Experienced Clinical Research Associate Discovers Silicon Valley Industry Skills


- Brijesh Khatri

Term : February, 2014
Department : Biosciences
Program : Clinical Trials

Brijesh Khatri had worked as a clinical research associate for multinational companies prior to landing in Silicon Valley in early 2013. While searching for an effective way to build clinical trials skills in the U.S., Khatri discovered that UCSC Extension’s Clinical Trials Design and Management certificate program offered the opportunity to study with Silicon Valley experts while staying in status on a student visa.

“My goal is to be a clinical trials manager working with pharmaceutical or biotech companies,” he says. “I think that this is the best program to choose if you want to work at an investigator site or if you want to be a part of a project management team at a CRO, or at pharmaceutical and biotech companies. It has the perfect blend of courses for graduates who want to enter the field, or for those who want to do a career change from non-clinical or regulatory affairs to clinical trials.”

Though Khatri started the program with eight years of professional clinical trials experience, he was excited to find that there was still much to learn, especially in courses like the “Science of Clinical Trials Design”, “SAS for Clinical Trials for the Non-Programmer”, and “Medical Writing”. He appreciated the guest lectures, too, such as when an FDA professional visited his “Good Clinical Practices” course.

“It was great getting to know directly from the FDA what the current thinking is about clinical trials,” he says. “They were available to answer any questions we had in relation to clinical enterprise.”

Khatri appreciated the support provided by the international program staff, noting that they made the visa application process as “easy as 1-2-3.” In addition to the support they offer when students apply for F-1 visas, they also host an OPT workshop for international students who have completed their certificate programs and want to apply for one year of optional practical training in the U.S.

“This program is a very good option for international students,” Khatri says. “You can complete the program in a few months, you get good support from the international program staff, you can meet people who are already working in the industry, and you can apply for one year of OPT [if you complete the certificate].”

Khatri plans to complete the Clinical Trials certificate in early 2014 and apply for OPT. 

Visit our Clinical Trials Design and Management program page to learn more UCSC Extension’s unique offerings. For information on services and programs for international students, please visit our International Programs pageBrowse upcoming Clinical Trials courses.

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