Western Illinois University

Kari W.

Pre Award Research Administrator

Became an RA: 2020 - Recent

After working in Senior Living Facilities at an administrative level for 10 years and in the field for over 15, I had a change of heart and decided a midlife career change was in order. I live in the same town as our university and often applied for jobs they had open. Out of nowhere I got 3 interviews in the matter of 2 weeks and received 2 offers out of those interviews. I accepted a position as a pre-award grand administrator, having no clue what I’d be doing. When I resigned from my position, my boss asked what I’d be doing and I regurgitated some of the duties on the job listing and mentioned I thought I may be helping write grants. Wrong! If I’d truly understood what I’d be doing I may have been too intimated to apply or accept the position, but now that I’m almost 2 years in, I’m so glad I did! This career is not something I ever saw myself doing and now I’m excited to learn as much as I can about the profession and potentially go back for another degree in the next year or two.