Student Budgeting Advisor – Maynooth University – Student Services

The University
Formally established as an autonomous university in 1997, but tracing its origins to the foundation of the Royal College of St. Patrick in 1795, Maynooth University, (National University of Ireland Maynooth) draws on a heritage of over 200 years’ commitment to education and scholarship. The last two decades have seen the University grow rapidly in scale, strength and stature. Maynooth University is today a university of international standing, renowned for the quality and value of its research and scholarship, for its dedication to excellent teaching, for providing an outstanding learning experience for its 10,000 students, and as a uniquely collegial environment in which to pursue scholarly work.

Maynooth University is embarking upon a new and exciting phase of its development under the University Strategic Plan 2012-17 with a vision to consolidate the international reputation of Maynooth University “as a university known for outstanding teaching, excellent research, a global outlook, effective engagement with the society we serve, and our distinctive approach to the challenges facing modern higher education.”

The University Strategic Plan 2012-17 sets seven strategic goals for the university:

to offer students an outstanding university education, the best available in Ireland, an education which challenges and supports all students to achieve their full potential, and prepares students for life, work and citizenship, and for complexity, diversity and change;
to be recognised by 2017 as playing a leading international role and being the clear national leader in a number of thematic areas of research that address the major societal challenges of the 21st century;
to achieve a step change in our international activities, doubling the number of international students on campus and doubling the number of domestic students spending time abroad, in order to create a truly intercultural and multilingual institution;
to strengthen our engagement with all stakeholders through sustained partnerships with enterprises, communities, civil society and public bodies, to build support for the mission of the university, to serve the needs of society, and to open new opportunities for research and learning;
to maximise our unique and distinctive contribution to the national system of higher education through a set of purposeful and sustained strategic partnerships at regional and national level, and to extend our international reach through a network of global partnerships;
to be an excellent place to work, known for a collegial ethos which empowers all staff to contribute fully to the development of the university;
to enable the achievement of ambitious strategic objectives in challenging circumstances through careful planning, excellent services and infrastructure, and sound governance and management.
The University has distinctive institutional strengths in six thematic priority areas:

People, Place and Environment;
Social and Economic Transformations;
Human Health;
Mathematics, Communications and Computation;
Humanities in Practice; Sources, Resources & Discourses;
Human Cultures, Experience & Creativity.
The University has 27 academic departments which are organised into three Faculties: Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy; Science and Engineering; and Social Sciences. The University is also home to a number of multi- and trans-disciplinary research institutes, including the Hamilton Institute, the National Centre for Geocomputation, the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, and Institute of Immunology.

In a pioneering recent development, Maynooth University, Dublin City University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have established the 3U Partnership, a new strategic association that brings together the distinctive and complementary strengths of the three institutions.

Student Services
Maynooth University Student Services comprises a number of departments, whose aim is to provide committed and dedicated on-campus services, designed to support and assist students throughout their time at University. The services are focussed on Student Life (Sports), Campus Living (Crèche and Accommodation) and Student Support (Pastoral Care, Budgeting Advice, Counselling, Health Centre and Student Services Hub).

“Student Services is an integral part of the University community, enabling the promotion and development of its educational mission. Using a holistic approach, we offer a range of clearly defined services to support and empower students to achieve their personal and academic potentials and so enhance their life’s journey. We strive to create a community which is open and caring and where diversity is expected and respected” (Mission Statement).

The Student Budgeting Advice Service plays a pivotal role in advising students on financial planning for college, advising registered students on how to avail of relevant supports and funding, and working as an advocate for individual students who might be experiencing particular difficulty in dealing with an external agency. The Student Budgeting Advice Service is primarily delivered through one-to-one appointments with students, group workshops and information sessions.

The Role

We are seeking a Student Budgeting Advisor (Senior Executive Assistant) who will offer an advisory and support service to prospective and current students of Maynooth University on budget and financial issues arising from being a third level student. Reporting to the Director of Student Services or her nominee, the person appointed will have a proven ability to work well in a one-to-one advisory capacity, and will have experience of handling confidential and sensitive discussions professionally. Applicants for the post will have excellent communication, IT, and organisational skills. The person appointed will have demonstrated their ability to use initiative, and will have demonstrated excellent attention to detail and accuracy in their output.

Principal Duties
The successful candidate will deliver the Student Budgeting Advice Service to prospective and current students, and will be required to carry out a range of duties including, but not limited to, the following:

Provide information in a variety of innovative ways (clinics, workshops, Open Days) to prospective students and their families about the costs of college and the financial supports available;
Provide a single source of information about all available financial support for current students through a range of promotional materials including a dedicated website;
Provide a single personal contact for students who are in need of financial advice and support;
Advise and assist students in regard to planning a college budget, making applications to SUSI and completing appeals, Social Welfare entitlements and processes, and liaising with State agencies on behalf of students;
Make recommendations to Student Services, to the Access Office or to relevant Committees, as appropriate, on students requiring financial support to remain in college;
Work closely with the Access Office to provide targeted financial advice and support for students in particular need including students admitted through the HEAR, DARE and Mature Student entry routes;
Build relationships with relevant University Offices (Admissions, Fees and Grants, International Office, Graduate Studies, Accommodation Office, Academic Advisory) and Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU) to address the needs of students in a coordinated proactive manner:
Liaise with internal and external sources of funding to support students in financial need;
Target effective and appropriate support for students who have the greatest need;
Maintain appropriate records and collecting relevant data on the operation of the Service;
Support enhanced reporting on the Service, all expenditures, outcomes for students and on the challenges facing the Service and students; these and other reports will be required by the Director or other University officer;
Maximise the use of available technology to support the work of the Service;
Participate in staff development programmes, as appropriate;
Be an active member of relevant University Committees, as required;
Contribute to the planning and development of the Student Budgeting Advice Service and of Student Services;
Undertake other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the University Authorities.
Essential Requirements for this post
The ideal candidate for the post of Student Budgeting Advisor should demonstrate the following:

A minimum of 3 years experience in a similar role working with students/young adults and/or the public in a commercial or public sector environment;
Experience of engaging with and advising students/people in distress in a grounded and balanced manner;
Excellent up-to-date knowledge of the Free Fees Initiative, Higher Education Grants Scheme, SUSI processes, relevant Social Welfare schemes (e.g. Back to Education Allowance), third level financial supports (e.g. Student Assistance Fund);
Excellent communication (both written and oral), advocacy, empathy and interpersonal skills, which have been developed in previous roles;
Ability to exercise discretion with sensitive and confidential data and documentation;
Outstanding level of administrative and organisational skills, including evidence of managing complex workloads within challenging timescales;
Excellent IT skills including advanced knowledge of MS Office (particularly Word and Excel), file management, web editing, with a demonstrated ability to learn and use new information systems effectively;
Proven outstanding level of attention to detail and accuracy in both written and numerical work;
Ability to work independently, including the self-motivation to identify and undertake self-directed work;
Willingness and ability to learn and develop, with a flexible and positive approach to change and change management;
In addition to the above, the candidate should have an understanding of and empathy with the mission, ethos and overall approach of Student Services in the University.

Selection and Appointment
Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend for interview;
It is anticipated that interviews will be held in late May 2017;
Appointments will be approved by the President based on the report of the selection board;
The appointment is expected to be effective from 1st August 2017.

Terms and Conditions
This is a 3-year full-time Contract position.

Garda vetting will be conducted for the recommended candidate(s) as part of the selection process in line with the University’s Garda Vetting Policy and is a condition of employment.

Senior Executive Assistant (Post 1995): * €35,836 – €44,449 p.a. (7 points)

Appointment will be made in accordance with the Department of Finance pay guidelines.
*New entrants to the public sector will be appointed on the first point of the scale

Application Procedure
Please ensure that you USE THE FOLLOWING REFERENCE “SEA – Budgeting Advisor” in the subject line of your application email. This will clarify the role you are applying for.

Please note applications should be made by sending the following information as ONE single attachment (either in PDF or MS Word format) incorporating all of the below required information:

A Curriculum Vitae, including all qualifications and experience, and a covering letter addressing your interest and suitability for the role;
The names, email addresses, correspondence addresses and telephone numbers of three referees whom the University may contact.
Once the attachment is compiled please send your single document application to

The completed application document should be forwarded by email to arrive no later than midnight, 30th April 2017. Late applications will not be accepted.

Maynooth University is an equal opportunities employer

The position is subject to the Statutes of the University

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