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Suzaita's story - an insight into working in Clinical Research

Posting date: 05/04/2023
Suzaita Hipolito our consultant managing the role

Senior Clinical Research Associate Suzaita Hipolito talks about the satisfaction gained from working in Clinical Research.

“What would it look like to wake up every day feeling happy and fulfilled? And even on the days that you don’t feel happy and fulfilled, you still do! Well that’s how I feel with life!"

Part of my fulfillment includes being a Senior CRA at ICON.

At the age of 19, I entered the world of Pharmaceutical Clinical Research. It was a dream come true. I fell in love with the industry, as it gave me purpose and meaning. Now, here I am 27 years later, with my original love as a Senior CRA. This time at ICON.

Why am I sharing this? There are several reasons.

I feel called to share part of my story with the intention to inspire those who read this and express my gratitude to ICON and the people I work with.

At the age of 46, I’ve had a complete transformation with my identity. My life is just beginning. After going on a 3-year self-discovery journey, I returned to real life and found myself back in Corporate at ICON as a Senior CRA. I went back to doing what I love and what I’m good at. How can it get any better? This leads to the next point.

Admittedly, I had some reservations because of how demanding the role of a CRA is. First, the travel takes a toll on the body. Second, the job of a CRA is complex, exceedingly challenging, and stressful. Third, I wondered what steps the industry has really taken to create a work-life balance for CRAs. (The industry knows there is a very high CRA burn-out rate).

Turns out, ICON is true to their word about work-life balance. It is a key driver for their high-performance culture. In fact, they have CRA metrics to monitor over-utilization. And it gets even better for me!

My functional manager (as in my direct report manager) is heart-centered, supportive, open and honest, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and reliable. She does not treat me like I’m another CRA-cog in the Clinical Operations Wheel. I feel her heart and genuine care. She truly cares for my well-being and professional growth and meets me with integrity and authenticity. I have an excellent relationship with her. She inspires me to do my very best!

I am part of a pivotal program to bring a new treatment to market for a silent disease affecting more than 100 million people around the world. The disease is known as NASH, Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, a progressive form of fatty liver disease related to poor quality lifestyle choices. There is no treatment for this disease, and I am part of a solution that can save the lives of millions of people. It is one of the ways I am able to contribute to the World.”

The people at ICON! I genuinely love the people I work with. My study managers are superstars! Their commitment, attention to detail, and expertise is next level. Their passion exudes in their work. To me, passion equals heart. And I gravitate towards these kinds of people.

The CRAs I work with are also superstars! They too are passionate and committed. I appreciate their genius and out-going, down-to-earth nature. They are empowered and have a strong sense of self, which speaks to ICON’s high performance culture. Even though I am seasoned, I continue to learn from the other CRAs. I just love them!

If there’s one thing I learned in my self-discovery journey, what we focus on is what we energize and what becomes the experience of our reality. So for me, I choose to focus on the goodness of everything with gratitude.

That being said…thank you ICON! Thank you for the opportunity to serve patients and your organization and for demonstrating that you truly care about the well-being of your employees. Because I am living proof!

If you are interested in joining our Clinical Research Associate team, please take a look at our current CRA vacancies here.

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