My First Year in MedComms…
Sara is an Account Executive who joined the Bioscript team in July 2019. Since then, she has attended multiple training sessions, travelled on-site to help deliver an advisory board and has executed a fully virtual symposium. Find out more about her experiences over the past year below.
As the end of my Biology degree at the University of Manchester rapidly approached, I was sure of three things in relation to my career. I wanted to work as part of a wider team of people, I wanted to stay connected to the scientific content that I enjoyed during my degree, and I definitely didn’t want to work in a lab…
I had heard about MedComms as an option for science lovers who weren’t destined for research and it sounded intriguing, so I decided to investigate it further. After struggling with some pretty daunting writing tests, I quickly decided that the writing side of the industry wasn’t for me, so I decided to look further into the Client Services world. I found that this side of the industry involved finance, logistical support and general project management, which was a more natural fit for me. I was therefore delighted when I was offered the role of Associate Account Executive at Bioscript!
I had the chance to get involved in status meetings and timeline tracking within my first few weeks at Bioscript. In this way, I became fully immersed in my accounts, which spanned therapy areas from oncology to central nervous system (CNS) research. This gave me a sense of the breadth that MedComms has to offer and confirmed my decision to enter the industry because I was constantly engaged by the variety of scientific content that I had at my fingertips. I was initially involved in publications accounts, which allowed me to understand the steps required to produce the core deliverables of the industry, such as manuscripts and scientific posters. I was also introduced to the finance side of Client Services early on, developing and closely tracking budgets against project timelines to ensure that the client brief is met within time and budgetary restrictions. One of the things I loved about working in MedComms early on was the variety of people I interacted with on a daily basis. As part of my role in tracking project progress, I liaise with Medical Writers, Medical Editors, Account Directors and the Studio and Finance teams to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As I gained experience and grew in confidence, I also began maintaining regular communication with our key clients to keep them updated on their projects and offer additional support where required.
After about 6 months, I had the exciting opportunity to work on my first advisory board for a client working in CNS. The meeting involved a group of physicians discussing strategies to promote early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. After several weeks of working with the wider team to ensure that all of the materials were ready, I was lucky enough to travel to Zurich to support with delivering the meeting. This was an incredible opportunity for me and witnessing the engaging and insightful discussions concerning diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease was a truly memorable experience. Later, I had the chance to work on another advisory board for a client working in immunology. This was particularly interesting to me as I focused on immunology throughout my degree, so I was keen to get involved in any way that I could! I was responsible for organising advisor logistics on this project and although this proved to be challenging due to very tight timelines, we delivered a successful advisory board that stimulated fruitful discussion and resulted in a happy client.
Part of Bioscript’s training process for the Client Services team involves exposure to a range of different projects to gain as much experience as possible. To facilitate this, around 4 months ago, I moved onto new accounts in different therapy areas, which also provided the opportunity to work on more meetings. Thus, I was able to work on my first satellite symposium, which was ultimately executed as a virtual symposium due to COVID-19. On reflection, this was a defining project for my professional development because I was given the opportunity to take ownership of the project management, which involved liaising with the client, the faculty, the congress and third-party suppliers to ensure that all content and logistics were ready on the day. The ability to work independently greatly increased my confidence and as I settled into the pace of such a dynamic project, it was really satisfying to see the project meet its milestones and feel a sense of personal progression and achievement alongside this.
My first year in MedComms has presented me with a whole host of new experiences and has been a great introduction to the industry. I have learned that nothing ever stays quiet for long and that there is an acronym for every phrase imaginable! Due to the wide variety of therapy areas I have been exposed to, my interest has been piqued constantly and I have been particularly pleased with how my confidence and ability to work independently have developed throughout this year. And the cherry on top? No lab work!