"Don't always assume you don't have the experience." That was the message to, students, graduates and seasoned regulatory professionals from Andrea Chamblee, regulatory counsel, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She presented her insights at the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) DC/Baltimore Chapter Career Day, 11 May 2013. Nearly 100 people participated in the event held at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.
Attendees were welcomed by Nancy Singer, RAPS DC/Baltimore Chapter; Wesley Carr, RAPS; and Linda Bowen, RAPS New York/New Jersey Chapter. Presentations provided by representatives from Johns Hopkins University, FDA, the US Army, MedImmune, Sanofi, BSI and ACell addressed a wide range of career-related topics.
Dr. Thomas E. Colonna, PhD, JD, associate director for the Johns Hopkins Regulatory Science Program, spoke about the Masters in Regulatory Science Program and how the education obtained from such a program could help those seeking to enter or excel in the regulatory profession. FDA's Chamblee told attendees that Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) was another desirable credential that should be considered by those seeking entry into or advancement in the profession.
Searching for jobs and getting a job either within FDA or industry were topics addressed by representatives from FDA, MedImmune and Sanofi. Ann Field, project manager for MedImmune, advised attendees to not only network and hand out resumes but to also make friends and stay in touch. Informational interviews were also suggested as a way to obtain career advice from those in the profession. Potential job seekers were advised to follow up on these types of encounters with written thank-you notes.
During a working lunch, the group broke into teams and focused on answering difficult questions posed during interviews. A panel of experienced regulatory professionals provided their insights on addressing tough questions from prospective employers and stressed turning negative situations into positive ones. The final two sessions of the day provided information about what employers are looking for in potential employees as well as insight into the life of a consultant.
The last hour of this event gave attendees the opportunity to speak with representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Becker and Associates Consulting, FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and Parexel International.
Overall, attendees agreed the event's diversity of speakers and slate of topics provided valuable insight into obtaining employment and working in the regulatory field and having the opportunity to speak with potential employers was an added bonus.