Alumni Spotlight: Rahaf Hamdan, Master’s in Drug Development Graduate

UC MSDD Alumni Working in Cell Culture Methods

Rahaf Hamdan is a Research Associate at Sarepta Therapeutics, a biotechnology company specializing in precision medicine where she develops, characterizes, and optimizes suspension cell culture methods suitable for clinical and commercial manufacturing of viral vectors.

UC Online recently talked with Rahaf about her career and experience at the University of Cincinnati and the Drug Development Programs. She provided her perspective on what she learned in the program and how it helped her in her drug development career.

Q: What motivated you to seek your MS?

I have always wanted to continue my education. Working in the pharmaceutical industry made me want to better understand the process of developing drugs to help patients and make an impact on their lives.

Q: Why did you select the Drug Development program?

I worked at a pharmaceutical company supporting cancer research, and I wanted to learn the detailed process of developing drugs from start to finish. I wanted to grow and do better to help patients in the best way possible therefore choosing this program sounded fit to me.

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

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Language and Culture at UC and enjoyed my time there. UC gave me the ability to meet new people with different backgrounds, experiences, and interests.

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

Managing school, work, and life was a challenge, but I knew it was worth it. My goal was to earn this degree, and that’s what kept me going. I knew that once it was over, I would look back and be proud of my success. I just had to work hard for two years and remember the reason I chose this route. I took classes after work, and on days that I didn’t have classes, I did my best to handle the schoolwork. I prioritized my tasks and spent most weekends studying since it was difficult to dedicate so much time on weekdays with working full time.

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

My favorite memory was bonding with the students and professors in the program: communicating and learning from them and listening to different points of view and experiences. Earning this degree, achieving my goals,  and becoming the person I am today to make my family proud is a proud moment for me.

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

This degree helped me better understand drug development in the pharmaceutical industry. It made me want to do so much more in my career, and my passion for helping patients has grown even more. After graduating, I started a new job three months later and showed the dedication I have by earning this degree while working full time and learning more about this field.

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

This program is good for any individual interested in drug development, and it works well for full-time employees because it allows us to manage school and work. For people interested in learning the science and regulations of drug development, this is the place to be.

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

This program is for professionals who want to learn and develop their careers in Drug Development and pharmaceuticals. If you see yourself supporting this field in any way and have a passion for learning, this is a great program. If you already work in the industry, it makes it a little easier to understand the process.

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

Online course work requires time and dedication. It is nice to have the opportunity to learn the coursework on your time to avoid stress and time conflict.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Good luck to the students in this program, and never give up! It is worth your time.

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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