Profile: Shweta Avasthi, Medical Writer and Instructional Designer, Delta Kn

avasthi_2015_picAs much as I enjoyed (and of course learnt during) my PhD at the Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt and my stint as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manchester, nothing can beat my last 3 years as a medical writer and instructional designer at Delta Kn. For those of you who are wondering what an instructional designer does (as I did too before I became one), my job is to deliver complex (and sometimes quite dry) scientific information in an engaging and effective way to a non-expert audience. Instructional design is at the heart of Delta Kn, as we are the specialised healthcare learning agency within AMICULUM. The writing work produced by instructional designers at Delta Kn has many purposes – it is often converted with innovative technologies into interactive e-learning modules, which are later translated into several languages to be used across the world and it can also be used for face-to-face training or presented by subject-matter experts at web conferences.

Right from my university days in India, I knew that I wanted to learn a lot, but I never really gave much thought to what I wanted to do for a living. So, when a PhD opportunity in Germany came my way, and from a Nobel laureate no less, I knew that I was on the right path. After finishing my PhD in Germany, I came to the UK as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manchester. Within a couple of years I realised that I wasn’t learning many new things, and that it was nearly impossible to secure funding for research in this challenging economic climate. So, I started to explore other career options where I could use the knowledge and skills I’d acquired so far; some of my colleagues had started working inmedical communications and I too decided to give it a go. It was great when, after a couple of interviews, I landed the job as an instructional designer at Delta Kn. Since then, no 2 days in my professional life have been the same. One day I am preparing a slide set for an e-learning module for training before a major drug launch, on another I might be recording subject-matter experts in preparationfor their presentations at a forthcoming web conference. Some days at Delta Kn involve brainstorming with the rest of the very creative and enthusiastic team to come up with ideas for tactile activities to make a classroom training session engaging, and other days see me meeting with our clients to propose new business or discussing our ongoing projects with them.

So, overall I can say that my experience in medical communications has been very dynamic. I’ve not only learnt (and am still learning) about many disease and therapy areas, but I’ve also gained commercial insight into the pharmaceutical industry. In the beginning, I was a bit sceptical about my decision, but now I think it was one of the best decisions of my life as this job keeps satisfying my never-ending desire to learn more…

[Find out more about Delta Kn here]

Note this Profile was first published in the March 2015 edition of the MedComms Networking careers guide, From academic to medical writer: A guide to getting started in medical communications, freely available from and published by NetworkPharma Ltd

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