Clinical Trial Coordinator/Clinical Research Associate Intern at MSD

Top Employer
Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
London
Review Date
Roles
Administration/Secretarial Pharmaceutical Science/Research

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MSD is a Top Employer

3.6/5

The Role
3.6
The Company
3.6
The Culture
3.5

Role Description

CTC: Helping with the admisinstrative tasks involved in setting up and maintaining a clinical trial. Run reports to show progress, maintain site files, make sure all relevant docs are sent to site. CRA: Visits sites across the country to carry out checks on the site files, sort out queries from site staff and make sure the staff are following the protocol and GCP

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I really enjoyed my work placement. From the beginning we were given a lot of support to teach us our role, and we also had a cross over with the interns in the year before which was helpful for our intergration into the team. There is a lot of opportunites to do other things outside the role (many of which were unforutnantely cancelled because of COVID-19), but these would have included visiting other deparments, volunteering and doing GCP trianing in Ireland.
4 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

One of the good things about MSD's attitude towards interns is that theyre not really treated like that. You do the same job as the graduates would do in your CTC work so form essential part of the clinical trail teams. You even get to go out on CRA visits to help with the CRA work (which is the role a CTC would likely go into after). I think you feel especially valued by other interns and you help each other out a lot.
4 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

They have slightly changed the way they run things so you are paired with a mentor for the whole time you are working at MSD as a CTC/CRA, so you run the studies together. This means there is a great amount of support and they (and the rest of the office) are there for any questions. You have weekly catch ups with the general intern manager and biweekly with you line manager, but theyre both available to call if you have any questions outside those timings.
4 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

It really does vary which is the nature of clinical trials. If you had a substantial amendment or site files to get out it could get quite busy, especially if you have been on lots of CRA visits recently. However, you should work with your mentor to distrubute the work load, its very rare that you would stay on for much longer than your working day. On the other hand, its sometimes not so busy but there's always tasks to be getting on with.
4 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

You work on studies with a mentor, so it really depends on the mentor. For the majority of the year I was allowed to take the lead on my studies as my mentor was quite busy. As I said above having a mentor is a great thing, but sometimes can feel like some of the responsibility is shared which is a good and bad thing. It certinetally teaches you how to work effectively with another team member.
3 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

My excell, word and outlook skills were improved due to the work I was doing on this placement. Unfortunately, I did not get to do as much public speaking as I would have liked due to COVID-19 but this placement has taught me how to speak to a wide range of people in a more professional manner, whilst getting my point across. Also you have to balance a lot of tasks at one time so this has helped my organisational skills.
4 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Lovely atmosphere in the office. It is a fairly small (30 people in our section) office, but is it young and fun. The majority of people are very chatty and there to help if you want to ask questions about work, or just chat about your weekend. Also, often there are events for things such as black history month, town halls or just because its sunny - which bring the office together to share some food and chats.
5 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The placement was well set up in my opinion. For the first 3 weeks you stay in a room doing the training which is quite intense but it has to be done before you can start any actaul work. They try to make it as interesting as possibly with mixing it up with the old interns training you, some online training and more senior members coming in to talk to you about their role at MSD.
4 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

It's diffucult to answer this one becuase a lot of things got cancelled due to COVID-19. Before this we did have an Insights training day, where you answer a lot of questions and get assigned a colour that you 'lead' with, which helps to see how you should approach people in your team. There was also a presentation day with the Hoddesson interns which I unfortunately missed. During lockdown there has been some events with senior members of MSD explaining how they got there. I think I would have appreciated more days to expand our personal development but those may have been coming up in the future.
3 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • National Travel
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Above 25 days holiday
4 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I do think future employment with MSD is appealing, as the culture of the company is great and supportive. At the moment they do have a fairly strict rule that you have to go into being a CTC before being a CRA, even though we already have been CTC's as interns. However that is understandable as they want you to get to know all aspects of the role. They put a lot of effort into training you, so I think you will be well prepared if you wanted to go back to working for MSD.
4 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

There was a great social scene amongst the London Interns, but I think that varies year to year depending on how much effort you put into doing things. The company organises a few events such as rooftop summer parties, pizza nights and christmas events. However the majority of the events were organised by the interns and the young grads, but the office were always nice about letting us use the area for movie and games nights.
4 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

As you are based in London you'll be hard pressed to find anything that cheap. My living situation was about £775 per month (not including bills) living in a tiny flat in Borough (close to London Bridge). However that meant I could cycle everywhere, if you do live further out its slightly cheaper. Restaurants and bars can be a little pricey but you can find ways of working around that, plus you are getting paid at the end of the day. Tip: look for good deals online, and use Dusk for a free drink each night.
3 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

The area I worked is King's Cross so theres only a few clubs around there so nothing special. However, so many tube lines go from just a 5/10 minute walk from the office, so you can basically get anywhere you like. Your 15 minute tube from covent garden (great bars and restuarants) and 15 minutes from shoreditch (more great bars/clubs). Its handy to pick somewhere to live that is on the nighttube as taxi's can be very expensive.
4 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Unfortunately, again this is one of those questions that was affected massively by COVID-19. There is usually a huge amount of opporunity to visit other departments, carry out GCP training in Ireland, go volunteering etc. However unfortunately that all got cancelled as most of it is in the second half of the year so you can get to grips with you role first. I would have loved to get a bit more involved with their company support groups such as LIVE IT and mental health first aiders, but I didn't get a huge response when I asked.
3 /5