In this blog, from our career perspectives series, we talk with Jayshree Garade Associate Director, Statistical Programming about her truly global career path at Cytel. Jayshree completed her Masters degree in 2006 and began her professional career with Cytel in Pune India. In the years to follow she supported high profile trials for a number of sponsors, before transferring to our offices in Massachusetts USA. She is currently leading a programming team, working remotely from her North Carolina home. Read on to learn more about life and opportunities at Cytel.
Q. Tell us a little about your Cytel career to-date
Jayshree: I joined the company as a new Masters Graduate, having attended a Cytel recruitment roadshow on campus. We’d already heard about the company’s strong statistical base and I was interested in how they blended this with software and clinical trial expertise. Three of us from the course joined that year in Pune – which happens to be my home town!
Q. What was it like in those first years?
Jayshree: A lot of variety and experience to match! I worked on a big Phase One study taking place in Denmark and then with some major industry names, which of course we keep confidential! Then there was the move to the USA and now I have my own team, so you could definitely say I grew with the company!
Q. How did you find it as a new graduate?
Jayshree: Well, I had my statistical training and some knowledge of SAS programming, but I didn’t know anything about the industry and its standards or about clinical trials. They trained us well though, in the technical aspects such SAS, as well as in softer ‘work skills’, such as email writing and presenting. The professional training and mentoring here is very good for those earlier in their careers and it’s wonderful to see so many joining us.
Q. Do you have a favourite assignment, looking back?
There was one project, with a large pharmaceutical company, that really stands out. We set up a new team with them and then got to experience all the systems, processes, quality metrics etc. you’d associate with a world class sponsor. My colleagues and I learnt a lot in quite a short space of time!
Q. You’re USA-based now?
Jayshree: Yes! I transferred from my job in Pune to 6-month assignments in Cambridge Massachusetts; and then on to Waltham, near Boston Massachusetts, in 2016. Two years later I moved to Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, and I now work remotely from home.
Q. What did you think of the Boston area?
Jayshree: Boston has a great city life. There’s so much to do, but the winters can be very cold at times. I was okay with that, but my son found it difficult and tended to stay inside a lot when it was really bad. He’s pleased with moved along the East Coast to beautiful Northern Carolina, which is warmer, as well as a lot more laid back!
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Jayshree: I used to swim a lot as a hobby, but since moving here I’ve been doing all kinds of new things, including tennis. I’m also on the social committee for the town. We arrange social events and I’ve made a lot of new friends. Oh, and I’ve taken up painting!
Q. Just turning back to work. Are you involved in any of Cytel’s academic and thought leadership activities?
Jayshree: I’ve presented at conferences, in IASCT , India and at PhUSE in Brighton. The PhUSE presentation was a detailed look at handling irregular data and regular expressions in SAS. Quite technical! My present job is more about managing resources, so I’m enrolling for SAS Advanced and SAS Clinical to keep my tech skills sharp!
Q. Is that where you see your career heading?
Jayshree: Well, I’m only 4 months into the current role, so there’s plenty for me to learn and do, but for sure there are a lot of exciting things happening in Cytel that I want to be part of. Our work in Real World Evidence really interests me, so I’m reading everything I can on that and am looking forward to working on it with the team.
Q. And any final thoughts?
Jayshree: Just about Cytel in general. It’s like a family -Cytel’s a friendly place and you’re well looked after.
Jayshree Garade is Associate Director, Statistical Programming at Cytel. She has over 12 years' experience in data analysis of phase 1- 4 clinical trials and now leads a programming team for one of Cytel's functional service provider clients.
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