Executive Breakdown: VP Operations and Finance

Hey everyone! As you may know, this term we are running the elections for the new EngSoc Executive team! The Presidential voting period is currently underway, but the election for the remaining Exec positions will be happening soon, and in that, all those interested can run to be the next VP Academic, VP Communications, VP Operations and Finance, or VP Student Life. As we are on our way to the nomination period, I am here to talk about the roles and responsibilities of being VP Operations and Finance. I will be highlighting what this position is about, what the day-to-day life is typically like, and where I see this position going.

VP Operations and Finance

At a fundamental level, the VP Operations and Finance (VPOF) is responsible for all financial affairs of the Society, which basically means being the person who manages any and all of the money going into or out of our accounts, as well as any activities that involve finances. This means that the VPOF is tasked with creating maintaining the termly budgeting, tracking the spending of money, and ensuring that the Society is in a good spot financially.

Each school term, all undergraduate engineering students pay an Engineering Society membership fee. This fee goes towards funding the operations of the Society, which includes the services that are provided, events that we run, and also operations such as running the Orifice. As mentioned previous, the VPOF is responsible for creating the budget using the projected amount of income coming from these student fees. Part of this responsibility involves making sure undergraduate students are getting the most out of their EngSoc fee, and ensuring that the Society is not wasting student money on things  that are not benefitting the students. In addition, the VPOF is also involved in managing the finances and operations for the Society’s business related accounts, such as the C&D, Novelties, RidgidWare and other initiatives. There is also the task of working with the EngSoc directors to make sure they are staying within their allocated funds, as well as reimbursing them for the expenses made their for their directorship. If it involves money, the VPOF is a part of it.

The VPOF chairs/sits on a few committees, such as the EngSoc Sponsorship Committee, and also the Engineering Capital Improvements Fund (ECIF) committee, which allows you to be involved in not only managing money, but also to work on funding initiatives that will improve the student experience in engineering. The VPOF is also a non-voting member on the EngSoc Board of Directors, wherein they present the up-to-date actuals of the accounts that are overseen by the Board and explain any discrepancies with the spending compared to what was budgeted.

A day in the life of the VPOF involves many things, such as assisting directors with purchases, writing cheques, and working very closely with the Society’s Business Manager, Mary Bland, to support everything she is working on. The VPOF role has a great balance of strictly finance related tasks, as well as being able to get involved with all things happening in the Society. It may not be directly visible, but the VPOF is essential to everything that occurs in the Society and is one of the most valuable members on the Society.

You might think that to be the VPOF, you’d need a background in finance, and while it certainly can’t hurt, if you have an interest in managing money and a desire to learn, then you can certainly be successful in the role.

One of the things I like most about being VPOF is the fact that I have the ability to get involved in pretty much everything the Society does. There are very few events and services and operations that do not require financial support, and that means that the VPOF has to know what is going on in all aspects of the Society. I get to play a hands-on role in all activities of the Society without stepping on anyone’s toes, which is pretty great.

As the Society moves forwards, I think that the future of the VPOF role will be one that involves building new services and finance projects, and also growing what we already have. With E7 currently in progress, we will be expanding the C&D and RidgidWare over to the other side of Ring Road, and as a result the role of VPOF will continue to expand.

Being an executive with the Engineering Society is a very rewarding job, and is truly what you make of it. If you’re passionate about serving students and helping them get the most out of their education, then you should definitely consider getting involved. It has been an amazing experience for me, and I know I’m happy that I did it and that I have left my mark on the Society.

If you have any questions about the position, please feel free to email me at vpfinance.a@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca and I’d be more than happy to chat!

If you are interested in the elections or possibly running for an Exec position check Adelle’s past blog posts that go over why you should consider running and the process of the elections.

Why You Should Run for Executive

Guide to running in the Fall 2016 elections