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Life Sciences Quality Systems Career Q&A With Susan

Susan, Life Sciences Quality Systems Consultant at Clarkston Consulting, describes her value for brilliant client service and shares some of her key career journey takeaways and advice.

How long have you been with Clarkston?

I joined Clarkston in November 2019, after 30+ years of industry experience, so I have been here almost 3 years.

What is your role at Clarkston?

I am currently a principal consultant in the life sciences quality systems area. Most recently, I have been supporting pre-commercial clients as they prepare for potential FDA inspections as part of their approval process. I am also involved in the Quality and Compliance Community and am involved in supporting a training session on quality systems for our new bootcamp consultants.

Tell us about a new skill you’ve developed recently.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to develop my program/project management skills. Most of my career had been providing technical expertise, and I have managed many projects in my areas of proficiency. However, Clarkston has recently provided me with the occasion to stretch and manage projects in new areas. This has resulted in significant growth in my project management skill set.

If you had to choose, which of Clarkston’s core values do you feel resonates with you the most?

Brilliant Client Service – I think this is the key on which all of our values are based. Everything we do is to provide the best experience for our clients, and that includes integrity in how we spend the client’s time and money, taking care of our stewards so we are able to perform at our best, clearly identifying the needs of the client, and making sure we have the best skills and technology to meet that need.

How has your work changed post-COVID?

This has been interesting to me as I joined Clarkston in the era of 100% travel to client sites, but did not actually travel. COVID started just as I had my first client assignment, so I ended up working for over a year fully remotely, and never met anyone at any client face to face. As travel has begun again, I believe many companies have seen the value of remote work, and realized that in many cases we can work just as effectively remotely, without the added cost of travel every week. This has also shown benefit for companies as they can allocate funding to obtaining additional consultant hours instead of spending it on travel. There are definitely times when travel is indicated, but I appreciate that we are evaluating the need for travel, rather than traveling just because we have always done it that way.

What advice would you give to someone starting at Clarkston?

First I would say “Congratulations on making a great decision to join Clarkston!” Then I would be sure to tell them to take advantage of the all opportunities and resources that we have available. There are multiple opportunities for learning and professional growth in areas you may have an interest. For every project and assignment, there is most likely a folder of resources, or people with experience who are more than happy to help you get started. That is one of the huge advantages of being a consultant at Clarkston instead of being an independent consultant- you have the support of the whole company behind you!

What drove you to accept Clarkston’s employment offer?

After a long career in industry, I have worked with many consultants and seen many consulting companies. I was not familiar with Clarkston before I applied, but I was very attracted to the core values and the integrity of the company. Everyone I met was so genuine and real, and the culture here truly values each employee for who they are. I love the idea of the ‘win-3’- that every project we do will be a win for the client, a win for the company, and a win for the steward working on it.  I was also very impressed with the caliber and long tenure of so many people here. Clarkston must be doing things right to have so many very skilled professional stay with the company for 20 + years.

Learn how you can become a consultant at Clarkston here.