professional [events] include guest speakers and events like speed networking.”
Additionally, the IMA aims to help students build relationships with professionals through their various and multi-faceted events, creating networking opportunities with both local and international professionals.
“Often when people say they want an international career [or] they want to work everywhere, they don’t really know what that entails,” said VP Media and U2 Management student Dhruv Janmeja. “It’s harder for people who want to [work in] international management to connect with international professionals [.…] Our role is to connect people to professionals [with whom] they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
In addition to building business connections overseas, the IMA also aims to help students build connections with important people on campus, including professors.
“It’s really cool because a lot of [our] speakers are our own [professors],” Janmeja said. “Students get to hear their own experience and be able to connect with them past what they teach in the classroom.”
The IMA also serves as a liaison between students and faculty, listening to the needs of the students and vocalizing them to the International Management board. The International Management major within Desautels is still relatively new, founded within the past 10 years. According to Janmeja, the program still has some areas of improvement.
“One of our roles is to take feedback from students, and then take it to the International major board,” he said. “Having that connection from a group that gives feedback from students to professors is something that’s important.”
Beyond bringing students closer to professionals and their professors, the IMA hopes to bring internationally-oriented students closer to one another.
“We definitely have a few different goals, one of which is to create and strengthen the community around internationally-minded people,” Muskin said. “Especially those who are driven and want to achieve something right out of school.”
The diverse composition of the McGill student body is also reflected in the diversity within the IMA.
“Desautels is 40 per cent international students, and McGill is 25 per cent,” Muskin said. “We […] just want to create a community around that and leverage the [cultural diversity] of McGill.”
The executive team alone is comprised of students from a mosaic of different backgrounds.
“I really like the fact that our team is made up of people from everywhere,” Godefroy said. “We have [executives who are] Greek, American, French, Swiss, [and more.]”
According to Muskin, with over 190 members, the IMA has grown a lot in the past few years. Huskin has hopes to keep the organization on this path.
“Its a pretty new club, so I think there’s definitely a lot of room to grow,” Muskin said. “Ideally, I would love to have it where every single International Management major is involved.”
As they prepare for their largest annual event of the year, the executives are feeling the impact of their growth as an organization. From Feb. 9-12, IMA will host a three-day Globalization Forum, featuring an African Business Summit, Chinese Business Summit, and a Professor’s Roundtable.
“This is our biggest event of the year, so of course we care a lot about it,” Muskin said. “We have some really interesting speakers—we have people from all sorts of different fields. We have everything from non-for-profit, to finance, to consulting [and] marketing.”
To Muskin, the variation in the types of guest speakers they will have is representative of the variety of academic concentrations found within the International Management major itself.
“[The] one thing that’s really important about the IMA is that […] International Management is not a specific discipline,” Muskin said. “You can incorporate finance and marketing and consulting and whatever else into it— it’s just under the context of international. It’s just multicultural, and the fact that you are doing work in a place that’s not necessarily your home.”
Godefroy echoed a similar sentiment.
“I guess what we’re trying to get people to [do] is to get out of their bubble, and maybe consider an international career, ” Godefroy said. “We want to expand their horizons and teach them that it might be a little bit frightening at first to meet people from other cultures, and have language barriers [and] cultural barriers […] but once you get over all of that, it’s such an enriching experience that it’s definitely worth it.”