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Early Careers in Policy: Senior Associate

Owen | Senior Associate | 10/10/2023

Senior Associate

The Role

As a Senior Associate, you will conduct analyses that quantify the impact of policy and market changes and undertake qualitative and quantitative research on a diverse array of healthcare issues (ie, key informant interviews, white and gray literature searches, and more). Over time, you will begin to develop content expertise on a range of key healthcare issues and manage client relationships with limited oversight and present findings to client executives.

The Candidate

The main pathway to join our Policy team is through our Associate Immersion Program. An undergraduate or graduate degree in public health, public policy, public administration, business, statistics, economics, mathematics, or other related field is required to apply for this program.


Meet Owen, Senior Associate

What prompted you to pursue an opportunity as a senior associate?

As I approached the end of earning my master’s degree, I planned to enroll in medical school that fall. However, when the pandemic began, I decided to defer my enrollment and pursue work experience that would deepen my understanding of healthcare. Initially, I planned to work for just one year, but a few years in, I’m continuing to build a more comprehensive and well-rounded view of the healthcare sector through the transaction work (mergers and acquisitions) I am involved in on behalf of our clients.

Describe your role in three words.

Quantitative, detailed, fast-paced.

Describe your academic background and which transferable skills you have leveraged the most in your role.

An advisor once described my academic background as “eclectic,” which remains an accurate statement. I studied predominantly courses with an emphasis on neuroscience for my pre-med requirements, but I also took classes in public policy and medical humanities. Despite this, I was actually a comparative literature major, and my graduate degree is in philosophy! Beyond the medical and healthcare knowledge I gained through my science and policy coursework, my humanities and philosophy degrees taught me how to build rigorous frameworks for comparison and analysis. They equipped me to use both observation and logic to ask good questions, then to answer those questions with the right kind of evidence.

What are your top three tips for someone who may be looking for a career as a senior associate within a healthcare policy consultancy?

  1. Don’t assume that your background will either qualify or disqualify you from this type of work. It is not obvious that my academic background would match me to my current role, but the nature of my experience allows me to provide a perspective complementary to that of my colleagues.
  2. It’s important to have a passion for healthcare when working in this sector and also to bring a genuine curiosity to your role and the projects on which you work.
  3. It sounds simple, but a strong work ethic will get you far.

How would you describe your career experience at Avalere (a part of Avalere Health) so far?

My time at the organization has transformed my appreciation for the many ways an individual can contribute to healthcare. The healthcare sector is incredibly complex, but by supporting a variety of clients across teams, we are able to impart a more holistic perspective when it comes to improving patients’ lives.


Other entry-level roles in our Policy team includes: Research Associate.

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