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Leading the Pack: Turquiose Ross

Turquiose Ross is a 2019 Jenkins MBA alumna. During her time in the Jenkins MBA program, Ross juggled a full-time job and family responsibilities, but praised the Jenkins MBA Program for its flexibility and its connection to industry leaders.

In the following Q & A, Ross goes into more detail about why she chose NC State, advice for prospective students, and how the program prepared her to overcome challenges during the pandemic including conversations about dynamic trials and managing a remote team.

Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education? 

A: I chose the NC State Jenkins MBA program because the program is catered to working professionals. I needed a way to further my education without jeopardizing my commitment to my work and my family all while preparing me for upward mobility. This program offers connection to industry leaders with flexibility in class offerings. 

Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?

A: Jenkins MBA allowed me to use my experience in the lab as a springboard into developing business acumen in the pharma industry.  Being able to articulate my own value and my visions for the future helped me to join the leadership team at my current company. I knew little about managing people well before this program and now I can say that I am well on my way to becoming a better leader.

Q: How did you become interested in your field?

A: I have always been interested in how all living things are connected and when I learned about how penicillin was discovered through soil microbes, I wanted to know more about the pharma industry.  I have had years of experience in research labs, but I wanted to speak to the advances in technology that make clinical trials more streamline and reduce the burden on laboratory professionals as they move clinical trials forward.

Q: What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?

A: I would advise any prospective student interested in clinical trials/pharma industry to be learn about new therapies in the market and how technology will play a major role in the development of those therapies.  Spend some time researching regulatory updates within virtual capabilities and notice how things are changing.  Any insight you can gain from the changes in medicine post-pandemic will help you envision a path for your prospective companies which will be invaluable.

Q: What is your current line of work and how has COVID-19 impacted it? How the MBA has helped prepare you navigate during these times?

A: I currently support Orchestrated Clinical Technologies at IQVIA, we seek to understand the burden and pain points of pharma companies and offer a broad platform of clinical technologies. Decentralized trials are at the forefront of any clinical trial effort as we seek to continue research efforts without jeopardizing the safety of participants and ensure that all data is compliant with regulatory agencies. During the pandemic, we all witnessed the need for continuity without overexposing our patients and team members.  IQVIA was ready with many options that have proven beneficial to many pharma companies worldwide. I am proud to be a part of an organization focused innovation in the clinical trial industry.

I can remember in one of my MBA classes, looking over case studies about telemedicine and how the adoption rate was very low although there was a real need for virtual capabilities.  I didn’t know at the time that those discussions were preparing me to convey the importance of dynamic trial continuity solutions to potential clients. Also, managing a remote global team has presented it’s challenges, as  McLauchlan leadership alumni, I am well-prepared to ensure my team’s success.  NC State Jenkins MBA program has shaped my future, expanded my ability to contribute and given me the confidence to go after all that I want in my professional career.