My assignment with ReServe has been satisfying and I believe I have made a positive contribution.
In August 2011 I read a posting on the ReServe website for an assignment as Assistant to the Chair of the Department of Accountancy at Baruch College. I had studied accounting in college and had worked in public accounting prior to a long career with Citigroup. The idea of working at a college was appealing and I held Baruch in high esteem. It is one of the largest accredited collegiate schools of business in the United States.
The ReServe staff members were most helpful in proposing my candidacy to Baruch. The interview process with Accountancy’s management was quick and enjoyable. I was welcomed on board with an office, a nice email announcing my arrival, a period of time to learn the ropes, a computer, and extensive access to systems and files.
My boss delegated several areas of responsibility: (1) managing the process of new appointments, promotions, and tenure decisions, (2) administering the Graduate Assistant Program for Accountancy, (3) serving as the departmental expert with respect to the computer system used to track faculty research, teaching, and service, and (4) coordinating Assurance of Learning activities to measure student’s acquired knowledge measured against departmental goals/objectives. In each of these areas I was granted substantial autonomy.
The work has been mentally stimulating requiring an understanding of the college’s policies and procedures, advancing my skills with Microsoft Office, and polishing soft skills. Much of the work requires managing the assignments by myself.
Interaction is largely with faculty members who have PhD’s (and are therefore by definition smart). The faculty members with whom I have had the most dealings are in their late 20’s. However, faculty and staff ages range from 20’s to 70’s. Managing the department’s Graduate Assistant program involves determining faculty needs and interacting with students to line up the best matches.
My supervisor at Baruch favors the concept of completing all assignments well in advance of the deadlines, which eliminates the stress of running around at the last minute to get the work done. Since we are almost always well in advance of our deadlines there is flexibility as to when I choose to work. Most communication is via email, which sharpens communication and provides a trail of documentation. Skills and experience working with a large corporation translate easily to the college environment.
My Baruch assignment involves working in the Flatiron District, which I like because I was not previously very familiar with the neighborhood. The state-of-the-art health club is available morning, noon, and evening. The assignment has come with modest compensation but has sharpened my skills, given me satisfaction, and involved working with a lot of pleasant and smart people.
Erle Zoll has extensive background in auditing and financial control. His career spanned nearly 40 years at Citigroup where he retired in 2008 as a Vice President, Office Administrator, Audit and Risk Review. While there he also assumed responsibility on a volunteer basis for the Audit’s organization’s 300 staff United Way Campaigns, March of Dimes and blood drives. He resides in Manhattan. To commemorate Older Americans Month, ReServe invited ReServists to write original essays about their current or past assignment. This is one of twelve essays. – ED