PHASTAR Graduate Programme – one year in!
I am now one year into my graduate role at PHASTAR, and it has been one of the quickest years of my life. I joined PHASTAR after graduating from the University of Strathclyde with a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Statistics. I sought a job where I would be challenged, and I was not going to lose all the knowledge and skills I gained from University. And I was not disappointed.
When I applied to work at PHASTAR, the entire process, from initial application to accepting the job offer, was very straightforward. A group of us took part in an assessment centre which involved several different tasks and a final interview. The day was, overall, very laid back – which was very different to assessment centres I had attended previously. I could tell from this day alone that the company was a very social company – with managers and employees happily chatting to all of us and making the experience as relaxing as possible. The final interview was obviously very daunting for me, as most graduates would agree when interviewing for a graduate job. However, the interview, like the rest of the assessment centre, was uncomplicated and not intimidating whatsoever. I heard back shortly after, and happily accepted the job offer.
My first month at PHASTAR involved a lot of training. This is something that really distinguishes PHASTAR from other companies. We had a pretty intensive training course which helped us all. This involved a huge amount of training in SAS and other industry-related topics which we needed to know about. I came from a background of using R but had no SAS experience at all. So, I cannot emphasise enough how helpful the training was for me. During the training, I got to meet a lovely bunch of graduates from different offices and we all bonded quickly. We would regularly meet up during the training weeks and, to this day, still stay in touch. Furthermore, the training did not just end when the training course finished. Upon starting in the Glasgow office, I was assigned a mentor who I could ask any questions to – no matter how stupid I felt asking them. But it wasn’t just my mentor who helped me - everyone in our office is extremely friendly and always happy to assist. Even now, I can still ask around the office for some help and know that someone will be happy to give me some assistance. I also get a lot of support from my manager, who regularly checks up on me to see how everything is going.
Reflecting on my year now, I can say that I have truly learned a lot working at PHASTAR. When I started working in the Glasgow office, I started with 3 other graduates. We all came in at the same level but went down completely different paths. We were all assigned different studies which presented different challenges, which gave us all a difference experience. I found this extremely useful because we could help one another with the array of experience we had between us. I really liked this because it was not a mundane, monotonous graduate program. We all learned and developed in different ways due to the different challenges we faced. We get to work with colleagues from every office which is special too. I currently work with colleagues from the U.S. and Kenya, which is amazing.
I mentioned at the start of this post that I wanted to be challenged. And, I truly have been. I have worked on several different projects now which have presented some really challenging issues for me. I have had to perform statistical procedures ranging from simple randomisation schemes to complicated mixed models involving complex statistical methods. I have used statistics skills I learned at University. However, I have also had to research and learn new statistical methodologies. I have been given opportunities to write Statistical Analysis Plans used for studies and create specifications which are used for programmers/statisticians to programme outputs for clients. I have gained a huge amount of knowledge – more than I could have ever anticipated from a graduate job.
A few months ago, I returned to my University to give a presentation to a Medical Statistics class to give them an idea what I have been doing – and to show them how relevant that class was to my job. And it was the easiest presentation I’ve ever been able to prepare for. I was able to easily talk to a group of people about a job which I really enjoy, and I think that is a wonderful thing to happen. I would seriously urge anyone interested in this line of work to apply to PHASTAR – you will not regret it. This job has been everything I imagined a ‘dream’ graduate job being – and much more. The job can be very challenging, do not get me wrong. However, this has helped me learn and develop some fantastic skills in my first year alone. In addition to this, to be able to come into a career and be completely accepted for who I am as an individual and make some incredible friends along the way has been life-changing. My past year at PHASTAR has been a wonderful experience and I cannot recommend this company enough.
PHASTAR’s UK-based graduate programme has been running successfully for the past six years. We offer graduates tailor-made training that allows the best start in your CRO career. You will be given a six-week intense training SAS course delivered by our expert trainer, followed by our unique internal mentorship programme. You will be offered a competitive salary and a full selection of benefits, as well as your choice of UK office to work in! To find out more see our graduate page.