Lequina Myles is a Class of 2021 Trojan graduating with a doctorate in regulatory science from USC Mann. Here, she shares how traveling to the Asia Pacific with her classmates and professors and interacting with regulators from around the world has been life-changing. Working full-time while studying full-time hasn’t been easy, she says, but “it’s doable if you pace yourself and plan.”
What originally attracted you to your field?
I have been in the life science industry for the last decade and I am currently the director of quality control of a logistics and supply chain company. I am intrigued by regulatory science because it is multi-layered: scientific (product development and discovery), public health (consumer and patient safety), business and strategy (product lifecycle management) and of course, regulatory (laws, compliance and quality).
How did you come to the decision to pursue your degree at USC?
I had been researching the DRSc program for quite some time. This program is the only doctoral program of its kind in the world, and it gave me the flexibility to work while going to school. The opportunities to travel abroad to the Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) were also attractive. Looking at the big picture, USC is a world-renowned university so I knew that I would get a quality education here and improve my skill set as a practitioner.
Now that your time at USC is coming to an end, what is one of your favorite memories of your time here? How do you feel your experiences at USC have prepared you for this next chapter in your life?
My favorite memory is of the two-week trip abroad to APAC (we did not visit EMEA because of the pandemic). During the trip, we went to Taiwan, China, Korea, and Japan, and met with industry stakeholders as well as regulators. Getting the hands-on global experience with regulators is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the entire trip was an eye-opening experience. Going through the doctoral program, more specifically, writing a dissertation and conducting my own research, has broadened my scope as a researcher. The process shows you how much dedication and stamina you have. I know the knowledge I have obtained will make me a more effective leader.
Can you tell us about your post-graduation plans? What are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to giving back to the industry. I hope to do more speaking engagements, conferences, and also continue to teach. In industry, I want to continue to move up the ranks and hopefully be a C-suite leader that can break barriers and make impactful changes.
Do you have any advice to the students who are following in your footsteps? Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Pace yourself and plan. You have to be in tune with yourself (your objectives and goals), and plan where you want to be in the short term and long term. Working full-time and being a full-time student is not easy, but it is doable. Also, take time for yourself and identify when you are feeling overwhelmed.