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Career Story: Financial Analyst And Team Leader For A Defense Contractor

Financial Analyst And Team Leader For A Defense Contractor

Job Title: Financial Analyst - Team Leader

Type of Company: My company is a defense contractor and provides services to the United States military.

Education: BS, Finance (Poughkeepsie, NY) •• in progress, MBA, Salem State College (Salem, MA)

Previous Experience: I started working as a financial analyst for the US Government, doing facility management in Washington, DC. I later moved to Boston and got a job working for a small Department of Defense contractor as a financial analyst. After gaining experience I jumped to one of the largest DoD contractors as a team leader for a financial team.

Job Tasks: On a daily bases I oversee 4-7 people, making sure they are busy and that work have been distributed evenly between them. I have one supervisor but report to and take direction from numerous individuals.

When we bid on a government contract, more than 25 different groups within the company will often work together to try to draft our proposal, outlining how we plan to provide the service or product with a detailed time-phased breakdown of the costs and the labor involved. The Government either agrees to the contract and terms or negotiates a better price. During the proposal cycle, it's my job to add up the costs and coordinate the inputs from the different groups involved and to assist in the cost negotiations.

Once the contract's been awarded, I work with the program manager in assigning budgets, sending out and receiving cash, breaking down who is responsible for the work and creating forecasts and reviews on the status of the program for management. I then have to oversee costs and maintain our alignment with the expenditures agreed on in the contract. During this time I stay in close and constant communication with the government on status and updates. After all of the work has been completed on a contract, I have to make sure all items and open issues are closed out in order to pass an audit with the Government.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is how proud it makes me to know that what I do is directly related to the success and safety of the men and woman who protect our country. Helping to coordinate the creation of a quality product or service can protect servicemen and woman who are in harm's way.

The worst part of the job is when an audit takes place, getting everything together and weathering the stresses of a government inspection.

Job Tips: If someone wants to get into this field, they really need to be detail-oriented. A small mistake sent to the Government does not reflect well on the company. You need to take pride in your work.

Computer skills are a requirement, especially knowledge of Excel. The ability to manipulate a 600 line spreadsheet in 15 minutes is a necessity.

The ability to stand in front of a group of people or a single manager and do a presentation on the status of a program is very helpful, and reflects well on you and the team that works with you.

Additional Thoughts: I was not even aware of the career path I am in when I was in school. But with hard work and attention to detail, it's become a rewarding career.

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