What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?

When I was younger, my dream was to become a news anchor, with the ultimate goal of being a host on Today. I approach my life with a genuine curiosity and I have always been interested in other people and their stories.  Everyone has a unique story to tell, and we can all learn from them, if we are open to it.  Even as a child, I had an instinct for what people need and want to know, for what elements are missing from the story, and had the ability to draw information by questioning and by listening.

How has the pandemic reset the rules on your work-life balance?

While I love the flexibility of working from home, I found that early on, I never stopped working. I have since incorporated some changes to help. I set up my home office at the far end of the house and have established a clear start and end point to my workday. I often schedule a “walk-and-talk” meeting with my team members, to avoid sitting for more than four hours at a time, and I consistently schedule virtual coffees, to help maintain the connection with others. I do look forward to getting back to the office and seeing my colleagues in person!

Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?

In my early 30s, I moved cross-country alone, leaving a company that I had been at for 10 years. Did I feel uncomfortable? Absolutely. But going outside my comfort zone helped me to eliminate the ceiling above my head. I learned that fear doesn’t exist; it is a product of your thoughts, and you are the only person who has the power to destroy it. Taking risks, regardless of their outcome, are growth experiences. My biggest takeaway: I have within myself the ability to make big change. I did it once. I can do it again.  You can, too.

What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

I genuinely love what I do and feel gratitude for the ability to work in an industry that is challenging, dynamic and committed to helping patients live healthier, better lives. It is frustrating to hear the perspective that the pharma industry is “greedy” and “only about making profits.” Our industry is incredibly complex, and a lot of people base their opinions on extremely limited information. In my 22+ years working in this industry, my colleagues and I have always led with a “patient-first” approach, and we are proud to work in an industry that aims to provide better lives for patients.

What are you doing to send the career ladder back down?

I began my career at a time when there were few female leaders in the industry, and because of this, I have made a conscious effort throughout my career to support and recognize women as the powerful leaders they are … it has become one of my life’s passions. For me, it’s not about creating an award-winning creative campaign, or building a successful go-to market strategy; it’s about leading and helping others do those things. I am personally committed to paving the way for future leaders, and I am actively involved as a mentor and advocate in several leadership groups, and most importantly, I “walk the talk” by hiring and developing strong female leaders every day.     

What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?

I am addicted to learning. I can’t stop. I love figuring things out. I read books because I have 100  questions I want answered, and each time I figure out new ways of thinking about my first question, I am flooded with 100 more questions that I want to figure out. It’s exhausting. And invigorating. I love learning how things work, and if I don’t know, I ask a lot of questions and find people who do know that are willing to teach me.

What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Don’t compare yourself to others.You are your own person with your own timeline. You have your own purpose and your own process. What worked for someone else might not work for you. What didn’t work for someone else might work for you! Focus on learning and growing, and achieving your goals.  Your only real competition is who you were yesterday. What can you do today that will put you in a better place than you were before? What can you do tomorrow to build on that? Celebrate others’ successes and focus on YOU!

Favorite TV show/movie/song/book?

While I mainly watch documentaries (and Pixar movies with my kids,) my favorite movie is The Notebook. I love LOVE and therefore, I am a sucker for a good love story! The best ones capture the essence and experience of love — the wonderment, the warmth, the commitment, the heartache, the loss — and convey it skillfully. The Notebook does just that. It is a quiet story of enduring love, and it confirms my belief that if something is meant to be, it will be.