My weekday mornings start with a series of losing battles.
Laura vs alarm clock. Laura vs shower mixer tap. Laura vs the annoying splodge of toothpaste that ends up on my shirt.
I fight bravely and valiantly to leave my house on time to arrive at the Virgo offices around 8.40.
Then the real work begins…
08.45 – As I wait for my laptop to whir to life, I sip my morning smoothie, wishing it were a double espresso. As you may have guessed, I am not a morning person, so I tend to start my working day checking through emails and reviewing my day’s to-do list to ease myself in. It is a bit like stretching. Admin yoga. I scan through my Google Alert notifications and find a piece of news relevant to one of my accounts. I circulate it to the team and make a note to mention it to my client during our status call later in the morning.
09.05 – While reviewing the action list for the aforementioned status call, I receive a company-wide email from our office manager to inform us that the long-awaited new coffee machine has arrived and been installed. Unlike its predecessor, which offered only one type of coffee (dirt-flavoured), this replacement boasts a plethora of choices.
09.10 – I grab a black coffee and settle down to read the ‘weekly inspiration’ digest sent over from a colleague in our New York office. Of equal importance to producing high-quality medical education content is the ability to communicate this information in a very authentic and human way. As such, at Virgo Health Education we are all actively encouraged to share and discuss new ways to help us do this better. This week’s inspiration piece is centred around ‘lessening our collective addiction to technological catharsis’ (ie put away your phone once in a while).
09.30 – On Tuesday mornings, we hold a weekly team catch-up, which is an opportunity to share team news, key learnings and success stories. It turns out that last week one of our account executives received a declaration of love from a client; highly positive feedback indeed!
10.00 – I have a quick catch-up with my line manager to talk through some amendments on a piece of work I completed last week. Transitioning to medical writing from my previous academic career was a pretty steep learning curve, but the senior team is highly invested in my career development and I have learnt so much from this kind of feedback! After completing these amendments, I catch up with one of the editorial assistants to ensure she has time to proofread a document before it is sent to the client.
11.00 – My account team and I dial into a call with a key client. Having worked on this account since I started at Virgo two-and-a-half years ago, I have built both a strong relationship with the client and a keen intuition for the therapy area. During the call, we discuss the progress of various ongoing projects.
11.30 – I head back to the coffee machine and decide to sample a ‘cafe crème’. I am dismayed to find it looks and tastes exactly like the black coffee; nonetheless, I sip away as I do some research for a smartphone app I am designing. One of my favourite things about working in medcomms is the variety; the challenge of writing copy for different audiences across multiple platforms really keeps me on my toes! We are speaking to the client this afternoon, so the pressure is on to gather together some ideas to present back to him. It is often a challenge assimilating new concepts (particularly in an unfamiliar therapy area), but I find problem-solving highly satisfying so I get stuck in!
13.00 – I head out to my favourite wrap shop and find a sunny spot with a view of the riverside to enjoy my lunch. I never tire of exploring beautiful Richmond on my lunch break; it is a prime site for spotting exotic pampered pooches!
14.00 – The rest of my team and I meet with the digital design agency who are helping to develop the HCP app. I present my initial ideas to the group and together we all discuss the content and potential functionality. As much as I like working on my own, it is great to bounce ideas around like this. The meeting proves highly fruitful and we gather a lot of ideas to present on our subsequent client call. The client is happy with our initial proposals and we plan out the next vital steps.
16.30 – I settle down with yet another coffee. This time I decide to sample the ‘crème brûlée’ option on the new machine, but quickly deem it too sweet for my tastes. Ah well, you live and learn! I take some time to review the minutes drafted by the junior account executive from the morning’s client call. Once this is done, I start to sort through my notes from the afternoon meetings and refine my rough plans for the app.
17.15 – Feeling a little tired, I decide to put away the work I have done so far, making a note to proofread it tomorrow morning with a fresh pair of eyes. Proofing one’s own work is an important part of the job, and it is amazing what errors you can miss when you’re fully immersed in a project. A notable example was when I wrote about a patient experiencing ‘shortness of breast’; thankfully I caught that error in time! With my billable work complete for the day, I continue with an online training session on data visualisation. Personal development is an important priority at Virgo, so I try to squeeze in this sort of training whenever possible!
18.00 – Home time! Caffeine still coursing through my veins, I log off for the day to enjoy a post-work swim at the local pool.
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2 thoughts on “A day in the life of Laura Evans, Associate Medical Writer, Virgo Health Education”
Thanks for sharing your one-day in Virgo, Laura Evans. It seems to me that your work can be quite diverse, challenging but exciting. Coffee certainly helps to go through the day! I hope to hear more of your stories at work.
Hi Laura. Thank you for sharing your day in the life of a medical writer. I enjoyed reading how you interact with colleagues and manage your time to get projects completed effectively. Good tips on checking over your work after a break and using time after billable hours for CPD. Productive use of time for the agency, clients and your career. Nice coffee, well-deserved! Best wishes, P