Kia ora koutou, I’m Alannah and I’m the Admin Officer for the MUSA Exec this year. This mostly involves a lot of emails, policy work, meetings, agendas, minutes, time-sheets, monthly reports, assisting at events, and overall being a part of a team that oversees MUSA’s governance.
I also work part-time at a childcare centre, and next year I will do a Graduate Diploma in Teaching. I love working with kids, but I also love being a student and being around other students. This year has been busy, and to be honest it’s been a challenge figuring out how to manage it all. However, with support from friends, family, work, and MUSA, it’s made it a lot easier to get things done, while also looking after myself physically and mentally.
In my position as Admin Officer, I’ve actually loved doing all the behind the scenes stuff! Making sure everything is filed nicely and on time has definitely kept me busy and organised! I’ve also been helping at many MUSA events, keeping in regular contact with the rest of the Exec as well as MUSA staff, and learning more about the university and its students. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and seeing how much I’ve progressed from the beginning of the year, as a few months ago I didn’t know anything about the things I do now. It’s been a real honour to work alongside such a wonderful team, and being surrounded by awesome students! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful faces throughout the year.
The Admin Role
Aside from keeping on top of all the administration responsibilities within the MUSA executive, I also engage with students at the many amazing events that MUSA put on both on and off campus. Although there are not a lot of hours involved within my role, I take as many opportunities as possible to listen to students and help contribute to their positive experience at university.
A Few Details About The Role
I am paid an honorarium of $4,290 per year, and fortnightly payments are in my bank account from the beginning of Semester One.
Before my role began, there was a handover period where I was given a board pack with some information about governance, my role, and MUSA in general. This period helped me become more aware of what the other roles consist of, and who the MUSA staff are. There was also some governance training which helped me to understand the admin role, and to get to know the other executives and the Māori Students Association executive.
Hours generally vary from week to week for the Admin Executive, and the role officially begins on the 1st December. I started my role properly in February during O-Week, and will finish on the 1st December this year. There is a minimum requirement of five hours a week, and some weeks there will be more to do. However, hours are an average across the month, so you’re all good as long as you’ve met your required hours (20) for the month. I usually spend my time on campus in the MUSA office, above the MUSA shop, but I also have the liberty of doing some things from home on my own computer.
What Do You Do?
The Admin Executive mostly writes and replies to emails, collates weekly timesheets and monthly reports, contributes a section of the annual report, and creates agendas for the governance meetings, as well as minute-taking during these meetings.
The boardroom is where we hold governance meetings, and it is the Admin Executive’s job to book this room in advance, as well as buying snacks and drinks for every meeting. At least seven days’ notice must be given to students and student media before every governance meeting, Annual General Meeting (AGM), and Special General Meeting (SGM).
Governance meetings are held every month, and are where things such as student issues, finances, reports, staffing, and general updates are discussed. The Admin Executive circulates an agenda with attached appendices, such as General Manager/President/Executive monthly reports, finances, and proposals, to the Executive, General Manager, MUSA Accounts Administrator, Manawatahi, MUSA Designer, and any other relevant parties at least seven days before the meeting. The Admin Executive also writes the minutes, which is basically noting down mostly everything that is said; anything that someone says they will “do” is an action point and will be noted, so that they can be followed up with. The minutes are then confirmed the following month by the Executive, and signed off by the President. I find it useful to keep a digital and physical copy of these, as well as the agendas, timesheets, and monthly reports.
The Admin Executive also meets every month within the week of the governance meeting with the General Manager and the MUSA Accounts Administrator to review monthly accounts and expenditure.
A few other things that the Admin Executive role involves is making sure a MUSA Executive group photo is taken, policies are reviewed by their review dates, volunteering at events, organising and running an event each semester, and continuing to grow an understanding of MUSA and its policies, procedures, and key documents, such as the Board Charter and Constitution. Within this role there are no specific Massey University committees that you sit on, however, sometimes another Executive role may not be able to attend one on a particular day and you may be asked to fill in.
Managing Work and Being An Executive
I was a full-time student when I ran for this position. I have since graduated, and this year I am working at two other jobs as well as being on Executive. This means I have a very busy schedule and need to manage my time wisely. Otherwise, I can find myself doing absolutely nothing except binge watching Stranger Things and realising I have a huge pile of responsibilities to catch up on.
Having been a student for three years prior to being the Admin Executive, I know what it’s like to be stressed, under pressure, feel like you have no social life, and feel like the workload is never ending. There are ways I managed my way around it though, and came out the other end feeling refreshed and motivated (most days!). Of course, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, but this is where the support of family, friends, the MUSA Executive and staff, and university support systems come in really handy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; ask questions, nag the General Manager when you’re confused, tell the Executive you have absolutely no idea where to start with policy reviews. Make sure you ask until you understand, and eventually everything falls into place and things get easier.
One of my other jobs keeps me busy every morning and afternoon, and my other job keeps me busy during some evenings. So, I make sure I get my MUSA work done in between, which is normally from late morning until around 2pm. I will also be around at MUSA during the evenings if there are events on. Basically, any free time I get, I try to be present at MUSA. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions, or are interested in taking up this role next year!
Why You Should Love This Role
To sum up, the Admin Executive has a lot of pretty mundane, but very important, administration responsibilities. The fun part is being able to engage with students at events, work alongside a wonderful team of Executives, meet new people (not just students!) and be supported by an amazing team of MUSA operational staff. Although emails and agendas can definitely feel tedious at times, they are what keeps MUSA running and functional, and once you have yourself in a routine, it gets a lot easier! This role would definitely suit someone who enjoys working on a computer, being organised, and keeping things filed nicely (I love this kind of stuff!). Also, I cannot recommend highly enough how useful being a MUSA volunteer is before jumping into an Executive role. I met most of the staff and current Executive through volunteering, and I felt a lot more comfortable being in a governorship team when I had already been around MUSA for a while. Everyone is on board with the same vision of encouraging students to have the best time while studying, and everyone is so supportive, kind, and loving, and you definitely feel like you’re part of one big amazing family. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity, and it has also taught me an abundance of skills that I will hold onto forever.