Great working in the Veterans Affairs, dedicated to serving our nation's Veterans.
Pros: Serving other Veterans; flexibility in the work environment
As an Assistant Research Project Coordinator, I helped maintain and provide budget input for medical projects/grants, as well as process all necessary documentation necessary for medical research studies. As an internal administrative officer in charge of all administrative support for the Quality Improvement Resources Center, I oversaw all admin functions, including and not limited to the organization and coordination of all travels, reimbursements, security and accountability of office equipment, and work orders.
As a former military officer in charge of up to 180 soldiers and civilians, multi-tasking and accurate decision-making were very valuable, critical skills set. Again, in the civilian workforce, these skills came in very useful, but with a civilian sensibility, which to me was a very valuable gain. In the center, the team consisted of four other teammates, who were very knowledgeable in their chosen fields and made the working environment that much easier.
The hardest part of the job was that often times, my job required me to work with colleagues in other departments (i.e. travels section, finance section, IT solutions section, etc) who may take a bit longer to process paperwork in the bureaucracy that they were a part of, and which is outside of our immediate control. Also, due to this bureaucracy, there were situations where there was a lack of clear customer support processes, often times leading to wasted time and parallel effort to get one job done.
The most enjoyable part of the job was that 1) I was doing work directly related to supporting research that will help Veterans, knowing that, I as a Veteran, will also gain benefit from the center's research efforts in the long run; 2) as a professional, I am learning the complex process of medical research in the Veterans Affairs, getting me back in the professional working environment after five years of hiatus, involving professional clergy training and schooling.