My life-long hobby is dancing; I started at the age of 6. During undergraduate studies, I used to perform salsa and Mexican folk dance, but I love to learn any sort of dance. More recently, I also started pursuing aerial sling and drumming! I love time spent outdoors, ideally hiking through beautiful mountains or kayaking down a river. I am not too keen on prolonged periods of sitting, which is why my colleagues often see me at the stand-up desk, stretching or taking walks during my lunch break.
I obtained my MSc in microbial genetics at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. After that, I moved to UK and pursued a PhD programme in insect genetics at University of Greenwich (Medway campus in Kent).
I joined allegro at the age of 28. My goal was to leverage my academic skills to start building a career outside academia. Medical writing ticked many boxes and so I was thrilled to find allegro – a great opportunity to put my foot in the door.
Sonia’s experience of allegro…
I enrolled on 14 January 2019 as part of ‘Intake 4’. It was two weeks prior to my PhD viva voce. Talk about an intense start!
The first 8 weeks were quite ‘full on’, but an excellent experience, particularly because I shared this time with 16 people from my intake. Not only was it good for keeping our spirits up, but also for exchanging knowledge and experience from our varied backgrounds. After we moved to our respective rotations at different locations, I already felt like I had a network across the company. During the agency placements, I quickly started putting all my newly acquired knowledge into practice and all the hypothetical scenarios became very real. I truly felt the benefit of the training, because we had covered all the basics of medical writing, so I could hit the ground running, as most of my knowledge gaps lied within agency- and client-specific areas.
I completed both my rotations at Watermeadow Medical in the Witney office, so I did not need to relocate (except moving upstairs and then downstairs again!). Therapy areas I have worked on include growth hormone, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Besides learning about different diseases and working with different clients and experts, it was also interesting to compare working in teams of different size and geographical distance between colleagues.
Sonia’s favourite highlight of allegro?
My favourite highlight from the training phase was finding that medical statistics can be very fun!
During the rotations, I liked to listen to external experts talk about their clinical experience at a meeting. I also loved joining the social team at the Witney office and becoming an integral part of the social life.
Sonia’s key take-away?
Rather than a piece of knowledge, I can highlight a key skill. The phrase ‘time management’ gained new dimensions for me, despite already being quite organised by nature.
Sonia’s advice to future intakes…
My piece of advice to future intakes is not to worry if they did not have much exposure to medical/pharmaceutical fields, if they have not written a manuscript before, or if English is not their native language. All can be learned and mastered with practice.