Meet Simona: Principal Consultant, Regulatory & Access
"I work in a team with other colleagues from quality, non-clinical, and clinical backgrounds to help our clients with the end-to-end process."
- Please introduce yourself, your role, and when you joined Parexel.
My name is Simona Stankeviciute and I joined Parexel 11 months ago - so not too long of a time. By training I'm a medical doctor, but my role at Parexel is a Principal Consultant at R&A and a subject matter expert for clinical pharmacology and clinical regulatory issues or questions.
I did my residency in clinical pharmacology, and then worked as a clinical pharmacologist and clinical assessor for Lithuanian Medicines Control Agency. During this time, I worked with different types of centralized procedures, such as marketing authorization application, scientific advice procedures, variations, and much more.
- How would you describe your role and what a typical day looks like?
My friends and family don't quite understand what I do for a living, so I always tell them I work on a computer. Really though, I work in a team with other colleagues from quality, non-clinical, and clinical, backgrounds to help our clients with the end-to-end process. Our teams help with either starting the clients development program or at the exciting moments when it's time for the client to interact with the agency to get their drug approved or ask certain questions and get agreement on decisions during the process. But also, we do everything in between. Meaning, we assist the client with every interaction that they might face with regulatory agencies, such as special designations, pediatric development plans, and other.
My day typically starts off by checking my email. I go through my list of projects that I have to work on and if there are any urgent matters, such as client questions or anything needing attention, I take care of those. But basically, my day is full of reading, writing, and thinking!
- Why did you join Parexel and what made you choose compared to competitors?
Primarily for personal reasons. At the time I knew I needed to change where I worked, but when I made that decision, I had different options to look at. One of the reasons Parexel stood out was because I really liked the recruitment process. During that I got to meet with 4 or 5 people, those whom I am still actively working with or who are from my team. I think it was important for them to get to know me, but also it was important for me to get to know those people whom with I would be potentially working.
When talking to to the people, we got to discuss what my role would be and what I would be doing. I also took into account that Parexel is a huge company with very different business units and many possibilities. So, just taking all of that together, I thought there's not a better place to be at!
- What challenges, and excites, you in your role and the work you do?
There are number of challenges, which can be divided into logistical challenges or professional challenges. A logistical challenge can be the fact that I'm working fully remotely. Although I really like being remote, it can be challenging because I'm by myself and I only interact with my colleagues via phone and MS Teams.
Professionally it was challenging, and still can be challenging, for me. What I did previously is different from what I'm doing now, and that I take on new responsibilities, work with different types of projects, and engage with different regulators. But that's one of the reasons why I chose to work at the Parexel - I wanted to be challenged professionally, not necessarily logistically, so that I would be able to learn and grow.
- How has Parexel helped your professional development?
There are very concrete things, like, our training budget - we can use for development. However, one of the biggest stimulus for my professional development is the possibility to work with my colleagues, who come from different backgrounds, different agencies, and different companies. In addition, I have been able to work with different regulatory authorities and various products that our clients bring in. This has thought be other ways of thinking and looking at projects. Parexel also provides training videos, teachings through a fully functioning LMS, etc. The totality of these components has ensured my development even during the short period that I am with Parexel.
- What do you enjoy when you're not at work?
I enjoy spending time outdoors. I have recently built raised garden beds in my garden, so when the weather is nice I do like to spend the whole day digging dirt, planting, etc.
Other than being outdoors, I just like to relax, read books, work out, cook, eat, and play a card game called Arkham Horror - which can be very complicated! I'm definitely not an expert in it, but it's really interesting and it can really capture you, where I will end up spending hours playing and building.
- If you had to choose, what would be considered your favorite book?
One of my favorite books is written by Harper Lee and is called To Kill a Mockingbird, I could read it again and again. Recently I started reading spy books by Ben Macintyre and can recommend those too. I love to read, and read all different kinds of books, but when I start a new book I feel that I want to finish so I don't end up putting it down for hours.
- What mantra do you live by?
I think it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Can be tricky, but works. The second thing that I try to do is to treat everyone the way they want to be treated and respecting all other people's boundaries. Those are the things that I feel are important to me.
©Photos by Simona Stankeviciute
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