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employee stories

Life as an Executive Design Director

Simón | Executive Design Director | Missouri, US | 9/21/2023

Simón, based in our St Louis office, works as an Executive Design Director at Avalere Health. Here, he discusses how his career has evolved within the organization and why he enjoys the collaborative nature of his role.

How did you end up in your current role?

I began my career as an Art Director with one of Avalere Health’s legacy brands and sustained the role for almost eight years. With a background in graphic design, I have always approached projects with that perspective, learning how to adjust my work accordingly for each brief I receive. When the opportunity arose to embark on a new role within the organization, I decided to focus on my passion for design. I was fortunate enough to have had a leadership team that supported and shared my purpose, allowing a transition to my current role as Executive Design Director to lead our Creative Design team with a focus on branding, high-end design, creative concepting, and layout.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

My team, hands down. Working with a group of such talented and creative designers makes leading the team so successful. Providing opportunities for them to design through their perspectives, see their ideas come to life, and watch them grow as creatives is what I enjoy most. Outside of my team, I love that the types of projects I work on are constantly evolving. Due to how the Creative Design team functions within the organization, we are always working with new teams, clients, and projects, which keeps our jobs refreshing and motivating.

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

I value spending my time brainstorming, discussing, and reviewing ongoing projects with my team members. I’m always learning through their work, and love the collaborative nature of these internal check-ins. They also provide an opportunity for me to connect with my team on an individual level, particularly with those who I don’t get to work with in person as often. 

Why work for Avalere Health?

Being with the company for so many years, I can confidently say Avalere Health has always supported both my professional and personal development at every step of the way. The Career Experience team provides the necessary tools and processes to enable me to focus on my job at a high level. I am also very fortunate to have met so many talented and fun people during my time here and am inspired by working and connecting with like-minded colleagues every day.

How would you describe the working environment at Avalere Health?

There is a real sense of community at Avalere Health, particularly when it comes to helping and supporting one another. Despite the many clients and internal disciplines we serve, there is an understanding that we share a lot of the same needs and concerns. We trust and respect one another’s talents and roles. I feel valued by the different teams I work with and am often included in design project discussions to ensure a successful collaboration between stakeholders and my team.

How do you manage your work-life balance?

As a manager, I not only take my work-life balance seriously, but my team’s as well. I always plan our workload in advance with each team member to ensure that no one feels overwhelmed and that we work toward realistic expectations.

Most importantly, I ensure that we all take short breaks throughout the day and disconnect at the end of the day and on weekends. Having time to mentally switch off has become increasingly important in the world of remote and mobile working. At Avalere Health, we have a collective responsibility to support one another to avoid any possible feelings of burnout.

What do you do outside of working hours?

Instagram … a lot of Instagram! I find a breadth of content on the platform that inspires me, teaches me new creative trends and techniques, or simply makes me laugh or cry! I also enjoy creating visuals for my own account @yakfai, which provides an outlet for my creativity outside of my work. As a foodie, I also love using the platform to discover new recipes and restaurants to try in the area. I really enjoy baking in my spare time and will forever be obsessed with The Great British Bake Off!

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