Mike, based in Canada, acts as Head of eLearning within our Consulting team. Here, Mike discusses how he carved a career journey to incorporate his love of computers, teaching, and multimedia.
What prompted you to pursue an opportunity in digital learning?
I’ve always loved tinkering with computers and developed a particular interest in web design and graphics once I started exploring the internet. I stumbled upon eLearning by chance, having had no idea the field existed! What captivated me was the blend of artistic expression, graphic design, and skills similar to website building without the complex programming required for IT.
In 2008, I entered the pharmaceutical field and witnessed the transformative power of my colleagues as they skillfully translated complex medical concepts into easy-to-understand visual content. This ignited a flame within me, and I spent the next few years honing my skills in learning and development. Little did I know this passion would propel me into a leadership role, enabling me to teach others and learn from their unique perspectives in return.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I love a challenge! There’s something very energizing about crafting visuals that bring clarity to unfamiliar territory in the form of complex medical information. The process can be demanding, but it fuels my passion. There’s no greater feeling than helping learners grasp and retain essential concepts. It’s also incredibly rewarding to watch my team learn, grow, and overcome any obstacle. I feel immensely proud reviewing their work and seeing each project get better and better.
What are the key highlights of your week at Avalere Health?
I love finding creative solutions and playing air traffic controller to make sure the right tasks are assigned to the right people. I have a team of nine magical unicorns who wear a variety of different hats, and we’re always ready to adapt to our clients’ changing needs. Responding to each new request keeps us very engaged.
One of the highlights of my week is reviewing medical content in various stages of eLearning development. We always want to ensure to keep the learner in mind when brainstorming ways to visually present important information. I also love strategizing about best practices to help our team work more cohesively.
How would you describe the working environment at Avalere Health?
When I first interviewed at Avalere Health, I was told “We work hard, but we play hard,” and I now like to echo these words to new members of the team. There is a wonderful team spirit and synergy here where everyone is supported and feels invested in. I admire the organization’s dedication to our culture and team spirit—it’s refreshing to be part of a people-centric workplace that recognizes and appreciates its team members.
Do you have any advice for future applicants?
Be yourself. I remember I was so nervous when I interviewed for this role, but within the first three minutes of the interview, all my nerves melted away. Everyone in my group interview was so genuine, and I immediately felt safe and respected. I identify as gay, and I’ve always felt like I needed to conceal or tone down a bit of my true self when it comes to making first impressions with people. But I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was accepted and valued at Avalere Health for who I am. I feel lucky to be part of an organization that focuses on people and diversity and encourages all of us to be authentic.
Which company value do you resonate most with, and why?
It’s a tie between “We are authentic” and “We enjoy the journey.” I love that we can express ourselves authentically and I don’t have to hide any part of myself. But it’s also important to be surrounded by talented coworkers who truly enjoy what they do and aren’t just here “for a job.” This outlook facilitates great work for our clients while also encouraging us to create joyful memories, inside jokes, and camaraderie as colleagues. Though many of us on the team have never met in person, I feel like I’ve known them forever.
Do you have any advice for maintaining mental well-being while working from home?
People sometimes ask me if working remotely makes me feel isolated, but I have a close circle of family and friends, and thanks to the many calls and brainstorming sessions with my wonderful team, I don’t ever feel like I’m alone. I also like to focus on the positives that our flexible working philosophy brings. Instead of spending hours of my day commuting to an office, I can dedicate more time to exploring new hobbies! Walking with my dog and gardening are great ways to help me clear my head throughout the day. I also like to lift weights or opt for a yoga practice to help keep me zen. On a creative level, I enjoy video games and acrylic painting, and I’ve also discovered a new passion for photography.
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