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I – Introduction My name is Niamh McDermott, I am a first year Law and French student and I wish to run for the position of Finance officer in the forthcoming session of the UCC Law Society. I am currently enjoying my time in UCC, which has been greatly enriched by my membership in the Law Society. As my first year in college draws to a close, I would like to applaud the current Society Committee in the fantastic work that they have achieved during the year and the admirable way in which they worked together to make it yet another successful year for the Society. It brings me to reflect on the important role that the Law Society has had in my life in this one short year, and leaves me with a desire to become more involved in the running of the Society and the amazing work that they do. A position that appeals to me in terms of my suitability and interests is that of Finance Officer. In my manifesto I will outline some of the reasons why I think that I am suitable for this position as well as what I intend to bring to the Society if I am elected. I am running for the position of Finance officer as I would very much like to become more involved in the running of the Society. I am currently an active member of the Society and I regularly attend house meetings, class parties and many of the other well organised, law-related events. I have been so fortunate to meet some amazing people through my involvement in the society and it would be an honour to be given the opportunity to work with some of these people on the committee in order to become part of the exceptional running of the Society. II – Suitability for the position It is my firm belief that the role of Finance Officer is one which carries a great amount of importance and I believe that I possess the necessary caliber in order to fulfill the duties required of the successful candidate. Responsibility, organisation, teamwork and sharp reasoning are all characteristics that I feel I could contribute to the position and use to carry out the position to the best of my ability. Throughout my school years the financial aspect of the business world is one that always held a great interest for me. I was selected by my secondary school to compete in the Science Olympiad based on my exceptional performance in Maths and Science in the Junior Cert and my plan following graduation is to use my education in law to enter a career in the business world. Having held the position of Office manager on our 4th year GOAL committee and having the fortune to work with some of the most fervent and inspired people of my year I was able to develop my teamwork skills and gain some valuable insight into the financial position of the project also. It was a position that required much organisation and responsibility on my part as I was placed in an authoritative position with accountability for large sums of money, which I carried out with due diligence and was commended for my work. Budgeting, I know, is a key component used by any Finance officer to allow for the flawless running of any team. Living the life of a student, I feel, has taught me not only the importance of budgeting but also, the benefits of the responsible discharge of funds. Organised spending and the safe keeping of the Society's resources will allow for the unblemished running of the Society in every aspect. I find myself to be both competent and efficient, both traits that one can only agree are not only desirable in a Finance officer, but necessary for one to possess. As the members of the
Society are now, not only my peers, but my friends, I feel as though I am not only aware as to the needs of the members of the Society, but also their wants. III – Financial Aims While I am mindful of the fact that it will be an extremely difficult task to attempt to try and fill the shoes of a fantastic Finance Officer that is Lís Ní Chonchúir, I intend to put forward my best efforts and keep up the fantastic reputation that the Society holds. As it is known to everyone that the current economic climate that we find ourselves in is not ideal. It is one that as Finance Officer I would attempt to use to my advantage in the form of reasonable ticket prices and event entry fees. It would be my intention to utilise my social skills and persuasive nature in order to gain the best deals and finest offers for Society events and for any other spending that would be necessary. I would put forward my best efforts for the benefit of the Society in terms of affordable events while still preserving sufficient cash to maintain the successful running of the Society. While I would imagine that with the financial situation of the country what it is, that the Society's funding is somewhat less than would be desirable, I would endeavor, as Financial Officer to budget the Society funds to the best of my ability and ensure there always be sufficient tender for whatever the Society needs. I would work closely with our Social Secretary in order to organise some incredible nights out for all Law students, along with other Society members. It would be an objective of mine to tighten up any Society funding that may have been loose around the edges in previous years, and perhaps to secure further funding through sponsorship and fundraising if needs be. Prudent management of society funds requires that rather than leaving cash in a current account, some effort should be made to "make the assets sweat", and given the low interest rates available on deposit accounts with the major banks at present, consideration should be given to leaving funds in low cost bond funds or high dividend paying exchange traded funds. In the same way that banks will offer students free flights in return for opening bank accounts, it may be possible to negotiate favourable terms with one of the Irish brokerage firms such as Davy or Goodbody's or more locally Redmayne and Bentley on the South Mall. Buying and selling used law books tends to be a cottage industry done by small ads and individual students selling to one another. This could be centralized by the Law Society with a suitable small profit taken, providing some funds for the society and a service to the time poor student. The key time for the incoming Finance Officer to raise funds is at the beginning of the year, by securing major sponsorships for the coming academic year and raising membership numbers in order to gain maximum funding from the societies' guild. I would plan to get to work before the academic year commences in order to ensure we maintain current sponsorships, as major sponsors tend to make these decisions early, and in order to assist in raising Society membership numbers by innovative events akin to the Trinity jailbreak. Once existing major sponsors are secured and maximal guild funding obtained, I would hope to better previous years' totals by organising a team to canvas funding from large provincial law firms many of whose principals would be local graduates, as given the current financial situation in the country, smaller city firms would likely be too financially pressed to be as generous. A solicitor's firm is a small to medium business enterprise (SME) and has close relationships with companies in the auctioneering, mortgage provision, property management businesses which should also be approached in the search for sponsorship. This is work that requires a number of hands on deck, and I would hope that if I am elected the unsuccessful candidates, who have shown an interest in this role, would assist me, as I would assist them if they are successful.
I would also find it in the best interests of the Society members that I would ensure to set a certain sum of money aside in order to have necessary funding to allow for overseas debates such as the Oxford IV, Cambridge IV, European University Debating Competition, Paris IV and many more academically enriching trips that may take place throughout the year. I would like to thank you for taking time to comprehend my reasoning for running for this specific position. I intend to make worthy efforts in order to carry out this position to the best of my abilities. Any questions will be duly answered, so feel free to ask at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, vote Niamh for Finance. Is mise le meas, Niamh Mc Dermott.