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Career Story: Financial Analyst For A Government Contractor

Financial Analyst For A Government Contractor

Job Title: Financial Analyst

Type of Company: The company I work for a government contractor. We solve problems for the government, whether it be for the Department of Defense creating unmanned planes, the FAA creating new flight paths or the IRS on how to better tax the people. About three-quarters of our employees are engineers.

Education: Suffolk University, Northeastern University

Previous Experience: I started out working for a mutual fund company in the accounting department, then transferred to a financial analyst's position. I then moved to two other companies prior to taking my current job.

Job Tasks: My position in the Finance organization is invoicing our customers for the work the company performs. I support 3 organizations and invoice about $100 million dollars each month. On a daily basis I interact with both Finance and Department staff talking with them about issues that have arisen and errors that need to be corrected. Approximately 40% of my day is talking on the phone, with the remainder working on my laptop computer, which I take home each day. Sometimes I work on it, other times it collects dust.

Every two weeks I go through the process of invoicing the customer. What this entails is running reports, reviewing data, exchanging emails with the other departments to ensure the invoices are correct. This is a job that requires a high level of attention to detail, as the invoices derive their figures from lengthy reports that itemize the time and effort we've expended on government projects. Once all the invoicing is completed, we then go back and review the work to double check what we've sent out, and ensure that what we receive in reimbursement matches up.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the interaction with my customers, both fellow employees and client representatives. I enjoy working with them to resolve issues that come up, which usually require some sort of research.

The worst part of the job is waiting for information from the people I like, which can slow my work down enormously.

Job Tips:
1. Experience! If your interested in working in the financial field, start by working in a job where you work with cash, and look to move to positions that supervise people.

2. Know what you like or dislike about the job you do, no matter what the job.

3. Realize that in any job, you will be working for someone, and it always involves a customer, whether that customer is a fellow employee or an external customer.

Additional Thoughts: The best piece of advice I received from my teaches and professors is to research first opportunities, that could be spending a day in the life of a job you may want, or going and talking to family and friends about what they do. I started off wanting to be a lawyer and ended up in finance. Both opportunities I saw as supporting roles, so what you may find that you want to do one day, may turn for the next. Also, you are never too young or old to change careers.

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