Job Title: Administrative Assistant
Type of Company: I work for a basic research lab at a non-profit hospital, affiliated with a medical school. One of our labs is also sponsored by a national medical institute.
Education: BA, Cinematography, Certificate in Television Broadcasting
Previous Experience: I did a Summer job clerking in a family practice medical office. Later, I temped with a temping agency, and they happened to place me in a hospital. I have been there ever since.
Job Tasks: I am secretary to the Division Chief who oversees the lab, which is staffed by about fifteen post-doctoral fellows, plus junior faculty, technicians, and students. I schedule his meetings, arrange travel for him, coordinate training grant information, answer phones and emails, retrieve articles and maintain a clipping file. He also chairs several committees, which I serve as administrative coordinator. I am also the administrative coordinator of a monthly seminar series, obtaining and making arrangements with guest speakers, coordinating schedules and creating agendas, booking catering and conference rooms, arranging hotel and taxi, and reimbursements, and advertising.
I coordinate the incoming fellows' applications to both the hospital and the medical school, and in some cases, the national institute; help acquire any necessary visas, as we have many foreign scholars; help personnel with building access, keys, orientation, supplies, engineering and phone requests, general benefits...
I sometimes also have to cover for the other administrative assistant who does more on the clerical side of things; I can cover for the lab tech when it comes to receiving and distributing orders, and I can cover some of what the lab manager does (keeping track of funding, approving orders, and handling personnel matters). I also put together work parties to celebrate accomplishments and boost morale.
In all cases, I am a liaison between many different departments, learning much about how each operates.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I work independently, which I prefer. No one's looking over my shoulder, and the boss trusts that what needs to be done gets done. We're down-to-earth people here for the most part, so it's a good group to work with. It's a lot of juggling, but it's gratifying to know I can handle it.
Worst part is there is so much for me to do and I feel I do a lot of triaging, but then some projects get neglected and it's hard to catch up. Also, the fact that I can cover for so many people, I end up having a lot to do if the others don't happen to be around.
Job Tips: Acquire computer skills. Learning useful features of applications and knowing how to search for information is a plus. Try to understand the how and why; then you are able to approach problems from many different angles which makes coming up with the solution(s) much more likely. Be professional and respectful; working well with others is a must - or at least can make work life easier.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
U.S. Colleges has been helping students enhance their career skills since 1996.
San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.
Our objective is to prepare you for a life-long, successful career in Media Arts, Business or Information Technology. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible foundation that will serve you in your first job as well as throughout your career.
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
Grow Your Career with the University of Saint Mary
Since 1888, The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Executive Secretaries And Administrative Assistants, including: