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Nottingham , Careers

Colleague Stories: Yolanda Gibson

Yolanda Gibson colleague story from Quotient Sciences

Yolanda Gibson works at our Nottingham, UK facility as a project manager. In this interview, she shares what a day in the life in her role looks like.

 

As a PM, you sit at the center of a cross-functional team and promote a team-based approach to project delivery through coordinating activities and supporting colleagues throughout the business. When key project milestones are achieved, celebrating that success as a team is a great feeling.  

-Yolanda Gibson

 

What does a Project Manager do at Quotient Sciences?

A Project Manager (PM) is responsible for the day-to-day activities on a project and leading the Quotient Sciences project team, which is a cross-functional team. The PM is accountable for the successful conduct of each project, ensuring that it is delivered on time and to the required quality standards. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure our customers have a positive experience working with us.

Describe a typical day in project management.

Quotient Sciences is unique in what we do. The fact that we offer a range of CRO and CDMO services means every day in Project Management is different. One day, my focus might be on ensuring that materials manufactured for a clinical trial are being delivered on time, and the next day might be supporting the review of a clinical study report. A key part of the role is being the primary contact for our customers and depending on the scope of a project, there will be daily interactions with other departments such as pharmaceutical sciences, clinical operations, and data sciences. The PM monitors a project every day, tracking progress against budget, timelines, and quality.

How has your career progressed since joining us?

I joined the company in 2019 as a Clinical Project Coordinator (CPC) with the hope of progressing into a Project Manager role after gaining more experience. As a CPC, I assisted in the generation of clinical trial documents and supported Project Managers with clinical tasks. Quotient Sciences has a well-defined career pathway within Project Management. After working as a CPC for over a year, I progressed through the roles of Project Manager I to III, becoming a Senior Project Manager in January 2023. As a Senior Project Manager, I now lead cross-site and complex projects independently.

What experience did you have before you worked at Quotient Sciences?

In terms of education, I have a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Sheffield. As part of my undergraduate degree, I spent a year in an industrial placement with Eli Lilly, which was my first experience of the pharmaceutical industry. After finishing my Ph.D. in 2017, I worked as an Account Manager for an SME specializing in custom peptide synthesis and antibody production, responsible for the management of sales and relationships with clients in the UK and Northern Europe.

Did you require any qualifications for the role you applied for?

For the Clinical Project Coordinator role, a minimum degree qualification or equivalent was required. Relevant experience in a pharmaceutical company or CRO was preferred but not essential.

What learning or qualifications have you gained in this role?

In this role, I became Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certified and completed training towards becoming Green Belt certified. Before joining the company, I had a good understanding of the R&D and clinical aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, but I have since learned exponentially about drug development and manufacturing.

What do you enjoy most about your role? And what is most challenging?

Sharing successes with colleagues and customers. As a PM, you sit at the center of a cross-functional team and promote a team-based approach to project delivery through coordinating activities and supporting colleagues throughout the business. When key project milestones are achieved, celebrating that success as a team is a great feeling.  

Projects are delivered to strict timelines, but sometimes unplanned or unexpected changes can happen given the nature of the work. Dealing with unplanned changes can be challenging, requiring you to be able to reprioritize work effectively and be able to work under pressure. Being a PM requires a person to be adaptable and have great coordination skills.

What’s the team like?

Fab! I am based in Nottingham and colleagues across the various functions are generally associated with one of five project teams. I work in Team Fleming and consistently partner with the same colleagues across all our team’s projects. We all have a good rapport, having worked so frequently together. Everyone is friendly, respectful, and helpful.

What do you like most about working at Quotient Sciences?

The people and the varied nature of the projects. No one project is the same and it truly means you never stop learning (and work never gets boring!) Translational Pharmaceutics projects are my favorite to work on.