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Regulating a career

A master’s degree in regulatory affairs gave Manish Patel a head start in the rapidly growing industry. Photo by Rick Friedman.

On co-op for a Minnesota-based medical device company called St. Jude Medical, Manish Patel, CPS’11, drafted a technical dossier for an intravascular imaging catheter, an assignment that he called a “dream project.”

“Co-op gave me the opportunity to implement strategies and apply theoretical knowledge that I learned in the classroom and helped me to better understand the various facets of regulatory affairs,” said Patel, a graduate of the College of Professional Studies’ Master of Science program in regulatory affairs for drugs, biologics and medical devices. “Practical experience is pivotal to success in regulatory affairs.”

He should know. Last spring, Patel got a job as a regulatory compliance analyst for the Michigan-based Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies.

Patel — who was drawn to the field of regulatory affairs because of its rapid expansion around the world — said Northeastern’s program offers prospective students the best overall package in terms of curriculum, course offerings and experiential-learning opportunities.

More than 1,100 students from 59 countries are currently enrolled. “Not a week goes by that I don’t get an email from a major company or recruiter begging for our graduates,” said program director Eric Kupferberg.

The university’s global approach to regulatory affairs attracted Patel to the program. “Northeastern’s curriculum is unique in that it covers regulatory affairs issues all around the world,” he said.

The program’s highly flexible, hybrid education model enabled Patel to complete his degree remotely while extending his co-op at St. Jude. His degree, he said, has been directly applicable to his career: “It has given me an edge in the job market and prepared me well to implement strategies to navigate products through an increasingly complex regulatory environment.”

Patel would like to use his expertise to transform health care abroad. Noting that scientific breakthroughs will transform the regulatory landscape, he said, “I’d like to use my experience and education to work toward improving health care regulations for patients across the globe.”

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