So it’s Thanksgiving Break: the time for food, family and football. (YES FINALLY!) During this needed break
from the Hill, we venture to guess you might hurl mashed potatoes at the face of the first person to mention school or careers. Since no one wants leftovers seeping into their pores, we’ll set aside the career strategies and tips for a few days.
….However, we did want to share with you the little known fact that some TURKEYS HAVE RESUMES TOO!
So in the spirit of the holiday, take a look at Thomas Turkey’s resume and see how yours shapes up in comparison!
Next up in ourAlumni Guest Post series:Priscilla Lam ’12 discusses her role as a clinical research coordinator in the Center for Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute!
I could not have been more ecstatic when I received a phone call from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA) during senior week with an offer to be the new clinical research coordinator in the Center for Neuro-Oncology. Without any hesitation, I immediately accepted the job offer even though I was informed that the start date of my job would be June 4th (exactly 9 days after graduation!). Everything felt like a whirlwind, but I was very excited to begin a new chapter of my life in Boston.
It is hard to believe that I have been working at Dana-Farber for over four months now. Dana-Farber is an outpatient clinic that is directly connected to Brigham and Women’s Hospital (inpatient). I absolutely love working here. Sometimes it feels like I never left Holy Cross because I work with three other Holy Cross alums in my department and I am constantly running into Holy Cross grads from all years working in various disease centers at Dana-Farber.
The responsibilities of a clinical research coordinator differ slightly depending on the disease center. In Neuro, the majority of the patients I work with are Glioblastoma patients. I am responsible for knowing several clinical trials and being familiar with protocol requirements. Our primary responsibility is data entry and management. We are responsible for entering medical/surgical history information, lab values, concomitant medications, adverse events, etc. in the database for each clinical trial participant for sponsors to review. We have monitors (a representative hired by the sponsor, usually from a pharmaceutical company) come in once a month for every clinical trial to review our data and ensure that all data are properly documented and captured. They issue queries and we are required to answer these queries in a timely manner. Research coordinators are essentially the primary point person between the industry sponsor and the research team at Dana-Farber. We also have regulatory responsibilities such as submitting Serious Adverse Event reports to the Dana-Farber Internal Review Board and the industry sponsor. Other duties include preparing research tubes/kits and flow-sheets for nurses, shipping samples, requesting pathology, scheduling clinic visit appointments and MRIs, [and] communicating with patients, ordering labs, being in attendance when physicians screen/consent patients for potential trials, reviewing provider notes to ensure that there is proper source documentation for data, and organizing/prepping patient charts to be ready for monitor visits and future audits.
Most of the research coordinators work in the Longwood Galleria offices while clinic is in the Yawkey Building. Every day is different. This is not a typical 9-5pm job. Things come up spontaneously and each day is completely unpredictable. Generally, clinic days tend to be busier because that is when our patients come in for visits. I learn something new every day. This job can be challenging and demanding at times, but overall very rewarding. It is interesting to see research from a clinical perspective and being part of the research care team is fulfilling.
Clinical trials give patients a sense of hope. Clinical trials investigate specific experimental drugs not yet approved by the FDA and explore novel cancer therapies, as well as implement standard of care treatment in hopes of finding new and effective treatments for patients.
My favorite part of this job is being a contributing member of the research team and having the opportunity to experience full clinical exposure. I also take much pride in being able to work at an institute that offers state-of-the-art treatment for patients, with renowned physicians and experts on brain tumors, and a team of compassionate individuals consisting of neuro-oncologists, researchers, nurses, and PA. I could not have asked for a better place to be after graduating from Holy Cross. Everyday, I find myself inspired by patients, their families, and the support and care that clinicians provide to patients. This job has definitely helped reinforce my dreams of pursing a future career in medicine. I cannot thank the Holy Cross faculty, staff, and alumni network enough for opening my eyes to the opportunities that can be had working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Dana-Farber.
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Learn more about careers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute here.
Holy Cross students are undoubtedly the ambitious type, but what does it really take to build a successful career in the “real world”? This week Career Planning will be hosting the panel, “How to be a Successful Alumnus.” As a companion to our workshop, HC Career Counselor Megan Chester discusses some key tips to making your career successful…. Enjoy!
Entering the world of work and achieving alumni status is an amazing accomplishment, but landing a job is only the first step. Maintaining professional success once you leave Holy Cross is vital to the longevity of your career path.
First impressions are lasting and all situations require that you put your best professional foot forward. Attend meetings and sessions fully prepared. Write your ideas and questions down and complete your contribution to the best of your ability. Before emails or documents go to your boss, clients or colleagues, be sure to thoroughly proof read your work. Do not forget to dress the part, clothing attire is part of the office culture. No need to break the bank on a new wardrobe, but you will want to update your closet with a few basics such as slacks, button-up shirts and a pair of sturdy dress shoes.
A new work setting comes with new co-workers. You can pick your friends, not your staff members. Throughout your career, you will encounter personalities that will challenge you. Find ways to develop positive working relationships by learning the strengths of those you work with and how you can achieve company goals together.
Your first job will not be your last job, networking never ends. Create a LinkedIn profile and join Holy Cross and industry affiliated groups. Building relationships within your industry will allow you to move up in your career path. The friendly staff in the Career Planning Center can help you create your profile and teach you how to effectively network online.
For more about forging your successful career, come to the How to be a Successful AlumWorkshop at 4 PM in Hogan 403 on Monday November 5, click here for details.