“The variety in my tasks every week is different,” she explained. “As a Clinical Research Associate (CRA), we can schedule our agenda and have a lot of flexibility to visit the sites.”
An interest in improving health
Sigourney started her career as a nurse in a hospital, where she enjoyed the patient contact but wanted to have more administrative responsibilities. She transitioned to a position as a study coordinator, where she first interacted with CRAs.
“I asked a CRA from Covance about the job and their tasks. I thought it sounded like a good match for me and started my job search. After several interviews, Covance hired me to work within a sponsor’s site. That was about four and a half years ago, and I am still happy with my decision.”
Getting up to speed
Moving from study coordinator to CRA wasn’t an overnight transition. “The first few months were very challenging,” admitted Sigourney. “There was a lot of new information to learn but the training helped. Soon, I was performing monitoring and close out visits. I was also part of an audit, which was an interesting experience.”
Through the sponsor’s site, Sigourney gained therapeutic area exposure, working on a few different vaccine studies before moving on to studies in oncology and a rare disease.
With every new responsibility, she found that her team was there to support her. “Everyone is always very busy,” she said, “but my team manager and the other CRAs were always ready to help. After the first few months, I gained more experience and the work went smoother.”
Balancing work and life
Sigourney hopes to become a senior CRA and eventually a clinical project leader. She balances this goal with her personal time outside of work.
“After the birth of my first child, I learned how to get my work done and balance that with my other life at home. After I found my routine, it has been helpful to have a lot of flexibility in my agenda. I love to be proactive in my work – it gives me a feeling of control to plan my work from start to finish.”
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