Dare, Dream, Do: Meet Tring - an accomplished scientist who dreamed of leading projects and teams


In the world of science, breakthroughs often start with a dream

For Tring Zhu, a scientist with a PhD degree in Chemistry and a professional background as a chemist, her vision was a career where she not only conducted groundbreaking research but also led projects and teams to turn those discoveries into great impact. Her journey from the laboratory to project leadership is a testament to her determination, passion, and the transformative power of applied education.

Zhu's Early Career and Her Decision to Enroll

Zhu's early career was marked by professional achievements that garnered respect and recognition from her peers. Yet, beneath the surface was a growing desire to expand her horizons, take on new challenges, and lead projects and teams. Her pursuit of these new aspirations began with a pivotal decision – enrolling in a UC San Diego Extended Studies certificate program.

“I was trained as a chemist, I have a PhD in chemistry, but I really love to do project management,” said Zhu. “Having a certificate from UC San Diego would help me grow professionally and also give me more confidence to become a project manager.”

Exploring Certification Courses

Zhu's initial foray into UC San Diego Extended Studies courses was propelled by friends who recommended the Certificate of Regulatory Affairs Essentials and the Certificate of Quality Assurance and Control for the pharmaceutical and biologic industries. These achievements gave her a window into the power of certification courses for career advancement and further ignited her goal of becoming a proficient project manager in the biotechnology industry.

Biotechnology Project Management Specialized Certificate Program

The next destination in Zhu's Extended Studies journey was the Biotechnology Project Management Specialized Certificate Program. The coursework was tailored for scientists like her, offering a comprehensive understanding of project management in the biotechnology sector and the skills needed to earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, a key accreditation required for advanced career positions.

One standout feature of the coursework was the opportunity to work on real projects, mirroring the challenges faced in the industry. This hands-on approach allowed Zhu to apply on the job what she had learned in the classroom.

“I like the project management certificate program for a couple of reasons. One is the curriculum. It was set in a way that I could absorb the theoretical knowledge along with real cases,” said Zhu. “The second reason is the instructors. They all have a lot of experience in project management in the biotech industry. So, they share real cases.”

Success and Career Transition

By the end of 2010, Zhu had successfully completed the Extended Studies Project Management certificate, and the following year, she proudly earned her PMP certification. Armed with newfound knowledge and skill sets, she embarked on a career-changing journey at BD, a global medical technology company with 75,000 employees worldwide. She credits the Biotechnology Project Management Specialized Certificate Program for setting her up for success.

“It is relevant to what I do at BD. We do a lot of cross-functional project management, project planning and execution. So, everything I learned from the certificate program is applicable to what we do at BD.”

Making a Difference During a Pandemic

In 2020, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, Zhu put her project management skills to great purpose as the program manager who led the BD cross-functional team that launched a portable, point-of-care antigen test for COVID-19. Authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization, this test could deliver results in a mere 15 minutes. The primary objective was to expand COVID-19 testing beyond diagnostic labs, enabling rapid identification and quarantine of infected individuals at the point of impact, curtailing the virus's spread.

Continued Growth and Future Plans

Zhu attributes much of her success in her career transition to the UC San Diego Extended Studies project management certificate program. It not only equipped her with essential knowledge but also immersed her in the practical realities of the biotechnology industry. The program's instructors, all seasoned professionals with real-time experiences in biotech, provided invaluable insights and a practical course of study steeped in both theory and applied skills. Zhu found herself not merely gaining new concepts, but also having industry-specific experiences that were integral to her growth.

“I did benefit a lot from the program, because it has the best of both worlds: the theoretical world and the real world.”

Passing Knowledge On

As Zhu continues to make her mark in the biotechnology industry, she now puts her energy into helping others follow her path and embrace project management as a career direction. A dreamer at her core, she is already planning her next steps, for when she can pay forward her education and expertise.

"I love project management teaching and coaching,” said Zhu. “So, when I retire, I want to be a project management consultant and share my experience and knowledge with young people and train them to be great project managers.”

Biotechnology Project Management Specialized Certificate Program

UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies Biotechnology Project Management Specialized Certificate Program is tailored for professionals in roles such as product manager, manufacturing manager, quality manager, and scientific, clinical research, or regulatory specialist involved in biotech product design, development, and control.

A collaborative effort between the UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies and the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education, the program specifically caters to individuals aspiring to enter the biotech industry. Students gain the knowledge and skills required for project management processes to efficiently complete and deliver products within budget and on schedule.

Posted: 10/23/2023 7:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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