Job Title: Financial Administrator
Type of Company: A public school system in Massachusetts.
Education: Marietta College (Marietta, OH)
Previous Experience: I started as a fill-in for a six-week program and was hired at the end of that period to help anyone in the office who was behind in his work. After that I just kept moving up from one position to the next.
Job Tasks: I was responsible for developing a budget, including salaries and expenses. I also administered grants and special revenue funds within the terms and conditions of those funds. In addition, I was responsible for state, federal, and other reports.
State and federal law dictated that expenditures over a certain amount of money had to be put out on bid. That means that a description of the purchase is sent to any companies interested in providing the materials or service. The law required that we accept the lowest bid supplied by the vendors.
No two days were the same. Even though I schedule my workload, various situations arose that would need my attention. For instance, if an emergency maintenance repair had to be made I had to find a source of funds to cover the cost.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job was that it was never boring. The worst part was that there was never enough time to get everything done.
Job Tips: Be sure to be able to work on several projects at once. Have the ability to focus on details. In addition to formal education, attend workshops that are specific to school and municipal problems. For instance, workshops and conferences are available on producing a workable budget, composing and awarding bids, and completing financial reports.
Additional Thoughts: One of the biggest surprises of my career is the wide range of projects and responsibilities. Many people believe that summer vacation is not a busy time, but I found it to be one of the busiest. I often had to work beyond my work day in order to complete tasks. To be successful one has to be able to deal with people, know the details of how the money in the budget is being spent, be sure there is enough money to last the year, and be able to multi-task.
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