What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
I would want to run a travel agency all about finding the best food and wine. I love to travel. I love to cook. I love to drink great wines and eat great food. Who doesn’t? And these together would be my dream job. And, to make it even better, I’d want to partner with my brother who is an actual chef.
Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?
So difficult to choose. Larry Star. Ty Curran. Ken Begasse Sr. It’s strange that all the people I shout out here are men, but these three never treated me differently than I saw them treat my male colleagues. They helped me make key decisions in my career, gave me opportunities and supported my growth. I had a conversation with Larry Star that totally changed my perspective on joining Biolumina. I’m grateful he was there for me. It gave me the motivation to take on one of the most challenging experiences in my life, but also one of the most rewarding.
How has the pandemic reset the rules on your work-life balance?
I don’t believe in work-life balance. I think if we set ourselves up to believe in balance, we’re setting ourselves up to fail. I’m realistic that sometimes life will be in the lead and sometimes work will be. I believe in making choices about priorities at different points in one’s life or even in a day. To me, it’s about work-life flow and how I’m able to integrate the two together. My work fulfills me in ways that make me a better and happier person. And my life fulfills me in ways that make me a better and happier leader.
Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?
I’m out of my comfort zone every day. That’s why I love this business. Advertising in the oncology space is incredibly challenging — new science and new ways to target customers. In my role, and any role, it’s impossible to know everything that you need to know. And that’s OK. That’s why I embrace stupid questions. And I encourage others to as well. I’ll ask anything. I’ll also ask questions I know others are afraid to ask. I’m happiest when I’m not the smartest or most knowledgeable person in the room. And when people answer my stupid questions.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
The bad rap that pharmaceutical companies get. Pharmaceuticals are changing the trajectory of so many diseases, saving lives and improving them too. Cancer death rates continue to decline due in large part to new treatments discovered and developed by pharma. I’ve been in the room with scientists who have spent years of their lives working on something that ultimately becomes a breakthrough that saves hundreds of thousands of years of life. I wish everyone could see that purpose, and the amount of heart and soul and hard work that goes into each advance.
What are you doing to send the career ladder back down?
My door is open to conversations about the work, careers, the company culture, values, future, anything really. While I am a strong supporter of structured mentorship programs, I believe that organic interactions are equally important. I believe people learn by doing, but also by watching and asking questions. I believe that exposure to activities and meetings that one might not normally be exposed to at more junior levels gives people the opportunity to observe, ask questions, talk about why something did or didn’t work. Every interaction is a learning and teaching moment, and I embrace each of those moments.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
No one will care more about your career than you and much of your career is decided when you’re not in the room. Advocate for yourself. If you want the opportunity to try something, ask. You might not get the answer you want, but people will know you’re eager to grow. Create relationships and cultivate connections with your boss, management, across the organization and the industry. These relationships will help you in the work today. And when you’re not in the room and those career changing conversations are happening, people will know your perspective.
Favorite TV show/movie/song/book?
Law and Order. Every spinoff. Every season. Hands down. I could watch it all day.