Our ongoing “Meet Me in 5” series covers 5 people, topics or questions to illustrate how Covance nurtures exceptional people, provides an energizing purpose and enables extraordinary potential in its employees’ careers.
In this article, we spoke with Dan White, Vice President of Functional Service Provision (FSPx) at Covance. He shared his unique career path, his thoughts on accelerating one’s career in FSPx and what keeps him energized at work.
1. From the bedside to the business
Dan started his career as a nurse, working directly with patients in the ER. “I really liked helping people and connecting with them at a deeper level in this profession,” said Dan, “but I also found it to be one of the most difficult jobs on earth.”
He decided he wanted to remain in the hospital setting but be a part of instituting large-scale changes, so he continued working while earning an MBA degree to make a career transition.
After a brief stint in hospital management, Dan decided to make another pivot, trying out clinical research as a study coordinator. “It was in this position that I really fell in love with the clinical industry,” explained Dan. “I liked the idea of helping provide potentially life-changing medicines to patients.”
He continued his career at a CRO in a project management role, working his way up to managing larger teams, becoming an expert on risk-based monitoring and eventually serving as head of project management for a laboratory.
2. A strategic move to Covance
“When I was offered the opportunity to support the Functional Service Provision team, I knew it was a great role with a great company,” said Dan. “I understood the potential that Covance has in the FSPx business and was familiar with some people that were already on the team. I felt very comfortable going into this new setting.”
3. First impressions of FSPx
Now, with over a year in his role, Dan has witnessed the benefits of FSPx from both the sponsor and the employee side, as well as the potential for growth.
“From the sponsor side, what strikes me the most about Covance is our ability to provide services in any place that a pharmaceutical or biotech company could need them. We offer everything from benchtop science all the way to late phase support, not to mention our diagnostics work under the LabCorp umbrella. I have been really impressed with our breadth of services.”
4. Highlighting FSPx employee growth
From the perspective of Covance employees working directly for a sponsor in the FSPx role, Dan views these positions as a strategic move for one’s career.
“For self-starters and eager people who like to work in an environment where there is unlimited growth potential, I’d say FSPx is a smart way to accelerate your career. We build long-term relationships with our sponsors as our employees help them with clinical operations or clinical analytics.”
Dan also recognizes the unique opportunity a role within FSPx offers. “Many FSPx employees value the experience of working on ‘both sides’ of the pharmaceutical and CRO business,” explained Dan. “The FSPx role is a great way to get into the pharmaceutical environment, gain experience and have the benefits and stability of being employed by a CRO where you can grow in your role.”
5. Recognizing the value of a rewarding career
Reflecting on his first career as a nurse and ongoing experience in the CRO industry, Dan appreciates the importance of his every day work.
“Having started my career taking care of patients, I really see the impact that the drug development industry has made. From meeting people on the street to seeing today’s television ads for life-changing immuno-oncology treatments, I am constantly reminded of how we have helped change lives by advancing novel compounds,” he said.
“I don’t work at the bedside anymore, but I know I am making important contributions to patients’ health in a different way. It is immensely rewarding.”
Learn more about opportunities to grow your career in our FSPx team at