A Conversation with Jumpstart Staff Member, Nausheen Khan
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got this position in Jumpstart and what your position entails.
Nausheen: I used to work down the hall in Citizen School. They are another nonprofit and basically have the same kind of concept, but they work with middle school kids versus preschool kids. I was their finance person there, interning and then I did some part time work and my old boss knew the VP of finance at the time and there was a position open as a grant manager. Then we had some turnaround staff changes and my position changed to accounts payable. Then finally we had a position open up for the payroll, which is what I do now. Now I do the payroll, which includes staff and then statements at the same time. I process anyone that gets paid, all the staff, their time sheets and any stipend that come through Jumpstart it goes through me. I check in all the paperwork, make sure it’s correct, and then enter it to our system, and then process all the checks for all the stipends.
Q: That must be stressful because you’re in charge of everybody’s money.
Nausheen: It’s very stressful because I always want to make sure that everybody got paid correctly, they got all the checks they needed, especially when members come on board and I do any type of paybacks. If they didn’t submit their paperwork on time, if we owe them additional checks, I always want to make sure they get their checks on time. So yeah, it can be stressful.
Q: What are some of the challenges you see on a day to day in your job?
Nausheen: It is new challenges, every pay period. I’m trying to remember all the little things, making good notes, keeping track of everything organized. Even though sometimes it looks like everything is messy, but in that mess, I know exactly what site needs what and how to keep it organized by sites and pay periods, to make sure I don’t miss anything. It’s different challenges that come up that like, “Oh, I really didn’t think that this was possible, but now I’m processing this.” At times where members haven’t been paid for numerous amount of pay periods or we have sent out checks to are no longer serving and the checks are sitting with site manager. Now we get the checks back, then I have to figure out the tax issues because members no longer get those checks. So make sure that their W2’s don’t show up for those amounts. So there’s just challenges that you learn and you learn all sorts of things even on the tax end. So yeah, so those are some of the challenges that I face that keep the job interesting. At the same time, it can be stressful but interesting.
Q: That seems like a lot of pressure, to know that somebody’s livelihood depends on you.
Nausheen: Which sometimes it makes it worse because then if it’s someone that didn’t do their time sheet, not for member, because I don’t look at time sheet for members, but even for employees when they don’t do their time sheet and I can’t do anything about it, I can’t process, I can’t pay you unless you do your time sheet. It always comes back as, “But I need to pay my rent,” and then I’m stuck with this guilt even though it’s not on me. So, I try my best to reach out to people as much as I can to make sure that they have all the things they need. For members, I try to make sure that they get their checks on time or mail it out on time and make sure that if they were told that they’re going to get three checks to make sure that I actually processed three checks and not miss any of them and make sure that their amounts are correct. Each site has different amounts and so trying to keep track of all that.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about what is the finance department?
Nausheen: I take care of payroll and then we have Kiara who pays all of our bills. Any invoices that come in through any check that Jumpstart cuts, not related to payroll, goes through her. So any rent payment, any expenses, credit card reimbursements, she processes all those. And then any money that we get in through development goals and through finance because we have to add them to the books. Finance definitely deals with all the money and accounting for all that money. The other part is when we get the money in from fundraising, from development or from the commissions, so the grants portion. And then there’s the development portion. So the grants portion, how we get the money in, we account for it, but we also need to run reports and tell them exactly how that money was spent. So we say, hey, this is how the money is spent. We do all the invoicing and then wait for that money to come back. And then development, everything that they process also goes through finance. Any gifts, opportunities, any type of fundraising related things, they all go through finance. And then basically running reports for all of the sites to make sure sites and departments, to make sure what their year and date is and what their budget is and if they’re running on track. So everything with those fun numbers goes through finance.
Q: Are there any other people in your department?
Nausheen: It’s me and Kiara. In grants management there is Alison and Elizabeth and Jess is the controller.
Q: What’s the controller?
Nausheen: She basically oversees all of us and at the same time she deals with any money that comes into finance through development. She takes care of all that and then she does all the budgeting end of things, make sure that each department is meeting, running any budget reports that they need for each department, making sure they’re spending down things correctly. Basically just managing all of us and the money and looking at it from a bigger picture.
Q: Tell us a little bit about you, your background. Is this who you wanted to be when you were little? What’s your story? What did you do in college? What kind of jobs did you have? What led you to now be in financing?
Nausheen: Actually financing wasn’t one of the first jobs that came to my head. Originally when I was in high school, I wanted to go into like engineering like my dad. I wanted to be like him. But then I ended up taking this accounting course, I believe it was 10th or 11th grade, and I really liked it. And I was like, I think numbers is my thing. So it was just reconciling accounts and such and it made sense to me. So I decided that that’s what I wanted to do because accounting and finance is something you can find almost in any field. So there’s always a requirement for it. I did pretty well with numbers. So I went into college, went to Emmanuel and did a business major and IT minor. And then I started to look for an internship. So I went and worked for the finance department down the hall and I was their intern and processed AP and thought it was pretty nice. And then started to look for jobs before my internship. I just had a retail job during like the college break. I’ve actually truthfully never really worked outside of that. Surprisingly my parents were great so they always supported me. So that was major. And then my first, I think real like non-retail job was that internship. And then once I graduated the year after I started working for Jumpstart. So I’ve been here quite a while.
Q: Well that’s awesome. When did you start working for Jumpstart?
Nausheen: I started working in February of 2009.
Q: So yeah, so it’s been what, like 10 years?
Nausheen: It’s a great place and I learned a lot and I’ve jumped from positions and it’s just a great learning experience. I love the people here. That’s basically what I stay for. As the goal, the drive here. I don’t work directly with the kids but I’m working for them. Even though I don’t see them day to day but I know all this is basically for the kids.
Q: That’s awesome. That’s, yeah, that was my next question. Why do you stay in Jumpstart?
Nausheen: Yeah, it’s definitely, it’s like just for a good cause and I actually have two kids on my own now who are five and three. So I definitely know how important it is to get a good foundation at that age and actually really love kids regardless and that’s just a good place to be. And even though you’re not in directly in contact with them, but you’re helping them out.
Q: Thank you for telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do. Is there a message you would send to members?
Nausheen: I just want to say I think Jumpstart and even me, I really appreciate the hard work that they put in. We realize how hard it is to have your studies with school and college and then taking out that time and working with the kids and doing all that is just not the time that you’re with the kids. You have to prep for all that and taking out the time to do that is just amazing and all of Jumpstart definitely appreciates that. They make Jumpstart possible. If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t function. Because they’re able to do the program, we really appreciate that, for taking their time to Jumpstart. That’s major for us.