By Stephanie Stevens
Going back to school can be intimidating and doing it when you're over 50 can be downright terrifying. Meet the inspiration that is Audrenna Batie, clinical trials research assistant and continuing education powerhouse who recently completed the Clinical Trials Administration certificate program at UC San Diego Extension and who's moving onward and upward toward a Bachelor of Science degree.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am the mother of three adult children and two adorable granddaughters I call my Gran sugars. I live in a neighborhood near Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and lots of restaurants. I enjoy cycling, going for long walks, which is helpful since my boyfriend and I are foodies and love checking out new restaurants. I have been a clinical trials research assistant for about 5 years.
Why did you decide to study at UC San Diego Extension?
The UC San Diego clinical trials administration certificate course was perfect for me because I work full-time, and the online course gave me the freedom to choose when and where I would do my assignments and test. The instructors were thorough and always responded to my emails in a timely manner if I had questions or needed guidance.
What stands out about the Clinical Trials Administration program for you?
The courses were very relevant, and I was able to apply the knowledge I gained to my current role at work. The course content was so exciting and stirred up an appetite for learning more about clinical trials similar to the appetite I have for tasting and learning about good food!
What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in taking the program?
I have shared my positive experience at UC San Diego Extension with many people, especially those considering going back to school and who are over 50 years of age. As an over 50 nontraditional student myself, I share the fact that I felt completely supported by the staff during the entire process of obtaining my certification.
What do you personally find exciting, interesting, important or surprising about the field you work in?
I'm excited that I finally know what I want to do when I grow up! My long-term goal is to provide education on the importance of all people's representation in the clinical trial data. I would like to establish an element of trust through education regarding regulations and guidelines that are in place to prevent historical tragedies but also emphasize the positive aspects of participation, all of which I learned in my courses at UC San Diego Extension.
Are there any "tricks of the trade" that aspiring clinical trials administrators should know?
I think if you are a person who likes and appreciates variety, adapts well to change, are very flexible and detail-oriented, it is a perfect field for you. It's about discovery, and sometimes that comes with a lot of changes and adjustments. I am confident that the Clinical Trials Administration certification curriculum provides the foundation needed to navigate through many of the roles available in clinical trials administration.
How has your experience at Extension helped your career?
The clinical research industry has its own terminology that is spoken predominantly in acronyms. There were a lot of terms that I did not know, so I could not fully grasp or understand what was being said. I remembered telling my children: "Ignorance is a silencer." I now have an educated, confident voice!
Any parting thoughts?
I really want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all the staff of the Clinical Trails Administration certificate. I am scheduled to sit for the Association of Clinical Research Professionals credential in clinical research coordination exam in September, and I plan on getting my BS after that. I feel like this is going to be a fantastic latter half of my life, and I am so grateful!