Career Story: Administrative Manager For A Public Transportation Agency

Administrative Manager For A Public Transportation Agency

Job Title: Manager Of Administration

Type of Company: I work for a public transportation agency whose mission is to provide the public with quality transportation choices including roadway, transit, water, bike and pedestrian and aviation.

Education: BS, Business Management, UMass-Lowell

Previous Experience: I started as an electronic funds transfer analyst with a major financial institution before moving to my current career in government. I worked in various positions in accounting and finance as well as HR and general administration.

Job Tasks: My primary duties include budget management, capital planning, contracting, procurement and accounts payable. I also serve as liaison with the agencies HR/payroll department and all other departments under the secretariat.

I procure goods and services for the agency, initiate and process contracts and monitor the funding of each contract. When necessary, I help to process modifications, procure additional funding and contract extensions to ensure that the agency and vendors needs are met.

I receive, analyze and process requests for payments from vendors who are either consultants or providers of goods. I must ensure that the items billed are in compliance with the terms of the contract and that they comply with state finance laws.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the job are finance and budgeting. It is incredibly challenging to work with an ever-changing budget structure, legislative funding cuts and revenue uncertainties. At the beginning of each year, we are given a budget. We plan and spend based on that number. At times, the number has been cut by 10, 25 and even 50%, often when a project is at least halfway complete. It is very challenging but also very rewarding to be able to provide necessary services to the public in such a varied and unpredictable climate.

This is also the worst part of the job. Often when funding is cut, there is no other choice but to terminate a program or reduce its funding. Often this cripples a project or service and the people who've come to depend on it are left empty handed. Companies that are relying on the money to stay afloat are suddenly bankrupted. It is very difficult to deliver news like that.

Job Tips: I often heard the phrase "business is business" in college. My advice is to never forget that business is people too: people who depend on business to feed their families.

In my job, there is no detail too small. Be very careful to see the entire picture, not just the big picture.

Don't be discouraged if you cannot get the job you really want right away. Work, build a reputation and a resume, and eventually you will get that job.

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