Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All in a hard day's work

As a graduating senior, there are some scary things in my future. One of those scary things is the thought of having to pay bills. But what about making sure all of the bills of over 100 student organizations are paid? Kim Garrett is one of the two people working in the College Community Services Inc. (CCSI) office at Mansfield. Kim and her co-worker Nancy are responsible for myriad things relating to accounts payable for students at Mansfield including both the University Bookstore and the athletic department which means doing an audit for the department for the student activities money they use. And, they make travel and hotel arrangements for student organizations including flights, car arrangements, hotels and meals for trips as well as for the athletes when they travel to away games.
            That’s a lot of work for just two people, so you can imagine what a day in Kim’s shoes is like.
            “I like that what I do changes each day.” Kim said. “Each day’s tasks are similar, but the problems are new.”
            Working with so many students must bring back memories of what it was like to be a student, trying to figure out where you wanted to go in life and comparing it to where you ended up.
            “I had no idea what I would be doing when I was college-aged.” Kim laughed when I asked her. “I thought I’d be young forever and that I’d do more traveling. But I do remember when I was a little girl telling my mom that I wanted to be a bus driver because growing up all the cute boys rode the bus to school.”
            It’s normal though to think you want to do something and change your mind. I’ve watched a lot of students change majors. In the fall of 2012, after returning from a semester abroad, I changed my mind and switched my major from biology to public relations. Yikes!
            “If I wasn’t working in CCSI, I think I would want to own a business. Probably my own spa.” Kim said with a nod.
            That would be a great way to relax at the end of the crazy days the CCSI office sees. They issue new ID cards to students who have misplaced theirs on a regular basis and they deposit checks from fundraisers we’ve done.  Not to mention, Kim and Nancy are responsible for calming students down when we fear something has gone terribly wrong with our account and that’s not part of their job description. They’ll always do what they can to help, but sometimes it’s not possible.
            “It’s not personal, when we can’t do something to help you.” Kim and Nancy both stressed to me. “We’re bound by a lot of policies. We have to follow Committee on Finance guidelines as well as other federal policies as we are a type of bank which means unfortunately there are times we want to help you, but aren’t able to.”

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