I joined the allegro.WRITE entry-level training programme as an associate medical writer with Ashfield MedComms in October 2018. After completing a masters in translational oncology, with a brief stint at a pharma company on work experience, I was searching for a career where I could stay close to the science, but also work with others in a collaborative and creative environment. allegro.WRITE appealed to me because the structured programme enabled fast-tracked progression, with ongoing development opportunities during the initial 8-week training phase, two 5-month rotations and beyond.
During my first year with Ashfield, I completed rotations within two teams – a small haematology oncology account involving a mixture of publications and medical affairs, and a much larger publications account working on an ErbB-family blocker for solid tumours. Supporting different teams and clients on a range of projects was an invaluable experience. Throughout the year, with the help of the allegro.WRITE team’s network of mentors, advisors and alumni, I developed the wide range of skills required to be a medical writer.
At the end of the 12-month allegro.WRITE programme, I re-joined the team from my first rotation as a medical writer, working on a range of different publications and medical affairs activities. With the support of the team, I have had the opportunity to work on a range of exciting projects, all the while keeping a focus on development and career progression. One of the most rewarding parts of the job has been mentoring a new allegro.WRITE writer in their first 5-month rotation; this gave me the first step towards a management role and helped me to discover my passion for mentoring.
In June 2021, Ashfield launched allegro.EXCEL, an individualised programme that allows senior medical writers to accelerate their career development towards scientific director. allegro.EXCEL has three pathways (content, strategy and team). Through training, mentoring and in-role assignments you can shape your career into a role that plays to your strengths and interests. I began the allegro. EXCEL programme as soon as it launched and have already seen the benefits of the fantastic training and mentoring support. My interests are primarily in the ‘team’ pathway, but I have also been able to attend training and gain experience in strategy and, of course, content development.
In January of this year, I was promoted to associate scientific director. I am really enjoying my role; I am involved in both training and mentoring within the team, as well as strategy and planning on the client side. Whether it’s mentoring new writers, planning how we can deliver activities with the highest impact for healthcare professionals or discussing new data with colleagues, clients and key opinion leaders, no 2 days are the same; for me, that is the best part about working in MedComms.
This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, From academic to medical writer: a guide to getting started in medical communications, published March 2022.
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