Albert - Working for the patients After earning his degree as a pharmacist in Barcelona, Albert decided to work in the United Kingdom and gain experience while working in another country. This position motivated him to find a career where he could travel, stay connected to helping patients and have more variety in his everyday work. That’s when he learned about becoming a clinical research associate (CRA) and enrolled in a Master’s degree program for clinical trial monitoring.

Going beyond routine work
“As a CRA, I like that you can work in different places – from home, in the office or at the client site,” explained Albert. “It is not routine work. In each study, there are a lot of specific details that you learn as you gain experience in different therapeutic areas.”

Working with the Covance FSPx (Functional Service Provision) team, Albert is onsite supporting a sponsor as they develop new therapies.

“I enjoy the challenge that comes with each new study at the sponsor site,” he explains. “You learn about the disease and a novel drug. This work is never boring and I get many opportunities to discover something new.”

The formula for success
With nearly five years in the CRA role, Albert can offer advice for those considering a CRA career. “I think it is important to be patient and empathetic,” he says. “You will work with a lot of different people, like the study investigators, and you need to be aware of their needs and act accordingly.”

He also stresses the importance of prioritization and communication. “A CRA has to be very organized with the ability to focus on what is urgent and determine what can wait.” He uses Skype, WhatsApp and the phone to maintain consistent communication when he is not interacting face-to-face with his colleagues in the office.

Albert has always been focused on continuous learning and shared that he relies on the online training platform provided by Covance. To continue his career development with Covance, Albert also appreciates the guidance from his manager to improve his study management skills and to explore and take on developmental leadership opportunities. In the future, he would like to become a clinical trial lead (CTL) based on his positive experiences helping guide his co-workers and study investigators.

Improving patients' quality of life
Ultimately, Albert enjoys the connection to patients in his work as a CRA. “You can see first-hand how your interactions improve their quality of life,” he explains. “We are developing new therapies that can possibly affect patients’ lifestyles and allow them to perform activities that they couldn’t do before. When you think of the goal that we are working toward, you understand that every effort we take is worth it.”

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