In honour of the Champlain Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, the college has followed up with 50 of its alumni to see where their paths have led after their time in Cegep. These 50 former students have gone on to accomplish amazing things and their paths show just how much is possible for a Champlain grad.
Judith Caron is a medical science liaison at AstraZeneca and a lifelong learner.
Judith Caron (Pure and Applied Science, 1993) works as a medical science liaison at AstraZeneca where she combines both her experience in scientific research and business administration.
In her role, Judith educates health professionals on new data and products coming from the pharmaceutical industry.
“You have the science part, so you’re always challenged. Plus, you have the business part where you support the commercial and marketing side of the business,” she said.
Judith has a PhD in Human Genetics from McGill University and has worked with several companies either in research or in the pharmaceutical industry as a scientific expert.
“If there’s one thing that I need to do in my life, it’s continuous learning,” she said. “I always need to be challenged and I need to learn every single day.”
For Judith, her Cegep days represented the first chance she had to study in English. She recalls being inspired by “passionate teachers that went out of their way” to support student learning.
“Normally in Cegep, it’s more anonymous, but not at Champlain. The teachers took time with me (a big kudos to the physics teachers!) and I really appreciated that.”
Her studies continued at Concordia University where Judith completed a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry. She went on to do a Master’s in Microbiology and biotechnology at Université du Québec – Institut national de la recherche scientifique.
“I had a certain passion for research,” said Judith. “I really liked working in a lab.”
In 2005, Judith obtained her PhD at McGill followed by a post doc at Université de Montréal in Virology.
Once she’d completed her studies, Judith wasn’t sure what she wanted to do but she felt academia wasn’t the right place for her.
She started working in a small contractual research organization (ArthroLab) managing pre-clinical and clinical trials in both animals and humans focusing on osteoarthritis.
She wanted to understand the business side to complement her scientific background so, in 2009, Judith started an MBA at HEC Montreal part-time.
After five years at ArthroLab, Judith went to work as the Director of Programs for CQDM (Consortium de recherche biopharmaceutique) — a public/private funding research consortium.
In 2015, Judith began working as a medical science liaison for AstraZeneca.
Judith said she’s grateful that she discovered the role she’s in now which allows her to keep her habit as a lifelong learner.
“I didn’t expect to be in this job for a long time, but I love it. I didn’t know it existed way back when, but I’m happy that I finally did” she said.
Judith’s advice for current students and recent grads: “You might have different careers throughout your lifetime. You don’t need to choose the rest of your life right away. Try to not put so much pressure on yourself. You got this. I was told a few times ‘you won’t be able to do this, you won’t be able to do that. You know what? Don’t let people get you down.”