Career Spotlight: Sam McKenna

Career Spotlight with Sam McKenna

Sam McKenna, Records Management and Archiving, TauRx

What do you do at TauRx?

In Records Management and Archiving (RMA), we are responsible for maintaining all aspects of the Trial Master File (TMF) for TauRx studies. TMF is a regulatory requirement and is used to support any marketing authorisation application. As such, the TMF is an important part of any clinical trial; it’s basically a story of what you are doing in your trial and why you’re doing it. All trials should be able to be recreated using the TMF, to get the same results. Think of it like a book; if a page was missing, or the words or pages were in the wrong order, you wouldn’t be able to make sense of it or retell the story! My job is making sure all required documents are filed and the content is correct, complete and as it should be.

What does your typical day involve?

In my role, no two days are the same. Usually, I start by checking my emails, actioning anything urgent or adding tasks to my ever-growing to do list! My day-to-day tasks are planned around any scheduled meetings and a typical day can involve anything from replying to queries/requests from different functions, running reports for quality checks (QC) on TMF content, reviewing QC checklists, attending meetings or providing training sessions on RMA-related topics. I also work on drafting or reviewing TMF- or study-related documents and managing email communications received in study-designated mailboxes, which is part of the TMF.

Do you work mostly on your own or as part of team?

Most of my tasks I work on independently, but some aspects require review or input from other team members or TauRx colleagues. RMA are a small team and we meet regularly to discuss our ongoing tasks/projects and to share ideas. As a new-ish employee (I started in Oct 2020), I am still learning and have questions from time to time, so it’s great to have people I can go to for advice at any time!

What is it like socially to work for TauRx?

Like many people, I started my job during lockdown and I have yet to meet any of my colleagues! I still can’t quite believe I’ve yet to meet people face to face, as I talk regularly with so many of my colleagues, I feel like I’ve known some of them for ages (cliché, I know!). I’m looking forward to lockdown easing (like most people!) and getting to the office to meet people and discover the more social aspect of work.

What do you think are the most important skills for someone in your role to have?

There are obvious skills necessary for my role, such as a good eye for detail, working methodically and great project management skills. Flexibility is also key, as priorities can change daily. Aside from the skills required to review and process documents, being able to work as part of a team and have excellent communication skills is crucial. My role involves working with people from different departments and backgrounds, so being able to communicate effectively is very important – especially in the current remote working environment.