PracticePeople In PracticeA week in the life of Cranfield’s FD

A week in the life of Cranfield's FD

Deborah Harry is director of finance at Cranfield School of Management, one of Europe's leading business schools.

Her work activities include meetings with directors, academics, budding entrepreneurs, banks and financial presentation. She has two young daughters and enjoys sport and fitness activities. Harry particularly enjoys her regular meetings about finance with academics because of the egos involved.

Monday

After dropping the girls at nursery I arrive in work shortly before, or after, 9am. Spend the morning with the director planning the presentation of the school’s results to the bi-annual faculty meeting. Tennis at lunchtime. Then discuss a proposal for a spin-off business with an enterprising academic.

Tuesday

Board meeting for our conference centre subsidiary. Meeting in the afternoon with an international bank to discuss MBA loan facilities. Check with agency on progress in our search for an au-pair – none. Faculty meeting and dinner in the evening – I nervously present figures to more than 100 gurus.

Wednesday

Meetings with academics to discuss their departmental forecasts. Experts in their own field, academics have varying abilities as financial managers. Egos involved mean these meetings are always fascinating! Drop into one of our conferences, ‘Drowning in Data’ to hear a session on business performance measurement, a current hot topic at Cranfield.

Draft new contract for the increasing MBA employment introduction work we are being asked to do by prospective employers. School executive meeting in afternoon – multiple and conflicting success factors of reputation, academic research and finance cause lively debate. Evening event at CranfieldCreates, our business incubation activity.

Friday

Review the finances of our joint venture with the Globe Theatre to bring presentation skills to managers. Write induction plan for new staff member, then catch up with progress on some systems development to improve reporting of course profitability. Play badminton.

Saturday

Husband looks after girls in the morning while I catch up on some retail therapy. Help with face-painting at nursery fete in the afternoon.

SundayAfter church, take family swimming then collapse on the sofa in front of the television for the evening.

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