Launching a Career in Regulatory Affairs
Business Consultant, Regulatory Affairs and Business Analysis, StratusG Consulting
As a biochemistry undergrad, Alexander Cutler was certain he wanted to work in the biotech field -- but not as a lab scientist.
When he discovered the UW Master of Science in Biomedical Regulatory Affairs (BRAMS) program, he knew that regulatory affairs would allow him to combine his scientific background with his knack for communication and making things run smoothly.
“Ever since I enrolled in the BRAMS program, my career has had a rocket ship trajectory," said Alex, a 2016 graduate who was hired by the consulting firm StratusG to advise companies of all sizes on matters of regulatory compliance. “There's no question in my mind that the oddball success I'm enjoying at 26 is because I attended the BRAMS program and networked with people I met through the program.”
Here, we talk to Alex about how the BRAMs degree set him on a trajectory to his “dream job.”
What does your job entail?
StratusG is a business and technology consulting firm serving mainly life sciences companies. We provide all the IT governance, quality management, and regulatory compliance services that a life science company would need. I’m a compliance expert, and I work with clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, software, and IT spheres.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I really enjoy seeing processes that have gaps become improved with my involvement, and bringing stakeholders together from various departments to achieve more harmony within their organization.
Why did you choose to earn your master’s degree?
I wanted to be involved in the biotech industry, but I saw myself more as a harmonizer, as a manager and as a process improver, rather than someone who is doing lab work eight hours a day. I wanted to insert myself in the heart of biotech, where I could get my hands on the things that companies really needed fixing, and start fixing them.
I started looking around and found there's a whole profession called regulatory affairs. When I looked for graduate programs, it was clear to me that the UW BRAMS program was the leader in this field. And the networking opportunities available in Seattle are totally bonkers.
Did earning the degree help you pursue a career in regulatory affairs?
Absolutely. I would say that the program helped me get my foot in the Seattle biomedical door. Through BRAMS I had ample opportunities to network with the best of the best in the field of global biomedical regulatory compliance – people it would have been hard to meet otherwise, let alone impress. My degree gave me both technical and ethical credibility, which you need to be successful in this field.
What were the instructors like?
Every single instructor had a totally unique perspective to bring. You're always able to get a fresh perspective and technical information. The program will give you every expert you want.
What did you enjoy most about the BRAMS program?
That everyone was there to do the right thing. Each and every instructor imparted to us the importance of regulatory compliance – of making sure the products we work with comply with all applicable international law. They did this because they wanted us to be successful, but I think they also wanted us to do the right thing. Being held to high ethical standards was my greatest joy and honor as a BRAMS student, and I'm sure to pay it forward.