Student Profile: Gregory Ramey
Gregory Ramey, Senior Undergraduate in Management and Finance, Finds Career-Focused Experience at the UMaine Composites Center
When dealing with a multi-million dollar annual budget, having a reliable accounting department is crucial. Gregory Ramey, an undergraduate senior in Management and Finance from Rumford, Maine, is a part of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center’s finance team.
Ramey began working at the UMaine Composites Center in Nov. 2012 after working for two months in a dining hall on campus. He soon realized that he needed to change what he was doing for practical career experience. Ramey knew that the center had great opportunities for students.
“One of my friends who worked at the center said they were looking for students to join their team. I checked the application but it said they were looking for upperclassmen. I applied anyway.” Ramey was hired by the finance team to assist with various project orders and with the financial database.
“I work in the finance office reconciling accounts, looking at the overall checkbook and comparing that with our internal records to make sure everything matches up.”
When reconciling accounts there is a lot to consider because each individual project’s purchases, wages, and other charges, must pass through the University’s accounting department. Charges are entered into a system managed by financial employees like Ramey using Peoplesoft, also known as MaineStreet to those on campus.
“I work a lot with Peoplesoft and many companies in the private sector use that exact same program, so that’s helpful,” Ramey said, considering his future career path. “I’ve started to do some VBA coding which my professors view as an important skill that stands out on a resume.”
Ramey has been impressed with the level of tasks the center shares with successful student employees, knowing the importance of the tasks they delegate. “I like that they trust student employees. We’re really part of the team.”
Ramey hopes to work in the financial sector once he graduates, looking to lean on his experience at the center to help him get a job with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a position he has wanted since 2009.
“I’m most interested in consumer education,” Ramey added to his future endeavors. “I’m really interested in helping other people understand credit.”
In addition to the practical experience gained by working with accounting and management, Ramey also cited his office experience as a plus going into the working world. “When you start working in an office, each one will have it’s own norms, but it’s good to be able to say I’ve worked in an office for the last four years.”
Ramey also stressed the importance of getting experience in his major as an undergraduate, and offers the same advice to others: “Even if you’re working somewhere else, keep looking! You may find something somewhere else that could shape your whole career.”