Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Jennifer B.

Research Administration Manager

Became an RA: The 2000's

My path to Research Administration began in 2008. It was a rough year, my husband at the time was undergoing cancer treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, we had a six-month-old baby at home, and I had just been laid off from my job. The nurse overheard a conversation we were having and suggested that I look into administrative positions at Fred Hutch. When we got home I applied for an Administrative Assistant position and was hired in June. This was just the beginning of the journey – in March my husband passed away, I was only 27 years old. It seems like a lifetime ago. Fred Hutch was so supportive and as I began my journey as a single mom the institution provided me with a plethora of learning opportunities and encouraged me to apply for new positions as my knowledge base and experience continued to grow. I have now been here for 15 years. I went from an Administrative Assistant to a Research Administrator, and now I am a Research Administration Manager. I never knew that Research Administration would become my career path, but here I am. I am grateful for both the professional and personal success that this career has given me. I bought a home in 2010, and last year I was able to send my son, who is now fifteen, to private school. I remarried in 2020 during the pandemic, and life, despite the natural ups and downs, really couldn’t be better. I attribute much of this to Fred Hutch and to Research Administration for giving me the opportunity to make something of myself. I have the unique experience of being on the patient side of the work we do, and although sometimes it may feel like we aren’t at the forefront of the science we support, I can tell you that we ARE making a difference. We are the oil in the cogs that keep the wheel running smoothly. I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this field.