Three employees in Finance and Administration have been selected as participants in the F&A Fellows Program and are in the midst of their first assignments, while another group of 20 employees who aspire to become managers are learning basic supervisory skills. Both programs are part of Finance and Administration’s effort to improve its “bench strength” by broadening employees’ knowledge of the diverse functions of the division; building employees’ individual knowledge, skills and abilities; and forging connections for potential career growth and advancement.
Through the program, now in its third year, each Fellow spends six months working in two F&A divisions (three months in each section). The 2007-08 Fellows and their placements are: Al Jeffers, an assistant materials manager for the Physical Plant Division–Human Resources and a joint placement with the Budget Division and Architects Office; Tomekia Wilson, an accountant in the Payroll Department–Physical Plant and Auxiliary and Administrative Services; and Franky Zhang, a grants accounting specialist with the Contracts and Grants Department–Auxiliary and Administrative Services and Human Resources. The Fellows began their rotations after Labor Day. Their experience also includes shadowing opportunities in several other university departments.
In addition, a new program for aspiring managers, the Certificate Program in the Foundations of Leadership and Management, is now under way. The program is designed to provide the new or aspiring supervisor with the requisite tools and skills to be an effective and successful supervisor at UGA. Participants must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED and little or no supervisory experience (six months or less). The program emphasizes fundamentals such as reading a budget and running effective meetings, but also hones participants’ writing and presentation skills, personal leadership development and team-building skills.
Demand for the program has been so great that a second cohort will be offered in the spring; applications from F&A employees for that session will be accepted in November.
“One of the signs of a healthy organization is that it has prepared employees for potential advancement when appropriate opportunities arise,” said Tim Burgess, senior vice president for finance and administration. “We are committed to ‘growing our own’ in finance and administration, and we continue to develop innovative programs in support of that goal.”