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At PPD, No Two Days Are the Same

Hear about the career of Michelle Wilson, senior programmer analyst II, biostatistics, a home-based employee out of Belshill, Scotland.

Why did you decide to join PPD?

Part of my degree at the university included several statistical and programming modules. I enjoyed working through these modules and realized this was the type of work I would like to get involved in. I decided to pursue a career in programming and was initially attracted to PPD as it is a global CRO that plays a key role in the development of important life-changing therapies. Being able to choose a career that I enjoyed, while also being part of the infrastructure to support and develop important life changing therapies, made a huge difference to people’s health and really was a big win for me.

Can you give us an outline of your PPD career path to date?

I joined PPD in August 2011 straight from the university as an associate programmer analyst. I was initially enrolled in several months of intensive training before being moved onto project work. In my second year I was given the opportunity to work as lead programmer on a smaller stand-alone study and I was also promoted to a programmer analyst role. After gaining more experience leading data management (DM) stand-alone studies and being involved in some work supporting full-service biostats studies, I moved into the programmer analyst II role. I lead my first full-service study and moved into a senior programmer role in April 2016. In April 2018, I moved into my current position of senior programmer analyst II.

What have been the important factors that have made you want to develop your career at PPD rather than anywhere else?

I have enjoyed the challenges my role provides at PPD and feel there are always opportunities for me to develop my role and career. I have received great training to support my development and have always had strong backing from my line manager to help me achieve my goals. Every day is different at PPD, and I enjoy working on the many different tasks my role encompasses. I also enjoy the culture within the PPD office and feel everyone works together as a team to ensure we always deliver!

How has your career journey at PPD been challenging and rewarding for you?

I am still learning and enjoying new experiences at PPD, even after eight years! This keeps me engaged and motivated. Having the opportunity to work alongside so many different types of people from all around the world makes the role a little more challenging but also much more interesting. We all have a common goal and work hard to ensure we meet our deadlines and offer our customers a positive experience.

What are the things you enjoy most about working at PPD?

I enjoy the variety the role offers. PPD offers many different career paths and opportunities to ensure their employees are challenged and motivated. Alongside study work, I am part of the pharmacovigilance auto-notification report team. Over the last year I have been involved in developing new study programs/macros. This has provided me with the opportunity to develop my programming skills as well as my problem-solving abilities. I have really enjoyed the experience of taking on something new. I have also had the chance to attend bid-defense meetings, which has been a new experience for me. I enjoy these opportunities and the chance to enhance my skill set.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a programmer?

PPD will offer you a great insight into the contract research organization (CRO) world. They offer onsite training, mentors to support your learning and a wider network of enthusiastic colleagues who are always happy to share their knowledge or offer some guidance. The resourcing team always ensure you are given work that suits your skillset but also offers the opportunity to learn and grown within your role and help you achieve your goals. No two days are the same at PPD and each new week brings challenges that are both rewarding and enjoyable. You will be surrounded by people who are leaders in their field, thus allowing you to learn from the best!

To learn more about career opportunities in our biostatistics and programming with PPD, visit to view opportunities across our global regions.