Business Major Lands Job After Completing Fast Track to Clinical Research Careers Program

Business Major Lands Job After Completing Fast Track to Clinical Research Careers Program

09/19 - In the spring semester of 2019, business major Laura Smith landed a job as contracts analyst for Global Business Operations at IQVIA, a human data science and contract research organization headquartered in Durham, N.C., after completing the Fast Track to Clinical Research Careers Program.

The Fast Track to Clinical Research Careers Program was a 12-session series that provided students with a foundation in clinical trial operations. The program was designed for people who are interested in transitioning into the field of clinical research or for those who are already in the industry but want a more thorough understanding of the foundations.

The program graduated a total of 10 people on Feb. 25, 2019.

“Fast Track provided me [with] insight into the clinical research industry, the different critical components, functional areas and career opportunities available,” Smith said. “This knowledge allowed me to decide which position would be the best fit for my business background and career aspirations.”

Smith earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and professional selling from UNCW in May 2019. Currently, she is a student in the Professional Master of Business Administration Program at the UNCW Cameron School of Business. She is working toward her specialization in healthcare management as a result of her new career path in the clinical research industry.

In her role as contracts analyst, Smith builds budgets for the clinical trials IQVIA’s conducts on behalf of drug sponsors.

“Coming from a banking background, this was the perfect fit for me within the clinical research industry,” she said.

For Smith, the program provided her with an in-depth look into the clinical research industry, its processes and procedures, and the career opportunities available. Each class was led by an academic and industry professional, who shared their real-world experiences and gave an inside look into the different areas of clinical trials within the industry.

“When applying for positions within the industry, having the Fast Track certificate on my résumé really helped me stand apart from my fellow peers,” Smith said, “allowing employers to see I am committed to the industry and have the base knowledge to succeed.”

FuseCR created the Fast Track to Clinical Research Careers Program because of the shortage of employees to fill open positions.

“Clinical Research companies in North Carolina report a lack of entry-level candidates who are adequately prepared to fill the large number of open positions,” FuseCR Coordinator Tiffany Erichsen said. “FuseCR wanted to provide a foundational course to help people transition into the field, to help bridge the gap in the workforce. The clinical research industry is a thriving industry in Southeastern North Carolina that needs many different types of professionals with particular expertise in their area, but also a basic understanding of the field. The Fast Track series is designed to provide basic foundational knowledge to help professionals qualify to enter the clinical research industry.”

Erichsen said FuseCR would be offering the course again in the fall 2019 semester, both in person and online via Zoom. To learn more or to register, click here.