Covance employees in the regional study coordinator (RSC),
or associate project manager, role within our Global Project Management
Department receive extensive training before managing the day-to-day activities
of a clinical trial at a regional level.
Managing local laboratory operations and serving as the
bridge between our internal departments and various clinical studies, RSCs must
manage competing interests and communicate and articulate critical information
to each department and amongst the project management team.
National African American/Black History Month recognizes the
accomplishments of African Americans who have made a difference in our society.
notable African American physicians, engineers, scientists, and nurses have
contributed to medical and scientific breakthroughs and continue to serve as
role models for students of color interested in pursuing careers in the STEM (science,
technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
While International Women’s Day (IWD) is officially recognized on March 8, the collective action and shared ownership necessary to drive gender parity is a constant undertaking. Last year, our drug development team located in India took the “Balance for Better” theme to heart. This year, they’re planning for an even more impactful 2020 that’s part of a commitment to make a positive difference for women across all of our global sites.
As a biology major, Tai had always planned on being a
medical doctor, but when she reached her senior year in college she decided to
explore other professions.
“My family had always told me, ‘you will be a doctor,’ and I
didn’t think twice about it. But when I was finishing my undergraduate degree,
I realized I wanted to figure out another way to make a difference with my
After graduating, Tai explored positions in a variety of
areas, including a volunteer position with the local humane society. At the
shelter, she met another volunteer who was in a program to become a veterinary technician,
and who encouraged her to learn more about the line of work.
“I enjoy working with animals, and a career in the veterinary field seemed like something that I could be excited about getting up for every morning,” Tai shared.
Starting a career with Covance, the drug development
company of LabCorp
As she was completing her veterinary technology program, Tai
needed to decide where, such as an animal hospital, research laboratory, animal
shelter or private veterinary center, she wanted to work in the industry. Her
program invited different guest speakers across the veterinary technology
community to share their roles with the students.
“Hearing the guest speaker from a local research laboratory made
me interested in learning more about the research side of the vet tech role. It
seemed like a natural fit to work with animals and apply my scientific
background from my undergraduate studies,” said Tai.
“When I became a licensed vet tech, a position for a study
technician at Covance was available. I applied and was hired. Even though I had
a 90-minute commute each way, I literally loved every single moment of the job.”
Recognizing the value of animal welfare
Although Tai had been inspired by the research technician
who visited her vet tech program, she still wasn’t entirely sure what she would
be doing as a study technician.
“I think the reason a lot of people don’t go into laboratory
animal medicine is because they are not sure what it is about. I think people
will find it’s much different than they expected,” said Tai. “When I started, I
only had a vague idea about animal research and what it meant, but Covance
provided me with a lot of on-the-job training.”
Tai also learned how study techs can help ensure that animal
welfare remains a top priority.
“One day while we were running a study, a fellow study tech
noticed an issue with a mouse. We called the veterinarian and he was there in
less than five minutes to evaluate the mouse and make sure it got the care it
needed. I saw first-hand how the animals were treated humanely and with
respect, and valued the importance of my role as the voice for these animals.”
Growing her career and recognizing her impact on
Inspired by her work as a study tech, Tai decided to
continue her education in the field. She left Covance and enrolled in a
veterinary medicine program, earning her degree as a Doctor of Veterinary
Medicine (DVM). During her studies, she and her husband adopted two red-footed
tortoises after being a volunteer coordinator for the tortoises on campus. “We
fell in love with the tortoises,” she laughed. “They have unique personalities,
believe it or not.”
After completing both an internship and a residency program in laboratory animal medicine, she rejoined Covance, this time as a Clinical Veterinarian.
“I came back seven years later, and saw that some of the
same people are still at Covance, including the veterinarian that had made such
a positive impression on me,” she said. “I was so excited to be working with
some of the same staff.”
Beyond working with familiar faces, Tai is motivated by her
role in improving laboratory animal medicine.
“Good research comes from happy, healthy animals. I take
pride in advocating for our animals and making a positive impact in their lives,”
explained Tai. “Whether I am helping refine procedures to improve animal
welfare, ensuring animals have the right enrichment in their environments, or
simply changing cages, I enjoy the process of caring for our animals. Ultimately,
I see how the care we provide for our animals results in valuable data that helps
ground-breaking drugs come to life for both humans and animals alike.”
What does career growth mean at Covance – and how can you
expect to navigate career moves within our global organization? Five
inspirational people recently shared their perspectives on what career growth
means to them at Covance and how they’re helping evolve the way we develop our people
and their careers.
Resource Groups at LabCorp and Covance are just one example of how we celebrate
diversity and develop an inclusive culture in the workplace. Our ASCEND young professional
resource group recently sponsored a Diwali celebration in partnership with the Covance
Princeton (NJ) Site Council.
Our “Meet Me in 5” series covers 5 people, topics or
questions to illustrate how our business nurtures exceptional people, provides
an energizing purpose and enables extraordinary potential in its employees’
In this article, we spoke to Ilse Mathieu, Site Lead
European Operations Center – Associate Director, EMEA Distribution, based in Mechelen,
Belgium. She discussed how the Covance Mechelen site is ramping up to become a major
kit production facility to supply clinical trial kits across Europe, the Middle
East and Africa – and what this high-profile project means for career growth
opportunities in Mechelen.
Elien is a Senior
Regional Study Coordinator (RSC), which is an associate project manager role, housed
in our growing Mechelen, Belgium office for Covance Central Laboratory Services
(CLS). She shared a glimpse inside a typical day as a Regional Study Coordinator,
a role that manages local laboratory operations within our global project
8:30-9:30 | I start each day by going through my inbox and calendar and making my to-do list.
Because we are working with a global team, we receive many
emails overnight. My first task of the day is to clean out emails from previous
days and organize others by priority so only action items are left – that way I
can easily view my top priorities. Then I review my calendar and prepare for
degrees in veterinary medicine and veterinary pathology are significant
accomplishments, but they are underscored by the seemingly insurmountable
challenges Dr. Alejandro Larios Mora has faced in his journey to date.
Alejandro wasn’t the
student anyone pegged to be a doctor. In fact, he failed kindergarten – and by
fifth grade the self-proclaimed troublemaker was only allowed to attend class
with a parent escort.
“As a child, it’s very difficult to see past your
surroundings if you live in a bad area. You think that’s as good as it gets,”
Alejandro said. “That’s why it is important to have mentors – to show you
something different, something better.”
Ana’s passion for
biomedical sciences brought her to Covance as a Regional Study Coordinator (RSC)
earlier this year. She said after working in R&D and chemistry, shifting to
a project management role presented an opportunity to develop different skills
and realize an immediate impact on patients’ lives. The opportunity to
transform healthcare and change lives around the world – what we call
Energizing Purpose – is the common thread that unites Covance employees like
Ana to push new boundaries.
As she establishes her
career in technical project management at our Central Laboratory Services (CLS)
site in Mechelen, Belgium, Ana maintains a personal and professional balance with
time at home and in the office. She has completed a rigorous training program
and continues to develop her project management skills with her mentor.
Find out more about
Ana’s role in project management and the potential she sees with a career at