Like my family and friends, many could wonder why I swapped my lab coat for a GxP consultant's hat. Well, this is my story of HOWs and WHYs.
From Pipettes to Policies
My name's Fatemeh Norooznezhad. I have a bachelor in cell & molecular biology, followed by a master’s in clinical immunology and PhD in cell therapy. While the conventional path might have directed me towards a career in academic or pharmaceutical research, I joined Rescop as a GXP consultant in October of 2023.
The shift happened while I was working on an organoid-on-chip project as a guest researcher at TU/e in Eindhoven where I met Rescop at “Wervingsdagen, The TU/e Career Events”. Given my understanding of GxP regulations and experience in (pre-)clinical research, I got engaged in an interesting conversation with Werner, business recruitment manager of Rescop, which led to an interview.
Navigating the Industry Landscape: The Mindset Shift
Moving from academia to the industry wasn't just about swapping jargon; it turned out to be a mindset overhaul. Although my education and work experience had already rendered me the flexibility, potential to adapt quickly, and critical thinking required for taking up on new tasks and roles, I still needed to meet certain requirements.
Attention to detail I practiced in the lab? Check. The data integrity I followed during research? Double-check. Of course, years of (pre-)clinical research and scientific writing skills along with my PhD education encompassing courses on product standardization and GxP regulations, all helped me get recruited.
Three Months at Rescop: Milestones and Musings
Reflecting on my first three months at Rescop, certain milestones and insights have shaped my journey:
Skill Development: My role at Rescop has emphasized the importance of balancing technical expertise with soft skills such as effective communication, teamwork, and project-driven engagement. Thanks to various knowledge/experience-sharing workshops and “targeted trainings”, focused on instructions and practical points, I got prepared for a strong start into the coming assignments. The basics to computerized system validation and GxP regulations were in the spotlight which gave me a new binding perspective on those subjects.
Hands-on Experience: I got the chance to assist with a system validation project within the second month and I gladly dived into the deep end. This hands-on experience not only boosted my confidence but also solidified my theoretical knowledge through the validation documentation during the project.
Team Dynamics: Shoutout to the Rescop crew! The constant support, both technically and emotionally, I received by the team was the exact safety net any junior could ask for when starting at the role. No matter when or how basic, my questions were always responded.
Data Integrity: If there's one thing I've learned, it's the paramount importance of data integrity here. Observing best practices and embedding them in my daily routine, built up the foundation I required for a solid start at an assignment.
Navigating Consulting: Tips from the Trenches
For all you considering becoming a consultant, here are some nuggets of wisdom:
Embrace Continuous Learning: The industry's dynamic, so keep that curiosity alive. Whether it's mastering new regulations or refining your skills, stay hungry for knowledge.
Build Relationships: Networking isn't just a buzzword; it's a lifeline. Cultivate relationships, seek mentorship, and don't hesitate to ask for guidance. The word “ASK”, you will find repeatedly used during the trainings at Rescop; so, everyone will expect and welcome as many question you as might have.
My transition from academia to GxP consulting at Rescop has been both transformative and fulfilling. Aligning my academic background with the GxP consulting landscape underscores the value of adaptability, resilience, and continuous growth. As I continue to navigate this exciting journey, I keep leveraging my expertise, embracing new challenges, and contributing to Rescop's mission of excellence in regulatory compliance and client satisfaction.
If my story sparks a glimmer of curiosity in you, then mission accomplished! Remember, life's full of unexpected twists, and sometimes, the road less traveled leads to the most exciting destinations.