Student Placement - Roche

Rumyana Andonova - Roche

In the beginning of my BSc Biomedical Science degree I never planned on doing a year in industry. My aim was to graduate from university first, before applying to a job. However, this was because I never truly understood the great benefits of doing a placement year, until we were exposed to placement student presentations in university. Realising the career opportunity that placements provide, as well as the experience and understanding of the industry I decided to apply for a placement. 

One of the first opportunities I applied for was a Data Science Industrial Placement position at Roche. After going through a long application process and an assessment centre, I was offered a Data Quality Lead (DQL) position at Roche, which I was more than happy to take. And thus, in June 2021, I began my 13-month placement.


My position as a DQL helped me enhance my leadership and project management skills due to the extensive study lead training and work. This is mainly due to my responsibilities as a primary point of contact for data management throughout the lifecycle of my assigned study and leader of the data management team. Those responsibilities include regularly leading meetings, creating and reviewing study documents and ensuring they comply with Roche and industry standards, ensuring overall quality of the data and proactively managing timelines of study deliverables. 

In addition, I was given the opportunity to develop my R programming skills, through extensive training and project involvement. One of the R projects I completed, was developing and R Shiny app that tracks details of subject discontinuation and produces outputs required to support data cleaning and quality review of clinical trial data.

This placement year has provided me with an extensive understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, the opportunity to build a network, as well as helped me develop valuable technical and soft skills. In fact, I found this year so useful, that when given the opportunity to extend my contract I decided to do so by 2 months, making my placement a 15-month long one that continues all the way until right before my university start date.

Once I go back to university I plan to put all my effort into completing my degree after which I will either pursue a PhD, or return straight back to Data Sciences in the pharmaceutical industry.

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