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General Manager

Date: August 1, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): President & Vice-President Operations & Finance
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Multiple, in conjunction with Executive team
Department: Federation of Students


Main Campus


USG 13
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Provide continuity to a student-governed organization, ensuring financial, strategic, operational and administrative decisions are sound and aligned with the organization’s mission statement, values, vision, and long range plan.  The General Manager provides strategic advice and support to the Executive and Board of directors of the Federation.  This position also provides leadership and support to the senior management staff on all significant organizational plans and decisions, which is crucial in an environment with student leadership that changes annually.  The General Manager is responsible for financial administration, human resources management, and risk management of all areas of the organization

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Advises and contributes to the strategic development, implementation, and oversight of services, programs, and initiatives in support of the organization’s mission, values, vision, and long range plan:



2.  Direct the development and maintenance of appropriate financial management methods and procedures for an organization with $16 million in annual revenue across eight separate funds:



3.  Provides forward-thinking and tactical leadership to mitigate legal risk in all of the organization’s activities:


4.  Takes overall responsibilities for organization’s human resources management:




5.  Responsible for strategic and operational planning and reporting for all departments of the organization:

Position Requirements


Bachelor’s degree required in a discipline related to business administration or finance. 
Master’s degree in a related field (business administration, public administration, or human resources management) and/or relevant experience considered an asset.  Additional education, such as an accounting designation, also considered an asset.  Training in strategic planning, operational management, human resources management, conflict management, and/or organizational communication is also considered an asset.


5-10 years of progressive experience in a senior management role.  Demonstrated experience in financial management and human resources management is necessary.  Experience in information technology management, retail and hospitality management, marketing management, and project management will be considered assets.  Competencies must include strategic thinking, interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills.  Demonstrated ability to make independent decisions required.  Previous experience working in an environment with high turnover in senior leadership is necessary, and previous experience working within student government is an asset.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Basic Advanced Basic Experience with point-of-sale systems and accounting software
Experience with SharePoint and asset

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Within the Federation, communicates with staff at all levels to deal with, influence and motivate.  Communicates with senior Executives and management of the Federation to promote, justify and settle highly sensitive matters.  With the annual turnover of the Executives, it is essential that this person have the ability to effectively manage conflict, support a constructive work environment and develop positive and constructive working relationships.  Externally, this position will have significant contact with key stakeholders within the University, and must be capable of managing relationships appropriately

Level of Responsibility:

Manages organization-wide functions and processes that are highly specialized with direct reports

Decision-Making Authority:

This position will have signing authority for all funds/accounts within the Federation and ensures that the decisions made by the Executives and Board of Directors, with respect to the use of these funds, are implemented.  Responsible for identifying changes in systems/policies and ensuring that they are communicated and procedures are put into place to implement them.  Makes decisions on timelines and resource allocation to meet strategic objectives. 

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of an administrative role within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Separate Corporation from the University of Waterloo, managed by annually elected student executives with changing goals and strategic objectives.  Often a highly stressful work environment.  Some exposure to disagreeable conditions both typical of and unique to a supervisory position.