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 thoughts on “Career Series No. 14- Budget Analyst

  1. Crystal // Dreams, etc. says:

    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. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

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

  2. Pingback: All about my career - Sarah Chasing Life
  3. lauren says:

    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!

    • Sarah says:

      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.

    • sarah says:

      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.

    • Sarah says:

      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.

  4. Pingback: All about my career – Sarah Chasing Life

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