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Alumni

Georgios Christias

Career Path: Medical Regulatory Affairs Officer
Location:

Please tell us about your career path since leaving Northumbria

When I left Newcastle upon Tyne in June 2003, I returned to Greece in order to enjoy my summer holidays as a graduate! In September 2003, I came back to the UK. I was accepted as a postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow to do an MSc (Med Sci) of Medical Genetics. I stayed in Glasgow for 1 year, until September 2004, when I completed the course and received my masters degree in December 2004.

Following the above, I returned to Greece in order to fullfil my 1-year military service in the Navy. There, I was promoted from Sailor to Petty Officer after 4 months due to the above bachelor and masters degrees together with my knowledge in computers, and due to the fact that I speak 3 languages in addition to my native one. Then, I was given the chance to work in the Naval Hospital of Athens, and specifically in the Biochemistry/Immunochemistry dept. and Molecular Biology and Genetics dept. for 6 months. I completed my military service in January 2006. Then, I started to look for a job in both the pharmaceuticals area as well as in private hospitals and clinics.

Please tell us about your current job and what it involves

I was lucky to be offered a 4-month contract job (after attending 3 interviews at 3 pharmaceutical companies) at the Greek affiliate of Sanofi-Aventis, a multi-national pharmaceuticals company, as Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in the relative Clinical Research Unit covering a colleague that had left on maternity leave. After these 4 months, I got a 1-month contract extension to work as a CRA in Medical Affairs - Clinical Operations dept. Following the end of this extension, the Medical Director offered me a non-time-limited contract in the Regulatory Affairs dept. (belonging to Medical dept.) to work as a Regulatory Affairs Officer (RAO) back in December 2006. I have been working as a RAO since then, however, from 2007 until now I have also been appointed as a Pharmacovigilance Back-up person. Furthermore, in 2010 I also became a back-up person for Pharmaceutical-Technical Complaints Handling & Reporting (PTC H&R) as well as a Promotional Materials Officer. Since February 2013, I have been working as RAO & PTC H&R person/Pharmacovigilance back-up person, also acting as an administrator of our affiliate's promotional materials validation system.

What made you chose Northumbria University?

In 1999 I attended a private college for the preparation on the National exams to enter Greek Universities and Polytechnics. There, I was offered an extensive summer foundation course in order to be able to study at Northumbria University. 

Why did you choose to study in the UK?

I chose to study in the UK because of the globally recognised high educational level of its Universities, and due to the activities and possibilities that the UK offers, such as opportunities for travelling, attending concerts of famous bands, the big number of cinemas, theatres, sports camps, music clubs and various others.

What was your favourite thing about your course and/or Northumbria University?

I really enjoyed conducting experiments during the laboratory work, exercises, and the final lab project in the 3rd year during which I had a very good supervisor called Geoff Bosson (he was completing his 2nd PhD at the time, so his presence and his love for his and our work was just as inspiring as you can imagine).

What societies/activities did you take part in outside of your studies?

I joined the Sports Centre, and participated in one of the internal basketball tournaments arranged by the kind Sports staff. I took part in a lot of other activities, mainly travelling in the UK, going to concerts (I enjoyed a live of Paradise Lost), movies, and a lot of clubbing in the major clubs of Newcastle at that time, such as Foundation, Ikon, Baja Beach Club, The Boat, and Stereo.

How would you describe the city of Newcastle as a place to live and study?

I have visited many European cities in my life, so I can say that Newcastle is one of the best destinations for a student, as it has so many things to offer.

In one sentence, sum up your time here at Northumbria

I had 3 of the best years of my life at Newcastle, as I left my country when I was eighteen to study there, something that gave me a lot of nice experiences.

If you have one, please describe a fond or positive memory of your time at Northumbria

Newcastle is full of people of different origins, so somebody can get in touch with so many different cultures and make friends they can keep through life, something I find very exciting.  

What professional achievement are you most proud of since leaving university?

My current position at Sanofi.

What career objectives do you still have?

Perhaps I could be Head of my department someday in the future, or even become a Medical Manager, or a Product Manager.

How have your experiences at Northumbria University helped your life and career so far?

Too many to mention, but lets say as a reference that the way of teaching and supervising provide me with the way of thinking as well as the proper tools in order to be able to manage and overcome any obstacles that arise both in life and in my career.

What advice would you give students who wish to pursue a similar career to yours?

Go for it. It is so interesting and evolving that you will never feel bored. However, you have to choose the specialty which best suits you but that is also attractive to you. Do not choose to do something because it looks interesting for others, but only if it is interesting for you. In this way, it will be absolutely your choice, which you will support and put all your efforts into.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying at Northumbria University?

I would say that he/she is thinking cleverly as Northumbria might be a relatively new University, however, it has a plan for the future and the adequately skilled staff to become one of the best in the days to come.

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