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employee stories

Life as a Business Unit Director

David | Business Unit Director | London, UK | 9/23/2023

David, based in our London office, is a Business Unit Director on our Client Services team. Here, David discusses the people-driven nature of his role within our Marketing capability and what he enjoys most about working at Avalere Health.

What prompted you to pursue an opportunity in client services?

Honestly, I somewhat fell into the role! Early on, I hoped to pursue academia and teaching but was put off the idea while at university as it seemed a little slow-paced for me. A friend discovered the world of medical communications upon graduating and, like me, he was also seeking something more fast-paced with a scientific edge. He couldn’t recommend it enough and when I completed my master’s degree, I researched and settled on pursuing medical writing. I spent several years working in an editorial capacity—as a freelance proofreader and editor—and really enjoyed research and writing. When I started speaking with recruiters myself, they suggested client services as a good segue into the industry. I initially thought I may transfer over to a writer role, but I quickly found joy in my client services work as it suits my skillset and passions very well.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

I enjoy any opportunity in which I’m faced with a complex challenge that needs solving. Whether it’s internal or external, barriers to success always come with a spark of intrigue and excitement. I love that sense of fulfilment when you overcome an obstacle to achieve an important goal or milestone. I also relish brainstorming how the challenge can be approached, even if it takes several attempts. It feels like solving a puzzle—having to play around with different components until the solution is found!

What does it take to succeed in your role?

Since any role within client services is very heavily people-focused, it’s important to show empathy. Being able to understand the perspectives of others really helps you address their thoughts, feelings, and needs. It sounds simple, but I think there is so much potential to tap in to when you are able to truly connect with someone else. This doesn’t only apply to clients, but with colleagues, managers, and stakeholders too. Empathy makes problem solving so much easier, speeds up our ways of working, and ensures that everyone remains happy, motivated, and productive.

How have you developed your skill set since becoming a Business Unit Director (BUD)?

The main development I’ve experienced since becoming a BUD is taking greater initiative. As you progress in Client Services, there is a gradual increase in the responsibility and accountability required. As a BUD, I am actively encouraged to initiate and drive the innovation that I want to see in the business. It’s a very exciting position to be in, and one that demands faith and trust in my own ability to make the right decisions.

Why work for Avalere Health?

It’s inspiring to connect with, collaborate with, and learn from people who are immensely passionate about their work, highly ambitious, and motivated to engage with their colleagues and clients. There are some agencies that may suffer from hierarchies and corporate politics, but here at Avalere Health, it’s wonderfully refreshing to be in an environment where you’re encouraged to really thrive.

How would you describe the working environment at Avalere Health?

Our mission statement is “Better Health Happens When We Connect,” and it could not be more true! We all look out for one another, we’re invested in one another’s progression and development, and we always savor the opportunity to come together and celebrate our successes.

Avalere Health has phenomenal employee experience and well-being benefits. Support from our Career Experience, Diversity and Inclusion, and People teams (to name a few) ensure that employees feel well supported, respected, and encouraged to do their best, whatever that means for each individual. This is so important and provides immeasurable comfort to work at a company that offers real-world benefits and truly invests in your experience and priorities, both professionally and personally.

Which company value do you resonate with most, and why?

“We play for the team” resonates with me so much because I feel as though this epitomizes the Avalere Health mindset we all share. We look out for one another, lift each other up, and we get the best out of our team when we work together.

Do you have any advice for future Avalere Health applicants?

The best advice I can give is to be ambitious. This is the key to getting the most out of your time at Avalere Health. You’ll find that this makes your day-to-day work so much more focused and enjoyable, as it reframes problems and issues into something more constructive—it’s always a learning experience, and there are always opportunities to refine your craft. There are also plenty of projects and initiatives that you can get involved in outside of your day-to-day work, which will no doubt enrich your experience, introduce you to new people, and enable you to make new friends for life!

How do you manage your work-life balance?

I always use my calendar to protect the time that is most important to me and to ensure I take breaks throughout the day. I try to get out of the house/office for lunch whenever I can as it helps me feel refreshed and reset for the rest of the day. I’m also very much a morning person, so where possible, I prefer to tackle more demanding tasks during the morning, and leave the afternoon open for calls and meetings—a method known as “eat the frog,” which might be a helpful productivity concept to research.

After a busy work week, how do you unwind?

A strong, dry gin martini—every Friday at 5:30 PM! I’m a big foodie and enjoy a nice glass of wine, so I always like to unwind with some mindful cooking and settling down for a nice dinner with my husband. We tend to travel a lot during the weekends to see friends and family, which is always a great break from being at home, where we both work from much of the time. On a more restful weekend, we enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air of the Hertfordshire countryside. There’s nothing better to help reset the mind and emotions!

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