VLAB’s Avery Hamm Offers Words of Wisdom on Digital Transformation in Clinical Trials & More

Avery P. Hamm, a graduate of Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business, recently volunteered as a VLAB Event Chair for the panel titled “The Impact of Technology on Clinical Trials: Will AI and Mobile Create Cures Faster?” which is taking place at Stanford Faculty Club on October 15.

It was a smart move on his part. He is really into the topic, seems to know a lot about it from past internships and is looking for his first job out of college. I recently chatted with him about hot M&A trends, his favorite SCU professor, lessons learned from his most memorable internship, his dream job and what sparked his interest in the panel topic.

Here’s what he had to say:

Michelle: Where did you learn about VLAB? What was your first event like?

Avery: I learned about VLAB from my dad (VLAB executive David Hamm). I took charge of demo table coordination for the February ICO event, with my first official volunteered event in January 2018. After a successful ICO event, VLAB Chair Dana encouraged me to participate as a future Event Chair.

Michelle: What fascinates you about the digital transformation of clinical trials?

Avery: I went to the doctor, and while there, I kept noticing issues with their electronic health record system and integrating personalized medicine. That’s what got me interested in pitching an event in healthcare. After a refinement in focus, it’s now on digital transformation in clinical trials. What’s amazing is the potential of companies to change patients’ lives through targeted cures. There are many problems in process, project management, time horizon mismatch, ROI viability and technology integration. While cost savings is a huge draw for businesses, for many innovating in the industry positive outcomes for patients are just as important.

Michelle: Your LinkedIn profile says you are looking for a new job; this would be your first one after college. What does your dream job look like?

Avery: I hope to join a company whose focus is the improvement of the human condition via technology, which values solving major societal problems. I thrive in dynamic, collaborative environments, where excellent leadership and foundational integrity are accepted norms. I have experience in multiple industries, including pharmaceutical manufacturing, SaaS, accounting and Information Technology, but am interested in a range of sectors.

Michelle: You studied M&A in school. What’s a hot M&A trend?

Avery: In my opinion, M&A today, for technology-centered companies, is rooted in IP and IP talent. Transformational technologies like the internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning, and companies which have a unique approach to their application are targets for acquisition. All these areas of innovation will allow better integration of digital technology with human experience. This is hopefully what will be achieved in clinical trials.

Michelle: Tell the VLAB readers one thing you learned from your most memorable internship.

Avery: Don’t let others’ failures define your success, a common phrase often misunderstood and which without strong leadership means little. You have both an ethical and professional responsibility to empower those around you for success. The most successful companies in Silicon Valley seek to cultivate potential professional growth and technical skills. 

Michelle: Who was your favorite professor at Santa Clara University and why?

Avery: My favorite Professor was Donald Davis who teaches Capital Money Management, Ethics and Finance, and Investments courses at SCU. He believes that the best way to learn something is to establish an inherent understanding in a topic and, as you learn more, in making the essential and interactive connections clear, while still separating principal from practicum. This approach extends beyond Finance and can be applied to learning any topic where a reinforced knowledge base enables you to do more dynamic analysis, an invaluable skill in business. Most importantly, he represents the foundational Jesuit values that are the hallmark of a Santa Clara University education.

Michelle: What is your philosophy of work and/or life?

Avery: I have three fundamental beliefs. First, I believe in foundational integrity: mean what you say, and say what you mean, and be steadfast in taking action on the promises you make and responsibilities to which you have committed. This extends to clear open communication, not only holding others accountable to their word, but holding yourself accountable — no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable. Second, I believe that everything has best practices of approach. By understanding the most innate aspects of any task or topic and by taking a clear and an appropriately detailed-oriented approach you set yourself up for success. Third, A popular phrase in business today is “less is more” but usually, less is just less and more is more. By caring, and paying the time upfront, you, in fact, maximize efficiency. Because of my life view and my ability to find lessons across disciplines, I often bring to the table a well-balanced perspective informed from multiple angles and focused on what is most important.

Michelle: Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

Avery: One of the main themes you’ve had throughout this interview is my youth but I don’t think that matters at all. Age is pretty much what we make of it. What I am trying to say, is that it is our approach to life, authenticity and sense of self that defines us, and what we can achieve — not our age.



Michelle McIntyre is a VLAB blogger and Silicon Valley publicist. She’s @FromMichelle on Twitter

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