What drew you to Ashfield Healthcare Communications?
I became aware of the world of medical writing late into my PhD, when I started looking at opportunities to work in scientific writing. The idea of focussing on high-standard scientific written communication without the need to conduct my own research was immediately appealing to me. Following my initial application with Ashfield and attending the Allegro assessment day, I was further drawn by the very welcoming and positive attitude displayed by all Ashfield staff that I interacted with on that day.
What 3 words describe the culture here at Ashfield Healthcare Communications?
Professionalism, pedagogy, sociability.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Most days during the Allegro programme include a good balance of interactive seminars, group exercises and some more quiet time working on assignments. All of those were usually well interspersed with breaks that allowed for more casual socialising with my fellow Allegro teammates and supervising staff. During my time in Macclesfield, my free time after work was mostly spent eating, reading and watching Netflix!
What’s the best part of your job?
At the moment, the amount of new information and skills I get to work on. I expect that as I move into my agency rotations, I will continue to improve and learn new things on a daily basis, which I find highly motivating.
What helps you concentrate when writing?
Mostly music and a lot of coffee!
Do you have any advice for aspiring Medical Writers?
Finding a training programme like Allegro would be extremely useful to any aspiring medical writer with no prior experience of this industry. Overall, being able to take in criticism and the acceptance that the first draft isn’t always going to be perfect helps to have a healthy, constructive approach to work.
Can you explain the Allegro programme briefly to readers?
The Allegro programme combines theoretical and practical training in a professional setting to provide new recruits with the core skills essentials to becoming a proficient medical writer.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?
Hopefully still working in medical writing with Ashfield. By that time, I hope that my experience and good work performance will allow me to reach a more senior role within the company, with more varied roles and responsibilities.
Who is your favourite author or inspiration?
Dr. René Misslin, who is a family friend and a published author in the field of animal behaviour, was probably my biggest influence in appreciating the value of a literary approach to scientific writing while I was growing up. With a background in literature and Latin, he was a prime example of how the effective use of language can transform how one can communicate on complex scientific topics while still educating, engaging and entertaining one’s audience.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
My bucket list is essentially a travel one: I would love to visit regions I have never been to before, like South and Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, climb as many Scottish munros as possible and go scuba-diving in new places.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would probably work at night, so that I could use my free time during the day to go hiking as much as possible. I would also love to have more time for cooking and baking every day.
What fictional place would you most like to go?
Probably Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (minus the child endangerment).
What are some of the small things that make your day better?
Having some sunshine on my way to and from work and having time to cook a nice meal in the evening.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Cooking and baking are almost a daily hobby for me back home. Hiking is probably the one hobby I hope to have more time for in the near future, once I move back to Glasgow. Scotland is a great country for hiking, and I love to spend a weekend climbing a munro and finishing the day with a pint and a pie in a local pub! The picture below shows me close to reaching the top of Beinn Narnain above Arrochar, overlooking Loch Long and Gare Loch: