Have you ever felt pigeonholed in your career? Wanted to make a change but weren’t sure if you would suit a new role?

Progressing or shifting one’s career in the bio-pharmaceutical industry can be a challenging and uncertain path to travel. Roles and sectors can feel rigid. Some find that once they settle into a certain position, they feel locked in. 

We here at Veramed don’t believe in pigeonholing employees, nor do we expect straight-lined career paths. We understand that everyone has their own journey. It’s one the reasons we developed our Statistician Types. We believe it’s important for candidates to find a role that truly suits them and, within that role, have the ability to diversify their skills and explore new interests.

So, when it came to showcasing our Technical Statistician type, Otis Rimmer, Senior Statistician II at Veramed, felt like the perfect fit. Joining Veramed in 2020, Otis is a great example of someone who changed career paths and diversified their day-to-day role. We sat down with him to find out more.

What sparked your interest in becoming a Statistician originally?

As much as I’d like to say it was always a passion, I was close to finishing my Maths BSc and hadn’t really put much thought into the next step. I saw that Southampton was offering places for a Masters in Statistics with Applications in Medicine and thought it sounded better than job-seeking! But it wasn’t a straight path to being a Statistician. I was actually a  Programmer for roughly 2 years before deciding I should actually use my masters! Once I switched over I knew I’d made the right decision. 

What did you learn transitioning from being a Programmer to a Statistician? 

Over time, I really began to see and appreciate the variability, responsibility and interesting work that Statisticians do. As a Statistician you have more decisions and responsibility resting on you – it certainly keeps things interesting! 

What got you into working as a Technical Statistician specifically?

I’ve always liked the hands-on programming aspect of the job, and didn’t want to lose that as I progressed as a Statistician. Being a Technical Statistician offers more balance between the more “document-focused” Statistician, who does SAPs and Protocols, etc., and the programming side, which appealed greatly to me. 

Do you consider yourself purely a Technical Statistician?

No. I also work as a Project Lead Statistician, which requires protocol input, SAP/Shell writing and answering various statistical queries for the study. I also program a fair bit, which can be a relatively simple AE table one day and Multiple Imputation the next! 

How have you progressed as a Statistician at Veramed?

My technical statistical skills have definitely improved; one example being the first time doing a sample size calculation which was a little daunting but really interesting! I’m also one of the SAS SMEs on the client team I work with so the programming has not fallen to the wayside.

What does your typical working day at Veramed look like?

There isn’t really one, which is precisely what I want – at the time of writing, for the past few days I’ve been writing up SAP/Shells and validating tables with statistical content for some post-hoc analyses (and debating merits of said statistical techniques). I also do a fair amount of mentorship, currently for 1 Programmer and 2 Statisticians so I will occasionally have some meetings to help out/explain. 

Why do you like working at Veramed?

I like the varied and diverse workload. Veramed are very good at preventing you from falling into a rut and they’re willing to push you (in a good way!) to better yourself. I also  have a very good work-life balance, which is quite rare in CROs.

How do you see your career progressing as a Statistician?

My aim is to be well rounded in both the Project Lead Statistician and Technical Lead – with the Technical Lead you need to be able to handle anything thrown at you which will over time make you very well rounded in all aspects of the Statistician role.

What Statistician type could you be? Click below to learn more about the types and the roles we’re currently hiring.

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