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Administrative Secretary/Receptionist

Date: November 18, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Administrative Officer
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: School of Optometry


Health Sciences Campus, Downtown Kitchener


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Administrative Secretary/Receptionist reports to the Administrative Officer, School of Pharmacy and provides administrative support to Administrative Officer and generally for the School of Pharmacy. The Administrative Secretary/Receptionist is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the main reception within established policies and procedures.


The School of Pharmacy and the Health Sciences Campus represent a unique partnership between the University and the local governments.  The City of Kitchener invested $30 million and 8 acres of land to bring the campus to downtown Kitchener.  The Region of Waterloo committed $15 million towards capital costs for a regional program of the McMaster School of Medicine, which is housed in the second building on the downtown Kitchener campus.  Given this very unique partnership, we feel a real need to be part of, and of service to, our community, and this has influenced many aspects of the building and of the program.  With this direct involvement in the community come many requests from and obligations to the public to use our facilities.  These include events hosted at the School by local business leaders, City of Kitchener personnel usage, health related public lectures, Mini-Pharmacy School activities, Doors Open Program events, LRT events, transportation hub activities, etc. The School also has a café which, again in keeping with our commitment to the community, is open to the public during normal working hours. 



Significant Internal and External Relationships:


Key Accountabilities:



  • Serves as first professional contact for the School of Pharmacy
  • Handles general inquiries from external visitors, faculty and staff, graduate and undergraduate students.  External visitors to the School includes: library – 10 per week, co-op students - 15-20 per semester, standardized patients for OSCE, course guest speakers – 20 per week, general inquiries – 25-30 per week.  This is over and above responding to potentially 340 undergraduate students, 38 graduate students, 50 faculty and staff inquiries
  • Handles all aspects of parking, including allocation of passes for the faculty/staff lot, visitors lot, distribute tokens, collect money, compile funds for deposit.  Total tokens handled per month = approximately 75 - 100.
  • Works in concert with G4 security staff (security staff work on rotating shifts).  The school is located in downtown Kitchener and external visitors have access to the school’s café.  The receptionist needs to use judgment and tact in dealing with invited guests as well as unexpected visitors and their requests.  If security staff is unavailable, the receptionist may be required to assess a situation and respond accordingly until Security has returned to the lobby area.
  • Answers all general telephone and e-mail inquiries.  This involves many calls from potential undergraduate student requesting information about the School of Pharmacy program.
  • Responsible for maintaining the staff, faculty and part-time faculty directories



Administrative Responsibilities

  • Room bookings – responsible for using Outlook to book (total of 22 rooms) rooms in the SOP.  This would typically include handling60 student requests per day, 10-15 faculty and staff requests per day and 10-15 external inquiries per day
  • Schedules all room bookings for graduate and undergraduate courses, seminars, meetings, social events, etc.
  • Works with faculty and staff to find appropriate rooms for special accommodation exams, mid-term and final exams
  • Provides administrative support to faculty, adjunct faculty, teaching staff and other staff as required
  • Provides administrative support for the undergraduate course evaluations each term.  Compiles, distributes and collects evaluation forms.  Summarizes course evaluation comments for all courses
  • Facilitates the School’s taxi agreement, obtains necessary approvals for approval of use of taxi service for graduate students
  • Ensures that copy machines are in working order and paper supplies available
  • Responsible for weekly collection of event information for posting on lobby TV
  • Responsible for ensuring that all faculty, staff, students, visitors have current and accurate name plates
  • Maintains telephone lists for faculty, staff and other personnel in the SOP
  • Maintains emergency contact information throughout the School
  • Assists with collection of assignments and assembling of assignment booklets
  • Responsible for ordering supplies for all School personnel
  • Responsible for courier services and UW web based shipping system  (AgileElite)
  • Responsible for outgoing mail and distribution of incoming mail
  • Responsible for the distribution of perishable orders that are delivered for research lab (50 – 75 per week)
  • Assists with SOP swag inventory
  • Coordinates and creates SOP work requests for purchases as well as notifying Plant Operations of routine building maintenance issues
  • Liaise contact for external contractors
  • Makes deposits of funds at Cashiers Office, NH as required
  • Participates in the OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations)
  • Provides administrative support to other administrative staff as required
  • Provides administrative support to the Administrative Officer
  • Assigns lockers and maintain records for approximately 350 students
  • Other duties as assigned by the Administrative Officer



Event Planning

  • Assists with the execution of the SOP White Coat Ceremony which includes interacting with newly admitted students and their parents attending the event
  • Assists with the organization of the SOP undergraduate convocation reception which includes interacting with our graduating students, families and friends
  • Assists with CAP admissions interview weekend process
  • Assists with the organization of the twice yearly undergraduate admissions interview weekend process
  • Assists with organizing all external functions/events which includes working with local business leaders, City of Kitchener personnel and others. Our building has been made available to various groups, i.e., Health related public lectures, Mini-Pharmacy School, Desire2Learn, Fluxible, Scotia bank, Doors Open, the building has been made available to various groups involved with LRT, transportation hub, etc. and as well faculty/staff from on-campus
  •    Responsible for external room bookings



Library Responsibilities

  • Responsible for Charging/Discharging books.
  • Process all hold requests
  • Check email and voicemail and follow up as necessary
  • Shelf all books and journals




  • Sell parking tokens and scratch tickets to visitors and adjunct faculty
  • Maintain an accurate list of complimentary parking tokens, and communicate with security as necessary
  • Track parking sales, and keep parking spreadsheet up-to-date, and complete a monthly reconciliation to be given to the Financial Officer
  • Answer parking-related questions and ensure parking instructions are kept up-to-date and accurate
  • Order parking tokens and scratch tickets from Parking Services.
  • Contact Parking Services and the City of Kitchener regarding special parking considerations
  • Assist in organizing parking for special events
  •  Make parking deposit at main campus

Position Requirements


Post-secondary degree or diploma; equivalent education and experience will be considered.


Administrative experience in an academic department preferred.  Previous experience working in a high profile, professional, health related environment desired. Previous experience working in an environment where security/screening is paramount desired.


Excellent computer skills in Word, Excel and PowerPoint


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Excellent Excellent Excellent Outlook Calendar, SharePoint

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The Administrative Secretary/Receptionist must possess exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, be able to effectively see the big picture as it involves the broader community, and function with a high level of professionalism in order to effectively deal with the atypical activities of an off-campus location in a downtown core.  He/she must also deal with many visitors that are going to the McMaster DeGroote School of Medicine, the Family Health Team doctors’ offices and the School of Optometry which are located next door.  All of these present a unique and sometimes challenging environment in which to work.   Sound judgment, tact and diplomacy  Demonstrated ability to deal with people in a conflict situation in a fair and professional manner Ability to handle multiple tasks and work with a high degree of detail and accuracy in a high traffic environment Demonstrated exceptional interpersonal, organizational and communication (oral and written) skills required

Level of Responsibility:

ability to accept direction and communicate effectively, conveying information both verbally and in writing; must be able to handle matters with discretion; thoroughness, accuracy and attention to detail are required.

Decision-Making Authority:

answer inquiries about school and university procedures and policies; refer atypical problems to the Director or Administrative Officer.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

minimal; typical of an administrative position within an office environment; much of the time is spent sitting in a comfortable position responding to faculty, staff and student needs with frequent opportunity to move about; occasional lifting of moderate weight is required; no significant risks; there is frequent need to give close attention to various stimuli such as written material and information communicated verbally; there are deadline pressures and potential for multiple, sometimes competing priorities and frequent interruptions occasionally required to deal with distraught individuals and/or difficult, sensitive issues.

Working Environment:

Occasional evening and weekend work associated with special events.