Career Series No. 14- Budget Analyst

Budget Analyst

What did you want to be when you were growing up and why?

The first thing I ever remember wanting to be is the first Women President of the US (1st grade. I just remember reading a book about it, and telling my mom that’s what I want to do. Then I wanted to be a speed skater like Bonnie Blair (Winter Olympics were on that year!) Later in Middle School, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist because I learned about Sea Otters in 4th grade and became obsessed with them.

Finally, as a freshman in High School, I realized I wanted to work in business. I was the head of a team project in a keyboarding class I was taking, and a ‘gut feeling’ came over me. I knew I wanted to pursue business. When I first started college, I wanted to be either a Sports Manager, or own/run a Bed & Breakfast (like Lorelai Gilmore- Gilmore Girls).

What’s your current job? 

I am currently a Budget Analyst at a small private 4 year college in the Northeast.

How did you land that position? (What made you want to pursue that?) 

After graduating with my undergrad degree in Business Administration, I worked in county government for 5 1/2 years in accounting. Accounting wasn’t something I ever pictured myself doing, and I realized a few years into that position that it definitely wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I spent some time soul searching to figure out what career would be right for me. During that time, I came across a box from my college years when I worked as a Resident Assistant, and felt that getting into Higher Education would be more of a challenge and would be more fulfilling than what I was currently doing.
After starting to search for jobs, I realized that most jobs on a college campus preferred or required a Master’s degree. So I began my MBA (Master of Business Administration), and that helped qualify me for more interviews. After 2 years of trying to break into the field, one college finally saw my potential and gave me an offer in a business-related position.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? 

I work with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets along with various financial systems to gather data for departments to determine spending patterns. I also assist departments with Budget Development.

What do you love most about it? 

The energy and positive nature of being on a college campus!

What do you hate most about it? 

Sometimes it’s very repetitive/tedious work, sitting and starring at a computer all day.

What strengths do you think are necessary for someone to be successful at this job? 
Organization, willingness to help others, patience for tedious work, good understanding of business operations and budget management.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone who’s looking to pursue this as a career?

Do not give up if you really want to work in a Higher Education environment. It took me 2 years and over a dozen interviews to get a job offer.  It can be very difficult to break into this field if you don’t start in that area directly out of college, but by focusing on the skills I had (business), I was able to get my foot in the door.

Sarah’s currently blogging over at www.sarahchasinglife.com and you can also follower her on FB.

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16 Comments

  1. Megan Gonzalez

    September 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

    It’s so cool to see what other people do. There are so many jobs that I don’t even know exist. I like this series because it expands my horizons.

  2. Alexandra @ My Urban Family

    September 8, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I always enjoy seeing into other jobs like this. And I did the same thing when I learned about sea otters. They’re so cute!

  3. Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    September 8, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I loved reading about how you got into your current position. I’ve often thought that a college campus would be a fun place to work. I loved the energy on campus at the University that I went to. Right now I’m in an elementary school and love the energy and excitement here as well. 🙂

    1. Sarah

      September 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      I am really enjoy working on a college campus, I feel like any educational environment comes with a lot of energy and passion.

  4. Jaclyn Kent

    September 8, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I could definitely see how it would become repetitive, but how fun being on a college campus!! 😀

  5. All about my career - Sarah Chasing Life

    September 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    […] I answered questions like: What did you want to be when you were growing up and why? What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone who’s looking to pursue this as a career? I would love for you to check it out! […]

  6. lauren

    September 9, 2015 at 1:11 am

    I worked at a college for a long time (before I became a SAHM) and I loved it! I was in admissions and financial aid and taught two classes and loved the community!

    1. sarah

      September 9, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Someday I would love to maybe teach a class too, or at least start with a seminar.

  7. Allison

    September 9, 2015 at 9:09 am

    One of the downsides of my job is looking at s computer screen all day too! I also can’t stand sitting for 8 hours!

    1. Sarah

      September 10, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      I am grateful I was recently able to get a standing desk. Only a week in but I am noticing that I am not getting drowsy after lunch like I usually do.

  8. Sarah Noel

    September 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    This is a very cool series! It’s a great way to teach people trying to figure out what they want to do how to get there.

    Sarah Noel | http://www.sarahsmirks.com

  9. Kayla Daughetee

    September 9, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    This is awesome that you are doing something in your field. Im 5 years out of college and still haven’t found a job.

    1. sarah

      September 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Kayla, it took me a while to find a job I actually enjoyed, I know how frustrating it can be, just try to learn from every experience realizing that it is just bringing you 1 step closer to the right position.

  10. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations

    September 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Oh yeah, I would not want to sit down and stare at a computer all day long. Having said that though, I think it would be fun to work on a college campus, and I actually think that analyzing budget sounds kind of interesting!

    1. Sarah

      September 10, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      I am really learning more about how a college campus is run and the various factors that really go into creating a budget. I learn something new almost every day.

  11. All about my career – Sarah Chasing Life

    February 1, 2016 at 11:59 am

    […] I answered questions like: What did you want to be when you were growing up and why? What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone who’s looking to pursue this as a career? I would love for you to check it out! […]

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