Titles often sound strange in private companies - my path from academia to industry
Welcome to the career portrait series, where we look at the careers of DDA Alumni. Here Marianne Kristensen tells us what her position as Senior Event Adjudication Professional entails. Enjoy:
I currently work as senior Event Adjudication Professional in Global Safety, Novo Nordisk. Event adjudication is a blinded and independent assessment of adverse events in clinical trials performed by medical specialists that are independent of Novo Nordisk.
Position: Senior Event Adjudication Professional
2017: Event Adjudication Professional, Event Adjudication Department, Novo Nordisk
“a perfect combination of busy project management and reflective quiet time”
My job is ultimately to ensure that all relevant adverse events are adjudicated by the medical specialists before end of trial. To obtain this, I use all my project management skills, my competencies within data and systems and my stakeholder capabilities every single day.
In a big company like Novo Nordisk there are many areas and many stakeholders that have influence or interest in my work; it is up to me to ensure that the ends tie together.
My workday is busy, I have a lot on my plate, and I engage with many stakeholders. At the same time, some tasks require in-depth analysis. For me, this gives a perfect combination of busy project management and reflective quiet time.
I originally planned to stay in academia
I always thought I would stay in academia. The research environment attracted me. However, it was too insecure. It was a nightmare to always have to seek grants and apply for funding to do your job; therefore, I looked to the private companies.
I have never looked back.
I did try to raise funding to continue some of the work I did during my PhD. The money never came. Once I decided to look to the private sector, I fairly quickly got my current position in Novo Nordisk.
Was it deliberate? Not at all.
How I learnt about event adjudication
I was invited to the job interview in the Event Adjudication Department after having been at a job interview in a sister department in Global Safety, a job that I did not get.
“Don’t be scared off if a position title sounds strange”
I did not know the term “event adjudication” when I was invited to the job interview in the Event Adjudication Department. But it sounded interesting, the people seemed nice and it was a gateway into a big company with a lot of opportunities.
It has turned out that it was a perfect choice.
The skills from my PhD that I still use today
During my PhD, I obtained the ability to manage several projects at the same time. I had many collaborators and learned a great deal of patience and stakeholder management, also with difficult collaborators.
During my PhD, I was also tutoring students, an ability that I am still using today.
My advice for PhDs who are interested in a similar position or career path
Don’t be scared off if a position title sounds strange. Titles often sound strange in private companies, especially big companies.
Use your network.
Jump into it.