dcsimg

Career Story: Administrative Assistant To The Head Of A Medical Research Lab

Administrative Assistant To The Head Of A Medical Research Lab

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.

Popular Schools offering Office Management Programs

 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Gardena

Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

American University’s Kogod School of Business has been educating business leaders since opening its doors in 1955 as Washington D.C.’s first university-level school of business.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online
Selected Programs:
  • MBA

St. John’s is a Catholic Vincentian University that prepares students for personal and professional success in today’s global society.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

One of the world's leading private research institutions, the University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Panorama City

Queens University of Charlotte was founded in 1857 on a devotion to serving students, and has brought that same devotion to its online community with an innovative online learning system, personalized student support, and the same faculty that teach in the campus programs.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Additional Career Stories for Executive Secretaries And Administrative Assistants

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.

All Types

You are visiting:

What are Career Stories?

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:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

Back to Top