Always have this thought of being the VP of Finance at my alma mater one day (really small college). How long would I need to stay in PA/how far would I need to go in order to be a legitimate candidate for the spot?

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Just want to point out that our approach to college education is currently being vaulted from the 16th century to the 21st century. Hopefully your alma mater will be an exception to the rule, but it’s a dangerous time to be a small school.

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10 years of working in HERON clients. And should be a manager or senior manager.

1. If it’s a smaller school/university, you absolutely will be pulled into fundraising meetings and will need to work with key stakeholders and donors. Private schools (k-8 through universities) rely on donations to fund budget every year, little to no exceptions.
2. In working with those key stakeholders and donors, there are significant tax implications for the schools and donors that you will be expected to have command of and know what the best donation structure for a given stakeholder is (best for the school, and best for the donor). Knowing the differences between these structures is the equivalent of the “up sell” for normal businesses (ie turn a $1m donation into a $1.4m donation, with little to no cost to the donor).
3. If you get pulled into meetings as a VP of finance, some development officer is going to have a capital campaign (building a new rec center, scholarship program, etc), you will be expected to have a command on the costs and funding needs.
Source: I am on the board of a private high school and I am on a dev board for a nonprofit/women’s shelter, parents both worked in nonprofit finance

Take it or leave it

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Leave at the SM or Director at your current job to go into a SM or Director at the college. Then when that dream job of VP position opens, you’ll be there for it. Our VP position just opened up and the director filled it. They wanted someone who had the knowledge of the business (because who was going to teach the VP that knowledge? The CFO? Ain’t got time for that). They had been molding the director for some time as well. 1. They liked the director and 2. The VP knew he was going to retire in three years so it was an easier transition.

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