Employee Highlight: Andrea Parker

Employee Highlight: Andrea Parker

Aug 01

The expressed goal of the Ragon Insitute is lofty: to harness the immune system to prevent and cure human disease.  But behind every principal investigator publishing a new finding is a team of support staff enabling their research.


In the offices, administrative assistants, regulatory staff, and grant administrators manage the office, monitor funding, and ensure that IRB protocols are strictly followed.  In the laboratory, research technicians are not only preparing for future scientific careers, they also perform laboratory work crucial to the research of principal investigators.


Therefore, the Ragon Institute is pleased to present interviews with these support staff, to learn more about them and the important role that they play at the Ragon Institute.


Today we talk to Andrea Parker, Staff Assistant, who is fairly new to the Ragon Institute but is a familiar face, as she sits at the front desk.


Where are you from?  How long have you been at Ragon?

Originally I’m from Stone Mountain GA, but have been in Boston for the last 5 yrs as an undergrad at Northeastern University, Class of 2014. I’ve been at Ragon since this past June 2nd, so just about 2 months.


What do you do at Ragon?  What is a typical day like?

I am a Staff Assistant. There really isn’t a typical day for my position, which personally makes being a Staff Assistant that much more exciting. My job is based on the needs of the staff here at Ragon, typical assignments can range from a Staples order for the Admin, on boarding and off boarding staff, granting floor and elevator access for new employees, ordering software or computers/laptops for the labs, ensuring that our staff information is always up to date in our various Ragon electronic systems, greeting visitors, and so much more.


As a non-scientist, what drew you to the Ragon Institute?

During my time at Northeastern University I learned a lot about the healthcare field and gained an increased interest. When presented with the opportunity to work for Ragon, I knew that there was no better way to start my healthcare journey. I admire how the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard breaks down healthcare barriers on a daily basis and impacts people at a population level.  Working directly with the vast majority of top researchers who deal with HIV/AIDS research grants me the opportunity to learn in a fundamental institute, which is invaluable in pursuing a future career in the administrative or public health field, while also having a small hand in making the world a better place.
I truly believe that being a Staff Assistant fits my character and persona since it allows me to broaden the areas I work in and is not confined to a specific subject matter. Furthermore, The Staff Assistant I position provides me an opportunity to acquire practical experience to help with my future endeavors of furthering my career goals in the healthcare field, whether it be administration or public health.


When you’re not working, what is your favorite place in Boston/Cambridge to hang out?

Since first coming to Boston I have always loved Newbury/Boylston Street, especially in the summer time. Shopping is definitely a weakness of mine, but the scenery, restaurants, and random events in Boston are a lot of fun too. Outside of shopping, I don’t really have one specific favorite place; my boyfriend and I are always on different weekend adventures where we go to festivals, the movies, have picnics and other things in the Boston/Cambridge area.