Meet Ashwini Somayaji: Senior Manager, Medical Writing Services
"My zest to return to this industry led me to apply for a medical writing position at Parexel. After going through the regular process of tests and interviews, I was offered a position of Medical Writer I; I joined Parexel's Medical Writing Services (MWS) in November 2016 following which, there was no looking back! I’ve been given the opportunity to grow and progress my career at Parexel."
Ashwini offers her insight into working as a Manager for Parexel's Medical Writing Services. Ashwini talks about what it is like working with her team, different challenges, and what excites her most about the work she does.
- Please introduce yourself and your role at Parexel.
My name is Ashwini Somayaji, and I am a Senior Manager in the Medical Writing Services (MWS) Department. I am based in Bangalore, India and joined Parexel in November 2016; I have been continuing my exciting journey here ever since then.
- Can you tell me what a day in your job looks like? What are your core responsibilities?
Line management is a big part of my job. Leading a team means I must ensure that I am genuinely there for the team, guiding them, and enabling them to do their best. On a daily basis, I would have to tackle several unexpected situations which require me to be a guide, a communicator, a facilitator, a listener, and importantly emotionally empathetic.
- When did you join Parexel, and why did you choose Parexel above our competitors?
After completing my post-graduation in Biotechnology in 2006, I started working with a Science, Technical, and Medical Indexing and Abstracting Company where I continued my journey in life science literature analysis, data curation, and text mining for the next four and a half years.
I opted to take a career break in 2011, owing to a complicated pregnancy and child‑care responsibilities. The break extended for a good five and a half years during which I worked as a freelance medical transcriptionist and in educational content development in an extremely ad-hoc and sporadic manner.
In mid-2016 (six months post my second child), I started exploring opportunities to return to the industry as a full-time employee. The world seemed to have progressed ahead and I found myself deciphering the best domain within life sciences corporate sphere. My zest to return to this industry led me to apply for a medical writing position at Parexel. After going through the regular process of tests and interviews, I was offered a position of Medical Writer I; I joined Parexel's Medical Writing Services (MWS) in November 2016 following which, there was no looking back! I’ve been given the opportunity to grow and progress my career at Parexel.
- What traits and/or skills needed to be successful in your role?
Strong communication skills, emotional intelligence, project management, customer service skills, stakeholder management, and being able to act as a guide.
- What would you like people to know about your job or department?
Our global MWS team provides medical writing and associated services from early phase to post-marketing. The Medical Writing Services group always provides guidance and support to team members and collectively inspires the group to improve the quality of healthcare across the globe.
- How would you describe what it’s like to work at Parexel?
In simple words, it is thrilling and exhilarating.
- What excites you most about the work you do?
My position allows me to enable and empower the medical writers who contribute to improve the health of people across the globe through contributing towards the development of approved drugs. Creativity and intellectual freedom are a big part of my role and I am continuously learning and expanding my clinical knowledge. It is absolutely amazing to see the work we do finally being implemented in a real-world clinical setting.
- How would you describe what it’s like working with your colleagues?
My journey here at Parexel MWS has been astonishing with supportive friends and colleagues. The team here supported me in rediscovering myself and I have rebuilt my confidence. My managers “listened and counseled” and my mentors “tutored”, which became part of my successful and content journey. Trust was bestowed in terms of exposure to the most complex and variety of assignments and recognition along with superlative work-life balance; today I am proud to be a Manager at Parexel MWS.
- How has Parexel supported your career development?
One the fantastic things about working at Parexel is the flexibility in working timings and hours, and the option of being home-based. The team is a place where you are appreciated, recognized, and have the best brought out of you.
- Tell me something most people don’t know about you.
I can write mirror write.
- What do you enjoy when you’re not at work?
Travelling, crochet, and drawing.
- Tell me three beliefs that you think would change the world for the better?
Acceptability, Honesty, and Respect. Accept people (friends and everyone) as they are, be honest to yourself and others, and respect everyone for who they are.
Do you want to work with Ashwini and her colleagues? Look for suitable Medical Writing Services opportunities here.
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©Photos by Ashwini Somayaji