Stacy Ruiz Weger, Survey Manager
By Katelyn Cooper
Who is Stacy Ruiz Weger?
After you graduate from college, do you aspire to find a
career that can directly benefits the world? Stacey Ruiz Weger,
a survey manager, provides research projects and documentation
that aid our society. Weger graduated from Western Carolina
University in 1998 with a degree in English. She states her
degree has prepared her for her current position as a survey
manager at RTI (Research Triangle Institute) International
by strengthening her ability to conduct sound research and
to report her findings.
Weger's college experiences of learning how to cite sources
and use references have proven helpful in her day-to-day responsibilities.
Ruiz-Weger states, "The teaching staff in Western's English
program were very helpful in guiding me towards graduate school
and providing references that assisted me in getting my foot
in the door in the research field."
After graduating from Western, Weger lived in New York City
for one year attending graduate school for publishing. After
moving back to North Carolina, she landed her first job as
a survey interviewer at a marketing research company.
This job led her to several other job opportunities in the
research field where she worked on public health environmental
and epidemiological research surveys. She has worked on nationally
recognized surveys such as the American Community Survey and
the U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals Survey. Her
current position as a survey manager at RTI International
allows her to manage several surveys in the social science
Using writing in her current career
Weger states, "Writing is a critical part of almost any job,
and mine is no exception." In her occupation at RTI International,
she and the other employees rely heavily on winning proposals
for new research projects. They expect all staff to contribute
to proposals several times a year. Nearly all the projects
Weger contributes to require formal written reports that detail
the findings of her work. Weger is also encouraged to write
papers for publishing in peer-reviewed journals and for conferences.
Not only does Weger compose massive reports and projects,
but she finds that email is a constant source of communication
in which the skill of writing is crucial.
Work that matters
Working with public and social research, Weger has found
her inspiration in that her work has a direct benefit to society.
For several years, she got the opportunity to work on a nationwide
study investigating the environmental and genetic causes for
breast cancer. Weger states, "It was an emotional experience
to be a part of such a major study because breast cancer affects
so many people, but it was also very satisfying to know that
when I woke up in the morning and went to work, I was contributing
in my own way to new research that could someday help women
battle a deadly disease."
Weger believes one of the most important lessons to be learned
is to always be open to new and different opportunities. She
adds, "Don't pigeonhole yourself. Make sure you take advantage
of all your contacts. Networking is important, and you never
know when you'll need to call on someone again for assistance."