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Life as a Scientific Project Lead

Guillermina | Scientific Project Lead | United Kingdom | 9/24/2023

Guillermina works as a Scientific Project Lead in our Medical team. Here, she shares what inspired her to pursue a career in medical communications and what she finds most rewarding about her role.

What prompted you to pursue an opportunity in medical communications?

After completing my PhD and post-doc, I started to feel I was not impacting patients’ lives in a meaningful way. I enjoyed mentoring students and communicating about science at conferences more than spending my days behind a bench in the lab. I heard about medical communications (med comms) from a colleague and thought that it sounded like an amazing opportunity—a way to present scientific information that’s robust but simple to understand. I applied for a job as a medical writer at Avalere Health, and the rest is history!

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

The most rewarding part of being a medical writer is the impact you can have on people’s lives. We work closely with our clients to make novel, pertinent data available to patients, doctors, and other stakeholders, which can enhance people’s quality of life. Too often patients feel a disconnect with the information provided to them on their specific illness or disease, and closing that gap with solid research and empathy can make all the difference. I find a lot of purpose in playing a small part in this process.

It is also fascinating to interact with people who are so knowledgeable in their field—experts and patients alike. It gives me an opportunity to learn, too, and improve my ability to communicate effectively with others. I’m honored that I have the chance to present information to various stakeholders across many areas of the healthcare industry. It keeps me in touch with my love for teaching, as well as my thirst for knowledge and understanding the science behind important discussions.

What are the key highlights of your week at Avalere Health?

The highlight of each week will vary from one to the next, and this is what makes the job so enjoyable. I find myself working on a variety of projects; sometimes I’m generating content for new initiatives or research studies, and other times I’m reviewing content and mentoring junior writers on how to tackle the different deliverables across multiple sectors. I also play a role in strategic planning, working in partnership with our clients, which I find very fulfilling and purposeful. I get the chance to be involved in the entire life cycle of a program that directly connects to stakeholders and has a larger impact on the industry as a whole.

Why work for Avalere Health?

I have been given space to express myself and many opportunities to grow. The career path at Avalere Health is not viewed as a ladder, but a climbing wall—side steps are welcome, and one can move to different departments and exercise different talents, which means you will have the flexibility to pursue your own unique career goals. There are people from many backgrounds in any given team, making the workplace at Avalere Health inclusive and fun. People are respectful and mindful, and the teams are friendly, approachable, and honest. You’ll find people at this company who want to help you achieve success.

Do you have any advice for future applicants?

If you are curious about life in med comms, get in touch, especially if you like to express your thoughts and communicate them to others. Medical writing involves consistency and constant education—if you have a thirst for knowledge and a love of helping others learn, you’ll always find fulfillment in the role.

How do you manage your work-life balance?

Since I work remotely, I try to plan activities or other fun things to do after work, ensuring I fully switch off from work at the end of the day. It is not always easy, with things being so dynamic in our industry, but sufficient breaks are very important to avoid feeling overwhelmed. It’s also important to check in with your team. We work collaboratively at Avalere Health and pull together to deliver great projects, so another effective way for me to switch off is to make sure I have everything I need from my team and vice versa.

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