After a few years of lab-based neuroscience research, I realized that I really enjoyed discussing and contextualizing scientific findings. Once out of graduate school, I volunteered with BioBus, a non-profit organization through which I talked to children about how scientific methods can help us to explore the world we live in. I also wrote articles explaining scientific methods to patients and caregivers as part of my work with two non-profit organizations, the Epilepsy Foundation and SCAsource. Through the generosity of the people I had cold-called and met at science career events, I was introduced to medical writing as a career choice. I felt that this would both embrace my interest in science communication and provide a creative, team-based and stimulating environment in which to grow. Therefore, I joined a medical writing agency based in New York City as a medical writer where I worked on promotional and industry-based medical education materials for oncology. I learned from inspiring and efficient managers and editors, commiserated on steep but rewarding learning curves with fellow writers, and appreciated the human machinery that goes into the life cycle of clinical research.
Tackling challenging and fast-paced projects in different therapeutic areas helped me to cultivate further confidence in my abilities. As I transitioned to the role of senior medical writer, I put more thought into merging my social values with my job. Oxford PharmaGenesis came recommended as a company that cares about its employees and has a strong sense of social responsibility. I was particularly impressed with Open Pharma, a collaborative project facilitated by Oxford PharmaGenesis that aims to increase transparency and access to research, as well as with the collaboration with Evidence Aid to present clear scientific evidence that could aid humanitarian action. A few conversations with a recruiter and a writing test later, I had an interview with employees of Oxford PharmaGenesis who I found to be spirited, knowledgeable and honest. I joined the company a couple of months later, in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, I found onboarding remotely to be challenging, but the kindness and support that I received from my immediate team, the extended Oxford PharmaGenesis team and my husband (who wanted to name our two black cats after a kinase inhibitor and a monoclonal antibody that I work on) made this process much easier. I am now part of a publications team and have already had the opportunity to contribute to landscape-changing medical communications. I look forward to celebrating many more successes with my amazing team at Oxford PharmaGenesis.