Research Associate Lands Job at CRO After Completing Clinical Trials Certificate


- Archita Sharma

Term : January, 2016
Department : Biosciences
Program : Clinical Trials

After completing her master’s in biotechnology, Archita Sharma worked as a research associate in a lab environment for two years before moving to California. When she arrived in California, she wanted to add to her background and pursue a career in clinical research and regulatory affairs. She discovered that, for her, UCSC Extension had the best course work and flexible scheduling. While she was still enrolled in her certificate program, she accepted a job as a project support specialist at a clinical research organization. As she says, “the position requires knowledge of both clinical and regulatory affairs, and thanks to UCSC Silicon Valley Extension, I had the foundation to start my career once again.”

Where did you first hear about UCSC Silicon Valley Extension?

I started looking at some programs online for clinical research and regulatory affairs. UCSC Extension’s programs had great reviews, so I decided to attend one of the information sessions. After that, I enrolled in courses such as “Drug Development Process” and “Good Clinical Practices” and never looked back.

What were you hoping to get from your program?

Since I was transitioning to a different field, I wished to develop a strong foundation. I was happy with the instructors, the quality of the material and course work assigned. I would also like to mention that studying at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension helped me build a good network to help push my career in the new field.

What made you want to earn a certificate?

As I was starting afresh, the learning curve was steep and every day was a challenge. Learning the various parts of a clinical trial and their regulatory aspects helped me develop the necessary skills and having both certifications helped me tremendously in my job search and interviews. Also, doing a second certification requires only a few more elective credits, so I believe that it is a great learning opportunity.

 Did you complete any projects that you could apply to your work?

There were many in-class or at-home projects for each course offered at UCSC Extension. I believe all the projects helped me develop the practical skills and knowledge required in the fields of clinical trial management and regulatory affairs. The in-class projects are very well designed and help develop the overall personality of the students.

 What were your instructors like?

The instructors are very friendly and approachable. They were always patient when answering all our questions. They come from different professional backgrounds and share their industry experience, which helps a great deal. I have high regards for everyone and each one of them has inspired me in some way or the other.

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