Keskine Owusu Poku: Financial and Executive Oversight Officer

on March 20, 2018
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What first drew you to the position?

I joined the GSS as a councilor when I was in the first year of my masters program, and I served as an executive of a side committee.  Doing that work in the committee got me interested in serving and doing more.  So when the time was up for the position to be occupied, I decided to take my job on the committee to a different level and run for the finance executive position.  I was lucky to be elected by the council to serve in this very important position.

What has been a highlight of your year?

I don’t think I can just say one.  Negotiating contracts, having to make sure the execs work within the budgets that were prepared for them and trying to make sure that they do not leave any arrears for the next generation: I think that has been an important part of the job that I have been doing so far.

What has been the biggest challenge?

Trying to deal with all the numbers at the same time, and trying to work within two committees.  Once you are in the position you are a compulsory member of the house finance committee, who are looking into all the figures of GSS .  The other side is the EOC (Executive Oversight Committee) who are also looking at the performance of your colleague Executives.  Trying to deal with those committees at the same time takes a lot of time and effort.

What is your tip to students for best work-life balance?

It’s all about planning; knowing what to do when and how. There are some things that you do not need to waste time on.  Knowing what is a need and what is a want makes a very big difference.  You must know what to discuss within each committee and when to discuss it.  That I think is a pretty good thing for me, and has helped me as I stayed in this office.

What skills have you gained?

I’ve never been to business school, but I think now I’m a little up there when it comes to accounting, because I have to deal with numbers every day.  My managerial skills have also improved, my interpersonal relations, and it also boosted my leadership skills.  There are times you need to chair meetings, and there are times when you need to sit back and hear people talk, and I think as a leader it taught me to listen more than to talk.

Do you think you can apply skills in future?

Obviously. It helps you to keep your own books, it helps you to know how to work with people.  It helps you to live within a budget.  And I think these are basic skills if you want to succeed out of school.  This is more like a real job, so you have a taste of what the world out there looks like.  I couldn’t have done any better job on campus than being the finance officer.  I simply love the job: it’s challenging and interesting.

How have you grown personally?

The dichotomy between the two is blurred, but personally I see myself always in the professional light.  As a policy student you are trying to be professional, and I think that has really helped me in my way of thinking.  I cannot differentiate so much between the professional and the personal because I’m trained to make the personal professional.

Why should someone choose to run for GSS?

It gives you professional experience and a chance to give back to the student society.  It is also an opportunity to learn about the whole principle of service.

What is something people might now know about it?

I like soccer very much.  I watch it, I play it, I can spend a whole day watching different games.

If you could have one superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?

Math wizard

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Keskine Owusu Poku: Financial and Executive Oversight Officer