Choosing a career is never easy – at least, it wasn’t for me! Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher, an actress, a businesswoman…, but the one consistency was my innate curiosity about things, particularly about nature. From there, I evolved an ever-growing passion for science, and a belief in the importance of an educated and communicative society. Growing up in Brazil I saw a lot of inequality; because of that I wanted security, a good salary and benefits, a job where I could relocate if I needed or wanted to and, most importantly, a good work–life balance so that I could travel and once again have hobbies that I enjoyed growing up, like dancing and playing tennis.
When I had to make a choice, I decided to pursue science and nature. I ended up with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in microbiology and infection. I then began to search for work in the pharmaceutical industry, and this was when I came across MedComms. At first, I considered medical writing roles; however, it quickly became clear that a career in project management would be a better fit for me.
To me, a big part of finding the right path to pursue was to understand my own personality and how I function best in day-to-day life. I am the kind of person who always has to-do lists, who enjoys organising things, budgeting and multitasking. I have also always been the friend that people come to for a chat and some advice, and although I can be shy sometimes, my favourite activities involve interacting in groups. I often find that other project managers have similar personalities to me – after all, the way I have just described myself is also how I would describe my job!
A career in project management is quite exciting in the sense that each day in the job is never the same – some days you spend more time doing financial tasks, such as invoicing; other days you spend most of the day liaising with all the different teams involved in your projects to make sure everything is going to plan; and other days your time goes into client calls, discussing ongoing and planned work, and their timelines.
As an industry, MedComms will always have a job for you. Most agencies offer good benefits, work–life balance and a progression path. However, I found that a lot of MedComms agencies have a fixed structure with a single-path progression and an overall hierarchical attitude towards work, where each individual has their own fixed role, with very little collaboration between different roles and opportunities to learn and progress only after you have been in a role for a number of years.
It was Fishawack’s unique structure and team-approach to work that really stood out to me. Unlike most companies, Fishawack has what I see as a fluid and ’web-like’ structure, where teams are tailored both to clients’ needs and to team members’ career interests and skills, resulting in a web of different roles and career paths. With tailored training and progression, and a collaborative approach to work, I feel I have really found the right career for me at Fishawack – as cheesy as this may sound, I am very happy and proud to be a part of this pack!
This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, The business of medical communications: a guide to getting started in account management, published January 2022
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