I managed to get my job while still in school. After successfully establishing a sub branch of Swords & District Credit Union in my secondary school as part of a business studies project I was subsequently hired by them on a part time basis.
After completing my leaving certificate they then offered me a full time position along with a college scholarship. I would advise anyone to get involved in any school projects or school committees as they will stand to you in future years.
I was chairperson of the student council and was one of the founding members of the School Credit Union. It might not be viewed as the cool thing to do but if I had not got involved I would not be in the job I’m in today.
Describe a typical day?
To describe a typical day is very difficult as every day is different due to the diversity of my job. Each day brings new tasks and challenges the only consistent part of my job is that work begins at nine and ends at five. Given the small scale of my organisation my work is spread over a number of different departments from finance to marketing which makes it very interesting.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My main responsibilities are in the finance department and they include:
Preparing financial statements and other reports for the management.
Manage the investment portfolio and liaise with investment managers
Record and settle accounts payable
Manage bank accounts and reconciliations
Manage the nominal ledger
Maintain the fixed asset register
Manage the credit union’s balance sheet.
Prepare accounts for audit and liaise with auditors
Prepare the statutory returns to the Central Bank
Ensure proper systems of control are established and maintained
My other duties include:
Networking and representing the company in the local community
Maintaining and increasing membership
Administration of the School Saving Scheme
Website development and maintenance
Providing professional and financial advice to members
What are the main challenges?
The main challenge that I come across is the ability to manage several tasks at any one time. As I previously mentioned my work load is comprised from a number of different departments so time management is essential.
One minute I could be preparing monthly management accounts and the next I could be finishing a marketing project. Its difficult to change your mind frame from one subject to the next so I have to make sure each job is prioritised correctly and completed as timely and efficiently as possible.
Given that Swords & District Credit Union is a community organisation, I get the chance to travel to the local schools on a weekly basis as part of a School Saving Scheme we run. The aim of the scheme is to teach kids about finance and the benefits of saving. I’m a big kid at heart so it gives me the opportunity to get out of the office, take down the business guard and have fun while promoting a great initiative.
What's not so cool?
As I took the route of part time study the ‘not cool’ part of my job is attending lectures at night after finishing a full day’s work however when the exams are completed the rewards speak for themselves.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
As a young employee in a mature organisation I bring a different perspective along with new ideas which is essential in an environment that is constantly changing. Given the diverse nature of my role along with my experience and qualifications I have a good overview of the entire organisation which gives me the ability to assist management in areas of improvement and future planning.
I’m a team player which is essential in a small organisation and I am capable and confident to work on my own too.