Meet Gabriela Saizar: Project Specialist II (Argentina)
"I am able to improve my technical skills, as well as my interpersonal and communication skills. I really enjoy teamwork and helping other people solve problems and achieve their goals, which is something I can do daily in my role."
Read how Gabriela, as a Project Specialist, is contributing to the achievement and compliance of study deliverables to benefit our common goal of bringing a new therapy to patients. To be successful in her role, she believes it's needed to be reliable, organized, and resourceful. You need to have great communication skills—listening actively, interpreting the team’s needs and providing appropriate responses. At the end of the story, Gabriela shares her perception of the concept of “work-life clarity”.
- Please introduce yourself and your role at Parexel.
Hi! My name is Gabriela, I started working at Parexel as a Project Specialist I in December 2021 and got promoted to Project Specialist II in October 2022.
- Tell us a little bit about what you do every day. What are your core responsibilities?
As a Project Specialist, I assist the Project Leader and Functional Leaders with project management tasks, contributing to the achievement and compliance of study deliverables. I make sure the study team is compliant with client expectations, which includes timely training of team members, granting and revoking system accesses as required, updating and maintaining core documentation appropriately, and providing and sometimes customizing different reports, among other tasks.
- Why and how do you work With Heart™?
To me, working 'With Heart' means understanding that it's more than working with documents, spreadsheets and deadlines, but we are working with people for a common goal, which is to bring a new therapy to real patients with real lives. I always bear this in mind in my work, and I try to build kind and respectful relationships with all team members.
- When did you join Parexel, and why did you choose Parexel?
I joined Parexel in December 2021 because I wanted to start my career in project management. I talked with a Project Specialist who was already working at Parexel and felt really encouraged by the career and personal development opportunities that the company offered. Since then, I’ve learned very much and there is much room for growth.
- How were you supported in getting settled at Parexel?
As soon as I entered the company, I received all the necessary equipment to start working at home: a laptop, external keyboard, mouse, and headphones. During the first two weeks, I had intensive training on drug development, corporate policies and Project Specialist tasks and processes.
After that, I was assigned clinical studies to start working on and a mentor, who supported me during the first 3 months. This was essential to starting my journey on the right foot, not only because of the knowledge and experience my mentor shared with me but also for the relationship we developed during that time.
My Line Manager also set weekly calls during the first 6 months, in which we discussed my development goals, possible career paths, as well as specific doubts I had about my studies.
- How would you describe what it’s like to work at Parexel, and specifically Parexel Argentina?
The Project Planning and Support team at Parexel Argentina is amazing: Project Specialists and Line Managers are kind and encouraging people, always willing to help colleagues and share their knowledge and experience. This department has given me the opportunity to share my own experience with New Hires during their orientation training, which has given me great satisfaction.
- What excites you about being a Project Specialist?
I believe Project Specialists have a great responsibility and much to contribute to the Project Leader and Functional Leaders in the projects we are assigned to. There is a great variety of tasks that we can be involved in depending on the type, phase, and size of the project, our level of experience, and our willingness to go above and beyond!
Being a Project Specialist gave me the opportunity to learn about the project management profession. I am able to improve my technical skills, as well as my interpersonal and communication skills. I really enjoy teamwork and helping other people solve problems and achieve their goals, which is something I can do daily in my role.
- What are the traits and/or skills needed to be successful in your role?
I believe that a successful Project Specialist needs to be reliable, organized, able to manage priorities and resourceful to find the necessary information to carry out our tasks.
On the soft skills side of the coin, you need to have great communication skills. Which to me means actively listening, interpreting the team’s needs and providing appropriate responses in each case.
- What is it about your position that challenges you most?
Time management and priority placement have been a challenge I enjoyed learning about. Being assigned to multiple studies and having to track many deliverables, I tried different techniques to organize my information and tasks effectively until I reached the one that best worked for me.
- Tell me something most people don’t know about you.
I’m a pretty open person so it’s really easy to learn things about me. I guess something some people don’t know is that I grew up living in different cities and moving schools quite often, which I think has made it easier for me to adapt to changes in life.
- What do you enjoy when you’re not at work?
I really enjoy doing physical activity, so I do aerial silks (which many people don’t know what it is, so here is a photo) and play tennis with my boyfriend. I also love being around nature and hiking, and it is my dream to live closer to the mountains one day.
- What habit or behavior or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?
I have recently learned the concept of “work-life clarity”, which I found really innovative and insightful, and try to apply it in my everyday life. This means knowing that our professional and personal life is rarely in perfect balance, depending on which one needs more of our attention at a given point. So, instead of striving for this perfect balance at all times, I try to set my priorities and boundaries intentionally.
For example, I may want to spend some weekends improving my career by attending an interesting course, which would mean missing out on family lunches. Instead of feeling guilty about this, I enjoy what I am doing at that moment, knowing that this situation is temporary and that there will certainly be another time when I will prioritize spending time with my family or friends during the weekend.
Do you want to work with Gabriela and her colleagues? Look for suitable Project Specialist opportunities here.
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