When Butt-Dialing Actually Works!
As with many employers looking for the right talent to hire, I too am in the inevitable race to find that perfect team member that cannot only do the job but also fit right in with the rest of my team. I recently fielded several applicants as part of my interview process. I conducted a phone screening for a couple of minutes to go over the basic history of my organization, job expectations and request the candidates’ interest before deciding to go any further with a formal interview. I often use my cellphone to conduct these screenings into which I would plug in the candidate’s number and wait until I’m on the road to my destination to hit ‘call’ in order speak with them during my car ride to my destination. I had such an ‘butt-dial’ encounter to the candidate before I was ready to speak to them. As luck would have it, I not only called unprepared, but it was not the original person I intended to call. I must have called the wrong individual by transposing a digit or two of the phone number. When the recipient on the other line answered, I introduced myself as a clinical research administrator for my respective institution. Immediately, the individual was inquisitive and asked what a research administrator is and what their responsibilities are.
SRA International provides the necessary forums to help answer questions such as ‘what is’ and ‘why it’s important to have and be’ a research administrator. I feel sometimes I must remind stakeholders truly what my role and responsibilities are. Since 2009, I have been able to be a participant, presenter, contributor and a local leader within my Chapter and Section. Reflecting on what SRA International truly is in existence for is of service. As research administrators we need to understand policies/procedures to perform our jobs, but service goes beyond that and encourages knowledge sharing, mentoring and morale building when we don’t have it at our respective institutions.
During my career as a research administrator, I wore many hats working in pre-award to post-award and everything in between. I’ve worked in centralized and decentralized environments and even worked as an administrator for an animal shared facility. I’ve worked with institutional leaders, faculty, students, and research team members throughout several institutions. Each encounter with whom I’ve worked with and for, wearing many hats has allowed me to serve as a mentor, teacher, boss, and cheerleader.
With these experiences of service, I feel that is what the Board of Directors for SRA International is all about. To serve as an advocate for research administrators at whatever level they may be at, whatever institution they are in, and whatever level they aspire to. I feel if elected to the Board of Directors for the Office of the Secretary, I can continue my experience of service to others by assisting to help communicate the exciting programs we have to offer, thinking outside the box to come up with other knowledge sharing experiences, and develop a sense of collegiate responsibility through various forms of communication. As for my ‘butt-dial’, it was a great conversation and I’m happy to say that the individual was intrigued enough to explore an opportunity in research administration that they never had heard of before my accidental call!
Authored by Jason J. Claes, Manager Oncology Clinical Trials