In our Student and Alumni Profile series, we will regularly feature students and alumni to give you a glimpse of who we are, and more importantly, offer you insights and perspectives if you plan to walk the same path. Meet Stuart Black, an experienced scientist who completed our Certificate in Advanced Clinical Research last year and is now working with Amicus Therapeutics.
Please share a little about yourself
I grew up in rural southeast Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University as a Microbiology major. Soon after graduation, I began working for Schering Plough in its Drug Discovery program supporting Oncology therapies and worked in this area for 21 years. In 2011 - by which time Schering Plough became Merck - I moved to Infectious Disease Drug Discovery division. After years of working to support drugs through all phases of clinical trials, in 2017, I decided it was time to move to the clinical area. I was interested in working full time in clinical research. I'm currently working at Amicus Therapeutics as a TMF (Trial Master Files) Associate in Clinical Operations.
Why did you choose Sollers College?
There were at least two phone interviews for clinical research positions that I took, after which it became clear to me that my knowledge of the clinical area was insufficient and I needed to learn more. I knew many former Schering/Merck colleagues who had already taken the Advanced Clinical
Research class with Sollers College. Also, Sollers' location was convenient for me. I signed up for Advanced Certificate in Clinical research and completed in August of 2017.
What do you like about your experierence with Sollers College?
My favorite part was the thorough learning about clinical trial process. As I learned more, it made
me feel more confident that my future interviews would go much better. I liked that the Sollers' team was very cordial, responded to emails quickly and very supportive.
How are you applying what you learned in the program in your profession?
My knowledge of ICH GCP E6 regulations, especially the essential documents - which are part of clinical trial master file (TMF) - has come quite handy in my current role as a TMF Associate in Clinical Operations at Amicus Therapeutics.
What are your career goals / future plans?
My goal was to first get a foot in the door in the clinical research industry, and I did that, thanks to the Sollers College training. Now that I have my first clinical job, I want to continue to learn, be productive and advance to clinical research positions of greater responsibility and pay.
What are three fun facts about you ?
1. I'm a big sports fan, and my dream came true when Philadelphia Eagles won the 2018 Super Bowl. 2. In Soccer I follow Bayern Munich and will root for Germany in this year’s World Cup. 3. I have a dog name Paches.
Do you have any advice / tips for prospective students?
I'd say define your goals clearly and understand how doing a training program in clinical research will exactly help you attain those goals. What do you want out of this training? For me, though I had worked in the industry for a long time, it was very important that I have the confidence and knowledge to talk about clinical trial processes, when I gave job interviews. This program helped me achieve that goal. It's amazing how confidently you can speak and understand, about all facets of the clinical trial process, if your foundations are strong. Also, thanks to Sollers College, I can put on my resume and profile that I now have some clinical knowledge and experience.
Interested to learn more about our programs or our current or past students? Call us now at 848-299-5900 or submit your form below. Thank you, Stuart, for taking time to talk to us!