Alumni Spotlight: Gloria Chen, Master’s in Drug Development Graduate

MSDD Graduate Focusing on Health Economics and Outcome Research

Yiyu (Gloria) Chen is a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota. UC Online recently talked with Gloria about her recent experience at the University of Cincinnati and the Drug Development Program. She provided her perspective on the program and how it helped prepare her for future goals in Health Economics and Outcome Research.

Q: What motivated you to seek your MS?

I wanted to get a more in-depth understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences and drug development process since I would like to work in a pharmaceutical company in the future.

Q: Why did you select the Drug Development program?

I was looking for a program that could provide me an overall understanding of the drug development process. The MSDD program provided the courses and training that I wanted. Besides, it was a flexible program. They provided hybrid coursework designed for minimal disruption to students’ schedules, and they provided various choices of students’ research directions. Students can focus on lab or regulatory.

Q: Why did you select UC and are you happy with your choice?

I was considering study abroad at that time since the US has the most pharmaceutical companies in the world. I wanted to learn how those companies operate and how the FDA regulates the drug development process. However, master’s programs usually focus on limited research directions, either on pharmaceutical sciences or on data analysis. The MSDD program provided hybrid courses, so students can have an overall understanding of drug development and choose their research interest.

I am happy with my choice. I got to learn HEOR (Health Economics and Outcome Research) through the MSDD program, which I didn’t have in China. After I took some courses in HEOR, I found my research interest, and I decided to pursue my Ph.D. degree in this field. Without the MSDD program, I would not have discovered my real interest.

Q: How did you handle the school, work, life balance while in the program?

In 2017, UC collaborated with Xiamen University (top 10 schools in China). I was lucky to be admitted to this collaborative program. In the first year of the program, we studied in China using materials from UC. In the beginning, it was hard to catch up. It took a semester to get familiar with US education.

Even though I took online courses, I still had good communication with people at UC through email. Some professors even flew to China and met us. The second year I went to the US and since I already had a one-year learning experience, it was much easier for me to handle school and life.

Q: What is a favorite memory or a proud moment you had during the MSDD program?

My proudest moment was the day I finished my capstone presentation, and then several days later I received my Ph.D. offer from the University of Minnesota. I cannot believe I could finish all these things in one year and I am so proud of myself.

Q: How has your degree helped you in your career?

My master’s degree has helped me to get my Ph.D. offer in the HEOR program, and it has helped me find a summer internship at AbbVie during my first year of Ph.D. study. It has also helped me quickly get familiar with my Ph.D. studies.

Q: Who is the MSDD program a good fit for?

The MSDD program is a good fit for people who are interested in the drug development process and want to pursue a position in pharmaceutical companies. It is also suitable for people who are considering drug-related work, but not sure about their research interest. Additionally, since it provides online courses, it is a good choice for people who are not full-time students.

Q: Do you have any advice for future students looking into the MSDD program?

My advice is to utilize the resources as much as possible. The MSDD program provides multiple choices for your own research and various opportunities for your career development. Ask for them! Besides, professors are more than happy if you want to do some research. So, if you are interested in their research direction, feel free to set up a meeting with them.

Q: For someone who may have never taken an online course before, how would you describe the experience?

Online courses do not mean there is no interaction between students and professors. You can still build relationships with your classmates and professors. Besides, you can have a self-paced learning experience and watch the course repeatedly.

Learn More About the Drug Development Programs with UC Online

The Pharmaceutics and Drug Development program from the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy is truly flexible and fully online. Accelerate your career while gaining a clearer vision of drug development for all phases of research from regulatory, pre-clinical to clinical, and beyond with a program built for busy working professionals in the field.

Learn More about the Drug Development program with UC Online

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