Meet Blanca Humanes: Senior Clinical Research Associate
"Working at Parexel is exciting, I learn something new every day and every day is so different!"
Blanca Humanes talks about how she started at Parexel as a Trainee Clinical Research Associate and managed to become a Senior Clinical Research Associate. She also speaks about by what means the pandemic has changed her day-to-day working and how Parexel has supported her and her family throughout this difficult time.
- How does a day in your job look like? What are your core responsibilities?
Every day at Parexel is different. It depends if I´m working on-site or at home/office:
When I´m at the office, I focus on answering emails, preparing on-site/remote visits, perform training, and solve site issues remotely.
At the sites, I spend my time performing site management, working together with site staff to keep patients safe and develop the trial according to regulations.
- Why did you choose Parexel and why are you staying?
Actually, Parexel chose me. I joined Parexel as Clinical Research Associate Trainee and after that, I started as Clinical Research Associate. I am very happy to be here as I feel that Parexel is the perfect place to develop your career. I have the opportunity to work on many different studies, learning about different therapeutic areas, and also, Parexel brings me the opportunity to belong to multidisciplinary and international teams.
- How has the reduced number of visits in Parexel's site visiting model affected you?
I think that this is a key point in the Clinical Research Associate role. At the moment I am performing around 5-7 visits per month. This allows me to fully balance my work time and also my personal time. It is very important for me as I started my Clinical Trials career after becoming a mother and I have to make sure I have enough time to dedicate to my family. It is one of the most important requirements that I considered when choosing this job. In moments of increased workload, an incentive plan recognizes the CRAs who take on the extra visits.
- Within your role as a CRA, how has Parexel supported your learning and career development?
During my time at Parexel, I had amazing support from my line manager in terms of career development. She involved me in a lot of activities that helped me to grow every day. This included participation in demanding studies, mentoring activities, and participation in specific development programs.
- Can you tell us more about how digital remote monitoring shapes your day-to-day work?
I think that in our role, the on-site work, being face to face with site staff is very important, but the use of new technology and software that allow video conferences with sites makes things so much easier as this is a completely new situation for all of us. The implementation of remote monitoring is a big challenge we are currently facing.
- How has Parexel supported you during the pandemic?
It was a challenging period for all of us. Before the pandemic, we were working in hospitals and then suddenly had to switch all of the work we were carrying out to remote. Parexel provided all of the available tools to CRAs to ensure that patients could continue their treatments safely. On a personal level, Parexel allowed me to fully work from home, with the whole family here!
- Which Core Value resonates most with you and why?
Patients first: I try to remember every day that the aim of our efforts is that contribute to a better life for patients and their families.
Empowerment and accountability: I put my heart into all aspects of my life to do the right thing, and I do all my best to reach my objectives.
- How would you describe what it's like to work at Parexel and what it is like working with your colleagues?
Working at Parexel is exciting as it is different every day! In my opinion, teamwork is one of the most important points to successfully develop a project. At Parexel, my colleagues are amazing, and I learn something new from them continuously.
- Share with us an experience that was very rewarding for you during your time at Parexel?
In 2016, I was hired as Clinical Research I at Parexel. I was involved as a CRA in a new pediatric study (VRS-related bronchiolitis). It was a very demanding study since all sites had to be started before flu season. Finally, I performed almost 15 Site Initiation Visits during the Christmas period, but working together with all of the study team, we successfully reached this important milestone.
- What do you enjoy when you’re not at work?
The most important thing in my life is my family and friends. When I am not at work, I try to spend all of my time with my family.
- Tell us three beliefs that you think would change the world for the better?
A “technological disconnection” should be mandatory for all people for a few minutes a day. Sometimes we lose what is happening around us due to computers and mobile phones.
The pandemic has shown us that teleworking is helpful both to people and to the earth. It should be a priority in the near future.
I think that people should open their minds and get to know different cultures and different people. Listening and learning from others makes us more tolerable, creating a better world for all.
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