Premier People:
Catherine Jamin-Changeart, Project Manager, Oncology

Premier Cultural Anchor: Caring and Empathy

“At Premier Research, I really feel that I both receive and give caring and empathy every day.”

After twelve years of raising my family, I was ready to start working, but I had no experience—just a 12-year-old diploma in chemical engineering. I knew I wanted to do something related to science and discovered clinical trial work. I found a certification program, and within six months, I was a clinical research associate (CRA).

In my first two jobs, I enjoyed being a CRA, but the companies I worked for were large and impersonal. I wanted something different. Then, I learned of an opportunity at Premier Research. What first attracted me was the size. And during my interviewing process, I had a particularly excellent conversation with a manager who was very human and genuine; I really found that so refreshing. When he offered me the job, I was delighted—and very grateful. And I still am, because working here has been everything he said it would be.

This is the first company I have seen where we really live our values. Many companies have beautifully written values. When you read them, you say, “Oh yes, that’s a place for me.” But then you work there, and you are overloaded and stressed. You don’t even remember what the values are.

At Premier, I can feel caring and empathy every day. And maybe because I feel it, I can give it more to my teams as well. Of course, it does not mean that there are not challenging situations, because we have those also. But even then, the support and response that you get from the team makes all the difference.

If we took these same people and put them in another company, would the behavior be the same? I don’t know. I think it has to do with Premier, and the expectation of caring that permeates our culture.

Here’s an example of how we work together as one team: I have a teammate whose child has recently been diagnosed with a rare disease, and she is taking time off to focus on parenting. After our weekly group call, she usually creates the task lists and assignments for the coming days—which, of course, she can’t do when she’s away. She told her line manager that she could log in at night to listen to the recordings and send the lists out before the next work day. When the team heard that, we said absolutely not—that we could manage the task lists ourselves. We felt that she should take care of her child, and that we could take care of her.

Of course, the work itself is satisfying, too. As a CRA I was assigned to oncology studies by chance and found it so meaningful I wanted to stay in the area, so I applied to be a project manager. It’s very rewarding, both personally and professionally. Oncology studies are generally more complicated and intellectually interesting, so they give me the opportunity to push myself every day. More importantly, I really feel that what I am doing matters to society.

I entered the CRO industry after having raised my family, when I was just hoping to find any job that would be relevant to my scientific degree. At Premier, I feel I’ve come home to a work family that makes a difference in the world and shares my values of caring and empathy every day. That makes me very fortunate.