Saturday, January 29, 2011

Being open to opportunities

A few days ago I had the pleasure of attending Bill Tobia’s class on New Drug Development at Northeastern University. Bill was a cyberfriend I met a few years ago after he had contacted me about my textbook, "Conducting Clinical Research." When it came time to develop topics for the 2nd edition, he generously shared useful suggestions. So when I went to Boston last week, I e-mailed Bill and asked if he had time for a cup of tea. Instead, he invited me to speak to his class about a smorgasbord of topics, including globalization of clinical trials, career opportunities for these regulatory affairs students, and my favorite—ethics of clinical research.

While being a guest speaker was fun, it was fascinating to watch Bill weave seemingly disparate topics into a practical framework for these international students to use later in their careers—including our chance meeting being an example of being open to possibilities, which we then tied into the career talk. I was impressed, too, with how he plans a research assignment for his students, and then links that to a brief presentation to their peers, an experience on their CV, and a useful talking point in future interviews. I received a valuable lesson that night from an excellent teacher. Thank you, Bill.