Student Placement - Labcorp

Megan Hodgkinson - Labcorp

Educational Background:

I am studying Mathematics at Sheffield Hallam University and chose to take a year in industry at Labcorp Drug Development, as a Statistical Programmer, between my second and third year of university. Whilst studying in my first and second year, I really enjoyed my Statistics modules and this was where I was first introduced to SAS programming. Through this, I gained a good level of basic knowledge and wanted to find a placement that used this programming to see how this could be applied in a real world setting. I found this placement with Labcorp through my University Careers Advisor and it was exactly what I was looking for.


Why I wanted to do a placement year?

The main reason I wanted to take a placement year was to see if I was interested in the industry and to essentially decide if it was the right career path for me post my university studies. The Pharmaceutical field intrigued me due to its importance in the health and wellbeing of people. The idea that I would do my part to help in the development of drugs felt like it would be rewarding, and it is. 

A typical day as Statistical Programmer for Labcorp

Statistical Programmers are part of the Biometrics department and are involved in the creation and analysis of clinical trials data. SAS is a statistical programming software which I use daily to complete my tasks alongside various other applications. We receive data from the clinical trials and then program for different parts of the study, for example, ECG results, demographics or if there were any adverse events.

Throughout the day, I can be working on multiple studies doing various different tasks. It is important I liaise with my colleagues all throughout the day and get the appropriate help as efficiency is especially important when meeting deadlines. Typically, I will be in contact with colleagues at all levels within the team including programmers, study leads and management.

Would I recommend taking a placement?

Yes! Placements are perfect for discovering what you may like or dislike within a career and it gives you the opportunity to see how your degree can be applied to a day to day setting. Throughout my placement, my SAS programming capabilities have improved significantly over the past year as well as my communication and organisational skills, specifically in a professional setting. From this placement, my general confidence has grown and I am positive going into my final year.

Regarding a Labcorp placement specifically, I would definitely recommend this company. I have strengthened my ability to work in a team and to think logically and critically when doing my work. It has been a really rewarding year and, although I am a placement student, I feel part of the team, respected and appreciated. Additionally, there is always someone I can to go to for support, whether it is a minor or major problem I am facing. 

Plans after completing my degree

Upon finishing my degree, I would like to go travelling for a couple of months. I am planning to interrail America (unsure exactly where) ☺. Following my time travelling, I plan to start work and I would be happy to return to Labcorp to develop in this company further. Regardless of this, I believe this placement has set me up for a career in this industry.

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