“I am an Archivist for the Central Clinical Laboratories and Records and Information Management Team Lead at Quintiles, the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing.”
What are your typical day-to-day activities in your career?
I am an Archivist for the Central Clinical Laboratories and Records and Information Management Team Lead at Quintiles, the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing. On a daily basis, I work with several departments within our facility to meet their records management needs. I maintain a large database of medical records, in both electronic and paper form. I also coordinate with an outside contractor for the off-site storage of boxed records and the eventual destruction of records after their retention period is complete.
What process did you go through to enter (or rise) to your position? Which skills and experiences distinguished you from other candidates?
While I was pursuing my Political Science degree, I received an email from the department about a job at the National Archives and Records Administration for a temporary student job. I interviewed and was hired to work on a major records project. Once I graduated, I was hired as a full-time employee and stayed there for about 3 ½ years.
I spent a lot of time searching job websites especially Indeed. Through the application and interview processes, I learned companies love potential hires who have any type of leadership experience whether it be in a supervisorial role or even leading a singular project. At NARA, I took every opportunity to distinguish myself through individual endeavors and within a group dynamic. Employers also want employees who work well with people of diverse backgrounds and my experiences at Georgia State really helped with this. As tough as group projects can be in college, the experience is invaluable because you learn how to work with people who have different backgrounds, work ethics, life experiences, and time constraints than you.
“When I was a student, I wish I had known….”
My Georgia State career began in the fall of 1994 after graduating high school and it was a complete disaster. I was totally unprepared for college courses. Unfortunately, I never learned how to take proper notes and my study habits were poor. The freedom of being able to decide whether to attend class or not wasn’t the best thing for me. I often chose to play golf instead of attending class and my grades suffered. As a result, I took a full-time job at Ford Motor Company in the spring of 1995 and dropped out of school.
I returned to Georgia State in January 2007 after taking a buyout from Ford. At the age of 30, my second try at college was far more successful than the first. After working in an auto parts plant for nearly 12 years, I had a totally different life perspective and a better skillset to succeed. The biggest thing I learned was how to delegate time to schoolwork. Instead of waiting until the last minute to complete readings or assignments, I set aside an hour each weekday to concentrate on school activities without any kind of distractions. I turned off my phone and stayed off of the internet except for research purposes. Gone were the usual cram sessions before tests and the frantic writing of papers the night before they were due. I took extensive notes in classes, which made studying a lot easier. I rarely missed class and when I did, I arranged to get notes from a fellow student. I built relationships with professors by being engaged in their classes and asking questions. I graduated with a B.A. in History in 2010 and a B.A. in Political Science in 2011 with both programs helping me in my records management career. Learning how to research, read critically, and analyze have been invaluable in my professional growth…all skills learned at Georgia State.