Essential Skills Immersion Series: Budgeting

What are the most in-demand skills for today’s job market and the future of work? This event series aims to help students consider this question as they prepare for the careers of today and tomorrow.

Each semester, University of Texas at Austin departments across campus collaborate to offer a week of sessions built around a specific skill. These sessions are designed to provide you with the knowledge of in-demand skills and opportunities to develop them, connect you with employers who seek these skills, and help you articulate your career readiness to employers.

In 2021, budgeting led the list of most in-demand skills by employers seeking college-educated candidates in Texas. With that in mind, our inaugural skill series week focuses on budgeting.

In the context of employment and organizational work, budgeting is the process by which companies and organizations allocate resources to operations in order to enable their strategies. Budgeting is key in all types of organizations; corporations use it to forecast revenue and execute growth, nonprofits use it to assess financial health and generate development goals, work groups use it to tell the story behind the need for budget increases, and student groups use it to control financial resources.

By participating in these sessions, you will learn about budgeting in the context of work, how to develop budgeting skills, and how to promote your background and experiences to employers seeking candidates with budgeting skills.


Budgeting Use Case Panel

Tuesday, April 5, 5-6 p.m. Central
Texas Career Engagement, FAC 2.236 (classroom)
Panelists: Jonathan Alba (Code4), Lucas Markman (Pearl Snap Studios)
Facilitator: Dr. Art Markman, Vice Provost for Continuing and Professional Education and New Education Ventures, UT Austin

This panel brings together two individuals from startup ventures who use budgets both to propose projects to clients as well as to track expenses after the project is engaged. One individual works for a video production studio, and the other with an organization that provides safety and medical services for events like music festivals. They will discuss how proposals ensure that key details of the project are funded, how the budget is used to help clients know what gets cut if they attempt to negotiate a lower cost, and how the budget enables tracking of key elements of a project as it moves forward. Our panelists will lead students through use-case activities to practice the fundamentals of budgeting.

Participating students will network with professional panelists and will learn:

  • about the career journeys of two professionals engaged in startups;
  • the importance of budgeting as an organizational strategy; and
  • how to implement budgeting into project management.


Budgeting to Reach Your Goals

Wednesday, April 6, noon-1 p.m. Central
Texas Career Engagement, FAC 2.236 (classroom)
Presenter: David Platt, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Budgets are simply our plans expressed in numbers. But the process of creating budgets – budgeting – is so much more, telling us what we can and can’t do, both in life and in our professions, and showing us exactly what is holding us back from doing the things we want. Budgets make us collaborate, communicate, and clarify, and they also help us to know where we succeeded and failed and give us the tools for understanding why.

This short introduction to budgeting has three learning objectives. In it, you will learn to:

  • identify and apply the purposes of budgeting;
  • distinguish the key parts of an effective budget; and
  • construct a simple organizational budget.


Budget Narratives: “If You Build It, They Will Come,” and Other Financial Narratives We Tell Ourselves

Wednesday, April 6, 5-6 p.m. Central
Texas Career Engagement, FAC 2.236 (classroom)
Speaker: Amy Ware, Director, Human Dimensions of Organizations

Using creativity and connection, learn storytelling strategies to present budget information for influencing and winning over others. Language becomes the bridge when sharing quantitative data to create a compelling case for your future success. This discussion will include facilitated activities for participants to practice storytelling approaches and apply these strategies in real-life situations.

In this session, we will discuss the ways that storytelling can help make budgets more accurate or inaccurate, depending on the narrative. Imagining various scenarios can ensure budgetary flexibility and contingency. After this discussion, attendees will be able to:

  • articulate the ways that storytelling is integral to the creation of a reliable budget
  • interrogate and hone their own stories about their financial expenditures


Employer Panel: New Professionals and Budgeting Skills

Thursday, April 7, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Central
Texas Career Engagement, FAC 2.236 (classroom)
Facilitator: Summer Salazar (Texas Career Engagement)
Panelists: Accenture, Samsung, and UFCU

Join our employer panel of professionals representing organizations that actively recruit at UT Austin and that regularly seek budgeting skills for many of their cross-functional job opportunities. Participants will learn:

  • how new professionals use budgeting in non-accounting roles across all industries, from project management to sales and media planning to nonprofit management;
  • the extent of budgeting skills sought by employers when hiring entry- to junior-level candidates;
  • how to articulate your college, academic and internship experiences in the context of budgeting job responsibilities; and
  • how to gain budgeting experience during your college years.

This panel discussion will also present the opportunity to learn more about the variety of opportunities available across these organizations and network with professionals within and/or hiring for them.


Personal Budgeting

Organization budgeting and personal finance are two important yet different approaches to planning. While learning about budgeting in the career context, you may also want to consider your personal budgeting and financial wellness – and Texas Financial Wellness is here to help.

Job Offer Negotiations and Personal Budgeting

Tuesday, April 19, 5-6 p.m Central
Texas Career Engagement, FAC 2.236 (classroom)

Join Texas Financial Wellness and Texas Career Engagement for a discussion on the art of negotiating a job offer and developing your own personal budget. Come with questions, leave with answers, and enjoy free pizza along the way!


Counseling & Workshops

Through one-on-one counseling and workshops, Texas Financial Wellness can give you the tools and resources you need to make healthy financial decisions during your academic career and beyond graduation.

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