Human resources business analyst Megan Weeks is the recipient of the Prairie Research Institute's 2021 Distinguished Support Staff Award.
In nominating Weeks, PRI finance management specialist Karen Hartman described her as a "team player who goes above and beyond with everyone's best interests in mind."
"Megan has always treated me as a part of the project PRI team. She has such an outgoing personality and is always working after hours to help us. She is such as asset to PRI," wrote Hartman.
Megan recently answered a few questions about her work.
How does it feel to win the Distinguished Support Staff Award?
I am honored to receive this award. I was part of the team that developed the award program and it is truly an honor to receive the award. I am part of a great team and while I appreciate receiving the award, I could not do my job without having such an amazing supervisor and team. The employees at PRI make my job so rewarding and I am lucky to be part of the PRI team.
What do you love about working at PRI?
I love the people I work with and I see great value in the mission of PRI. I am blessed to work with such an amazing leadership team and to have an incredibly supportive supervisor. The PRI HR team works extremely well together. I greatly enjoy working with everyone at PRI.
What has been one of your most exciting moments at work?
My most exciting moment was when I got to participate in a field trip with the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS). It was amazing to see the excitement of both the researchers and the students on the trip.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
I do not particularly like conflict and I really do not like telling people no. I try very hard to offer alternative options but there are times when there is really nothing we can do and that is hard for me to accept.
What’s it like doing this job in the middle of a pandemic?
I am lucky that I am able to complete all my work from a remote location. I miss face-to-face interaction with PRI employees. I miss the hallway questions and discussions. I really just miss everyone.
What drew you to HR as a career path?
At 18, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, and my mom had read an article about the X-Ray technician program at Parkland College. I applied and was accepted into the program and completed a year and a half before I realized I liked working with people, but not sick people. I transferred to ISU and decided I wanted to work in human resources and got my degree in business with an emphasis in HR.
What advice would you give to those just starting out in your field?
I would say to listen instead of talk. It is easy to talk but hard to listen and there is so much to be learned by listening.