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Puk Stewart
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
Senior Associate Clinical Research Management
Works For: 
I would wan to be able to fly – this power would be invaluable, especially as a CRA – no more long car, train or plane journeys!
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I wanted desperately to become an actress
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
My college Biology teacher
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
I love working in Clinical Trials, where I have the opportunity to help make a difference to other people’s lives
What would you change? 
Nothing I can think of!
What qualifications did you take at school? 
Being from Denmark, this is slightly different, but I continued from what would equate to secondary school to college
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
I was an apprentice as a laboratory technician, at that time you did not need a BSc to start as you do now. I chose this as I always thought of laboratory work as very fascinating with lots of test tubes, pipettes and various chemicals
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
I found it extremely hard to achieve the CSci, it took a long time and there was a lot of communication between the UK and Denmark to prove that I have the required qualifications, but thanks to incredible support from “The Institute of Clinical Research” staff everything was resolved and I received my CSci
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
That is always hard, used to try to explain the concept of Clinical Trial, but now I just say I am a scientist
What are the biggest implications your work will/could have in the future? 
Working with new compounds, which could have an enormous impact on other people’s lives
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
I started out as first a laboratory technician, then Assistant Project manager in a Phase I unit, from there I went to be a CRA, then SCRA and now I am in Study Management
What’s the most unexpected thing about your job? 
That you never know what tomorrow’s workday will be like – you may think you know, but things change with the speed of light in Clinical Trials, and you just have to keep up
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far? 
To achieve CSci status
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
I think it is possible in a job like mine, but you have to make it so. It is very easy to just stay 30 min. longer, but if you are disciplined and good at prioritizing, you can have a reasonable work-life balance; however there will always be times where you are busier than others and getting home at a reasonable time is out of the question
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
My daughter loves telling everyone that her mum is a scientist
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
I enjoy spending time with my family, and I often travel back home to enjoy time with my Danish friends
Why did you choose to apply for CSci and what do you value most about being a Chartered Scientist? 
As I never had an official degree, I wanted to ensure that my years of hard work in the field of Clinical trials were recognized
What is the value of professional bodies? 
Professional bodies are an important source of information, and an ideal place for knowledge sharing
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
In the field of Clinical trials, I think it is important to start at the bottom and work your way slowly up. Do not be tempted to cut corners, as the experience gained over the years will become invaluable later on
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
Mentoring is of the highest importance in Clinical trials, no two companies work the same way, and the personal interaction with people already in the company, will aid in quick integration
What would you do differently if you were starting out in your career now? 
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