Ankur, based in Canada, is a Senior Project Manager in our Marketing team. Here, he reflects on his career journey, how his role in project management plays to his strengths, and what he values most about working for Avalere Health.
What led you to a career in Project Management?
Despite starting my career in Finance followed by Telecom, I always possessed a keen interest in Marketing. Upon completion of my MBA, I accepted a role as a Project Coordinator, allowing me the opportunity to assess whether this was something I would be well-suited to. Not long after accepting the offer, I realized I had all the necessary skills to work in project management but more importantly, the role provided me an opportunity to work on solving challenges, strategizing new ideas, and conducting organized plans, which were all things I really enjoyed. Over the years, my role in project management evolved from Pharma market research to advertising, and last year I landed my current role within the Marketing team at Avalere Health. It feels like I’ve come full circle!
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
As a Project Manager, your team relies on you to ensure all projects run smoothly from inception to creation. I find it really rewarding, and a privilege, to be that key person my team can rely on, as it demonstrates the immense trust they place in me and my instincts. It’s a goal of mine to always add value to any project work I’m involved in and be an asset to whichever team I’m working with. Knowing that I have the trust of a team of people behind me allows me to be a better planner, a better project manager, and a better leader.
What does it take to succeed in your role?
There are many skills required to be a successful Project Manager. We are constantly adapting and donning various hats as the situation demands. A capable Project Manager continuously focuses on developing their planning, leadership, communication, and organizational skills.
In my experience, every Project Manager should be prepared with at least a Plan A, B, and C to sufficiently support their teams in any given situation. Through effective leadership, they can help guide a team to achieve its common objective, and since they are the central hub of all activities across a team, their communication must be clear, concise, timely, and shared with all appropriate stakeholders. Finally, a Project Manager is often required to coordinate tasks that have conflicting priorities. It’s crucial to be able to identify and segregate them by level of urgency and re-prioritize them as necessary throughout the day or week.
How would you describe the working environment at Avalere Health?
I have worked across three different teams during my time at Avalere Health and throughout each experience, I have come across talented individuals who are a pure joy to work with. The overall culture is incredibly supportive and collaborative, as we all strive to help one another achieve our common goal of making better health happen for all. Managers provide regular check ins, offer invaluable guidance, and if you ever feel you require additional support with your workload, they will find the necessary recourses to assist you.
Which company value do you resonate most with, and why?
Whilst I am proud of all our values, the one I resonate with the most is “We are authentic”. Ever since I joined Avalere Health, I have been encouraged to show my true authentic self and have felt completely welcomed and accepted by everyone. Unlike in my previous roles, I have never felt the need to hold back my opinions, fearing they may impact negatively on my career. Avalere Health has shown that it embraces people with different ideas and thought processes and because of this, we are able to work in an environment that shows the utmost respect to its employees.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
Setting clear expectations of my working hours with my manager coupled with my full commitment to work during business hours helps ensure I maintain my work-life balance. When I am working, I am fully committed to my role and responsibilities, and when I’m finished for the day, I am fully offline. There is also a mutual trust and respect between me and my manager that if there is important work that requires an additional hour or two on my end, I will be ready to do it. Equally, if I have any personal commitments that needs me to be away from my computer during business hours, my team will be there to cover for me.