Amelia graduated in 2010 with a Political Science major and Spanish minor. After graduation, she continued working at ProHealth Care in Waukesha, where she’d worked off and on since high school. “I started working as a receptionist at a doctor’s office when I was 16,” she writes. “While I was at UW Oshkosh I worked with Dr. Tracy Slagter on a research project she was doing. After graduation I continued to work at the clinic for a few years when I saw the research associate position open up. Aside from my degree and research experience from UW Oshkosh, I didn’t have any additional training or certifications. I had to complete several training courses once I was hired, but those are standard in the industry. I honestly didn’t know our organization offered clinical trials, but it just shows you never know which experiences will come in handy!”
Her current position is a fascinating one. “My work is with Oncology (cancer) studies. Research involving human subjects has to go before an Institutional Review Board (IRB) before it can begin, any time it undergoes any changes, and at least once a year for a progress review. I coordinate with our doctors and nurses to find out what research they are interested in doing, and then prepare that research to be presented to our IRB. I prepare the consent form that patients sign when they join a clinical trial, make sure all of the physicians have met their training requirements, and coordinate with the organization funding the research. These range from pharmaceutical companies to federally funded groups like the National Cancer Institute to academic institutions like UW Madison. I currently work with over 100 different oncology studies in various stages. Some are still actively adding patients, while some are in the final stages of analyzing results.”
See, you just never know where your degree might take you. Take advantage of experiences on campus, and learn how to leverage them in different settings like Amelia did. Want to learn more about Amelia’s path? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find her on LinkedIn.