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Career Story: Assistant Business Manager Of A Private Catholic High School

Assistant Business Manager Of A Private Catholic High School

Job Title: Assistant Business Manager

Type of Company: I work for a private Catholic high school in south central Connecticut.

Education: studied, Accounting & Government Services, Middlesex Community College (Middletown, CT)

Previous Experience: I have done bookkeeping and accounting and every aspect of office work for several different employers.

Job Tasks: I am the assistant business manager in a Catholic high school for boys in grades 9 through 12. I collect tuition, pay bills, do deposits and keep track of fundraising.

Every fall we have an open house for eighth grade students, which is attended by them and their parents and allows to visit the school before they take the entrance exam in November. The business office always has to take part in these events in case parents want to ask questions about tuition and financial aid.

Once the students have been accepted they send in their deposits and I start entering the newly registered students and setting up their accounts for the fall. I send out tuition contracts between February and March which are usually due back by April 1st. These tuition contracts will be signed by the parents choosing which tuition plan they want to be on come the fall. These contracts are sent out to all 800 plus students who attend the school.

Later on, in the spring, I make up invoices to be sent out to parents or guardians. We have three tuition plans: pay in full, can pay in two parts, and a monthly plan which goes through a tuition management company. It is my job to make sure that every student is set up with a tuition plan and I keep track of these all year long.

I also have various business office duties to attend to. I keep track of all ticket sales for sporting events and any field trips the students may have, for example.

When you work in a Catholic School it is sort of a requirement that you attend mass whenever we have one at the school, no matter what religion you are. The point is to have us gather as a community. We also have a beginning of the school year retreat where we go to have meetings, lunch, games and so on. It gives us all a chance to get together outside of school before school starts and it gives us all a chance to meet the new employees as well.

Working in a school is very rewarding. Even though I am staff and not a faculty member, I feel like I am doing something worthwhile with my career by working in a school and watching these young men change from year to year, then seeing them graduate as men and working with their parents all four years. I feel it is very rewarding and not just a job.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I feel the best part of my job is that I am contributing my accounting and math skills and have turned them into something useful. I get great satisfaction when I run an Accounts Receivable report and see almost all zero balances -- an indication that I have done a good job in collecting tuition. However, one bad part of my job is that since I am a staff member and not a faculty member, I are required to be there all the time, even on snow days. This was understood when I took the job, but we (all us staff members) have always felt it a little unfair.

Job Tips: I would advise anyone going into the Accounting field to try and get as many degrees in the field as possible, so you are not stuck just taking so-so pay and settling for a job that you may not be satisfied with. I do like my job and the people I work with and the school I work in, but I do wish I had stayed in college so I could have furthered my career in this field. Working in a school in this type of environment and having to deal with parents, especially in this economy is difficult. So I would also advise a person planning on doing this type of work to also be patient.

Additional Thoughts: The misconception about my job is that most people do not realize that school staff members work all year. They are surprised that we don't have all the time off that the teachers and students do.

I think that if a student were to shadow me for a day he would find out that office staff who work in a school are not just staff members, but also part of a community.

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