POSITION: Budget Analyst
UNIT: Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), Program Management Directorate, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE: 3 years
AWARDS: Performance awards (2012, 2013)
EDUCATION: B.S. Finance, George Mason University
Young finance professional knocks on opportunity’s door
By Tara Clements
Most students start looking for a job around the time they graduate from college—but most students aren’t Adam Bross. Rather than waiting for ‘opportunity to knock’ on his door, Bross walked up to the front door and did the knocking himself. In 2004, while most high school graduates were enjoying the summer and surfing at the beach, Bross was surfing USAJOBS looking for work. His efforts paid off in college when he was accepted in the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), a student employment program that provides work experience directly related to a student’s academic program and career goals. Upon graduation, SCEP participants are eligible for a noncompetitive conversion to a permanent competitive service federal position.
Graduating with a degree in finance from George Mason University, Bross launched his career at DISA in 2009 as an intern and found his way to the Army. He’s currently serving as a budget analyst at PEO EIS, and noted that he’s experiencing first-hand a significant “degree of responsibility” that far exceeds his peers.
While entering federal service after college might not seem to be as adventurous as working for a large corporation, Bross sees it differently. “When I see my friends who are managing a $50,000 account and I’m handling a $50 million account that supports Soldiers—the degree of responsibility I had coming off the street compared to what [they] have was like, wow—and it’s really cool.”
Hitting his stride and finding a place at PEO EIS, Bross finds significant meaning in his work managing 25 percent of the Army IT budget across 34 programs. “I really like knowing that I’m helping Soldiers…, old classmates like my buddy who [deployed] right after his son was born, and knowing that he’s using systems that I help work on, helps to make the world seem a little smaller.
“I’m approaching my three-year anniversary with the Army and I believe the opportunities, potential and satisfaction I receive from supporting the Soldiers will keep me here a long time.” And for those college students who are starting their job search considering federal service, he has one question: “What are you waiting for?”
FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?
BROSS: I am a budget analyst at the PEO EIS HQs office in the Program Management Division. PEO EIS executes 25 percent of the Army IT budget, so working at PEO EIS and at the headquarters office is extremely important. The biggest obstacle we’re faced with is the allocation of resources to program offices. Especially during the current fiscal environment, it is critical to have quality analysis and reliable data to make the correct decisions to ensure success for the warfighter. I work for the Budget Analyst Division of the Program Management Directorate at PEO EIS, where we assist the 34 PEO EIS programs throughout the planning, programming, budgeting and execution process. My duties focus mainly on budget and execution of spend plans, including construction, analysis and review of execution proposals, and processing funding requests, transfers and reprogramming. I am also the lead for procurement and investment appropriations.
FOTF: As we’re approaching Q4, what are your biggest challenges working with the Army’s IT budget?
BROSS: Our biggest challenge in the fourth quarter is protecting dollars for late contract awards. This means providing full transparency of all our programs to our higher headquarters. This time of the year everybody is looking for money and a bill payer, so every penny needs to be justified.
FOTF: What’s your experience been like? What has surprised you the most?
BROSS: My overall experience working for the Army has been positive. Like many things working for the Army is no different—you get what you put in. The thing that surprised me the most is the sacrifices my coworkers make for the mission to be successful. Even through furloughs and financial uncertainty and constraint, everyone around me keeps doing more with less.
FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?
BROSS: I joined the Army to challenge myself and help support the men and women in uniform. My greatest satisfaction is knowing that at the end of every workday, no matter how big or small, somehow I helped a Soldier.
FOTF: What would you say to a college student considering a job working as an Army civilian?
BROSS: What are you waiting for? The Army offers great opportunities for college graduates like internships and programs for advanced degrees or certificates to help further your career and education. The Army is also becoming more progressive by promoting a healthy work/life balance through telework and alternative work schedules to help ease your commute. If that’s not enough, think of the impact you make in the lives of Soldiers!
Army Acquisition: Professional to the Corps. October 13, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps, a specially trained, dedicated group of military and civilian acquisition leaders who develop, field and sustain the critical systems and services that enable our Soldiers to fight and win our nation’s wars. #AAC25