Kimberly Anderson: Climbing the career ladder

Kimberly Anderson knows what it means to climb the career ladder one rung at a time. At 16 years old, Anderson started working part time at PEGUS Research as way to pay for a car accident she was in. Fast forward 18 years, and Anderson has risen through the ranks at PEGUS Research to become vice president of clinical operations. She joined the company in its call center, but loved the work and the company so much she completed a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in public health in order to progress within the firm.

“In order to further my career, I had to have the educational background to complement my work experience and that was the impetus for me to grow bigger and do better things and not to get stuck in the same rut,” Anderson says.

PEGUS Research conducts clinical research in the Rx-to-OTC (over-the-counter) switch process. “The drugs we work with have a long history with prescription use and we observe if people can safely use these medicines without a doctor’s prescription,” she says.

It’s a very specialized profession, and Anderson is one of a small handful of research consultants in this field. At PEGUS, she oversees project support that includes data management as well as regulatory and site coordination, the area of the company responsible for coordinating with pharmacies where consumers typically purchase OTC products. A few years ago, she was the lead project manager and consultant on the switch of Oxytrol for Merck.

Anderson admits she never had her sights set on this career path—instead, she stumbled upon it and realized she really enjoyed it. “The first job I had at PEGUS was working in the call center doing phone surveys. From there, I became the receptionist and started getting my feet wet and learning the different things PEGUS does, then I moved into site coordination and eventually project management,” she recalls.

What Anderson likes most about her job is that every day is a challenge. “Every study we work on is a test of sorts and it is not the same thing every single day,” she says. All of the drugs PEGUS works with have different indications, so each study has to be designed differently to meet different objectives. “There are different ways you have to design a study in order to get the exact population you need, and that requires crafting each study in different ways,” she says.

These days, Anderson’s 18-month-old daughter keeps her on the run. “She takes up a lot of my time but in the best way,” she says. “Our family enjoys being outdoors as much as possible and we do a lot of hiking, camping and bike riding.”