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External Affairs Assistant

Administrative and Support Services, Education, Marketing / Communications


Saint Mary\'s University

Halifax City, Nova Scotia

Position:                      External Affairs Assistant (APC)

Department:               External Affairs

Annual Salary:            $42,490 - $54,761 (Group 3)


Founded in 1802, Saint Mary’s University is one of Canada’s oldest and leading institutions of higher learning and has evolved into a vibrant and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from more than 100 countries around the world.  Saint Mary’s University is home to one of Canada’s leading business schools, a science Faculty widely known for its cutting-edge research, a comprehensive and innovative Arts Faculty and a vibrant Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

Under the supervision of the Associate Vice President, External Affairs, the External Affairs Assistant is responsible for providing confidential administrative support to the Associate Vice President, External Affairs and the department including coordination and maintenance of office routines, schedules and event planning.  The Assistant is the main contact for the Department of External Affairs including government officials, media, neighbours, alumni and others. The Assistant handles and maintains documents of a highly sensitive and confidential nature including labour relations issues. Monitors budget for the department and provides budget overviews for departments reporting to the Associate Vice President, External Affairs on a regular basis.

Duties as the External Affairs Assistant include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating and maintaining department filing systems; organizing electronic and paper files and filing systems, and ensuring backup and protection of material (e.g. meeting minutes, department policies, etc.).
  • Responsible for all manners of office administration including minute-taking, filing, processing payables, scheduling, budget monitoring, preparing travel itineraries, etc.
  • Responsible for mail/correspondence, including collecting, sorting, and distributing the incoming/outgoing mail.
  • Alerting the Associate Vice-President, External Affairs to issues of potential importance.
  • Assisting the University Communications Officer with posting events, press releases, and photos on the website.
  • Ensuring mailing lists are developed and updated to reach a variety of stakeholders.
  • Working with the Web Content Manager and University Communications Officer to ensure production schedule, which involves numerous staff and outside agencies, is met.
  • Assisting with the development of PowerPoint presentations, using approved Saint Mary’s University templates.
  • Working with staff within the Office of the President to coordinate events & publications with the President’s schedule.
  • Assisting in the organizing and coordinating of teams and tables for special events (i.e. golf tournaments, dinner events, etc…), as required by the External Affairs Department.
  • Attending university events and assisting as required.
  • On behalf of the Associate Vice President, External Affairs is responsible for coordinating schedules, meetings, inquiries, correspondence and communications with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Handling and maintaining documents of a highly sensitive and confidential nature including labour relations issues.
  • Acting as the first point of contact for the Associate Vice President, External Affairs, and the department including conveying messages and materials in emergency situations to audiences both internal and external community.
  • Answering and screening telephone calls to the Associate Vice President, External Affairs and/or the department; handling complaints/concerns, taking accurate messages and/or providing requested information.
  • In the absence of the Associate Vice President, External Affairs acting as a liaison between neighbours, the Saint Mary's University community, and various external organizations.
  • Preparing materials for the Board of Governors as required, including the media monitoring reports.
  • Scheduling staff meetings including preparation and distribution of agendas, documentation and minutes.
  • Tracking progress of key projects and ensuring deadlines are met and invoices are paid.
  • Assisting in managing contracts and relationships for such projects as the President’s Report, Maroon & White Magazine and the Donor Report.
  • Providing budget overviews and reporting to Associate Vice President, External Affairs on a quarterly basis.
  • Assisting in finalizing and checking mail and/or distribution lists including electronic and traditional lists.

To be the successful External Affairs Assistant you will possess a one (1) year community college diploma in secretarial sciences and a minimum two (2) year’s related experience inclusive of strong analytical skills and understanding of relational database operations, with expertise in report generation, spreadsheet software and working knowledge of the Internet and e-mail. You also demonstrate excellent communication skills both oral and written; strong interpersonal and customer service skills; and the ability to multi-task and work in fast-paced, team oriented environment. Excellent knowledge of MS Office (word, Excel and PowerPoint); organizational and project management skills and the ability to handle and maintain confidential material will round out your suitability to this position. The ability to work evenings and weekends from time to time is also required.

Apply for this opportunity online by visiting www.smu.ca/employment and use our online application system through CareerBeacon. Select the position you are interested in and apply by clicking the "Apply Online Now" button. Please include the names of three professional references. No telephone calls please.

The search committee will begin to consider applications on January 3, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

Saint Mary’s University hires on the basis of merit and is committed to the principles of employment equity.  Saint Mary’s University encourages applications from qualified women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, and people with disabilities. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Saint Mary's University thanks all applicants for applying. Only those selected for interviews will be contacted.

Saint Mary’s University promotes a scent free environment and is proud to be tobacco-free as of September 1, 2013


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