Tag Archives: Pharmaceutical industry

Reasons I Like My Job

It has been a little while since my last blog. I have been busy this summer with the acquisition of a new member of our family – a 7 weeks-old White Westie. I have been most of the summer taking him to the park, riding the bike to the local beach or lake in his mini doggie ride. On top of that, I have been busy with client projects and meetings.

With my job, I work as a consultant for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. So what makes this job special?

Experiences

As a consultant, I get the chance to work with many clients and projects. With each opportunity, I learn a new perspective and approach that has been taken to building various clinical databases that support clinical trials. There have been a number of occasions where problems between clients are similar and this similarity allows me to bring those experiences to the next client.

Challenge

My clients don’t often bring me in for the small and easy stuff. For that, their staff usually has the capacity to handle their needs. The time to turn to consultants is when the timelines or technical depth of the project requires outside help. Because of this, I often find myself on engagements that are relatively challenging. I can really take lessons from one client and apply them to all others.

I get exposed to things I already have ‘expertise’ in and I also get exposed to things I only know academically. I get to learn!

Mentoring

I love teaching. Being a consultant provides an excellent opportunity to do this. I have been working with a lot of clients in a mentoring relationship. Sometimes in person, sometimes via webex.
I like to think I made a difference for each and one of my employers/clients I have worked for.

Freedom

One bonus of working in the Pharmaceutical industry has been the ability to exercise a lot of freedom in choosing where to move my career. As my skills and interests have changed through the years, so too have my responsibilities and assignments.
So life has been busier in some ways but it has been more flexible.

I have had more scheduled flexibility than I ever had.

So until my next post, tell me why do you like your job?

Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica Open Source and Oracle Clinical.

From Non-SAS Programmer to SAS Programmer

SAS Programmers come from many different educational backgrounds. Many has started their careers as a Data Manager in a CRO environment and grew to become a SAS programmer. Others have gone to college and pursued degrees in math, statistics or computer science degree.

Do you have SAS Skills? First, you need to find out more about statistical programming desire skills and start to slowly learn what SAS programmers and statisticians do in the pharmaceutical industry. It is also important to understand the Drug Development and Regulatory process so that you have a better understanding of the industry as a whole as well as the drug approval process.

In addition, I have personally attended several workshop on Statistics for Non-statistician provided by several of my past employers/clients (GSK, Sanofi-Aventis, etc) so I could have a greater understanding of statistics role. I am personally more inclined to the EDC development than becoming a biostatistician but these are just some of the few steps you could take to grow your career as a SAS programmer.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

To begin learning how to actually program in SAS, it would be a good idea to enroll to a SAS course provided by the SAS Institute near you or via eLearning. I have taken the course SAS Programming 1: Essentials, and I would recommended. You could also join SUGI conferences and other user groups near your city/country. Seek every opportunity to help you gain further understanding on how to efficiently program in the pharmaceutical industry. It could well land you a Junior SAS programming position.

Transitioning to a SAS Programming role: Now that you have gotten your first SAS programming job, you will need to continue your professional development and attend additional training, workshops, seminars and study workgroup meetings. The SAS Institute provide a second level, more advance course Programming II: Manipulating Data with the Data Step, SAS Macro Language and SAS macro Programming Advanced topics. There are also SAS certifications courses available to help you prepare to become a SAS certified programmer.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel: Advance!

Your ongoing development will be very exciting and challenging. Continued attending SAS classes as needed and attending industry related conferences such as PharmaSUG to gain additional knowledge and insight on how to perform your job more effectively and efficiently.

As you can see, it is possible to ‘grow’ a SAS programmer from a non-programming background to an experience programmer. All of the classes, training, and projects you will work on are crucial in expanding your SAS knowledge and will allow you to have a very exciting career opportunity ahead of you.

Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica Open Source and Oracle Clinical.