The Ashfield AMW Assessment Centre – My inside story by Emily Fisher (Associate Medical Writer)

dscf4415When it came to searching for a job at the end of my degree and with graduation looming, I knew that any career I pursued needed to involve the crucial aspect of writing. Although I loved lab work, my favourite part of any project was always writing it up. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to consolidate everything I had done and achieved into one piece of writing.

I also wanted to work in a fast-paced varied environment that not only utilised both my love of writing and science, but allowed me to work on exciting and innovative developments in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Taking all of this into account, it seemed natural for me to try and pursue a career in medical writing.

Having researched medical communications companies surrounding the Manchester area, I stumbled upon the Ashfield Healthcare website. I decided to do some research on Ashfield Healthcare and discovered the extent to which they are leaders in healthcare l communications partnering with the pharmaceutical industry. The idea of being a part of such a world-class company was something that I found very exciting. I also believed that my values closely matched those of the Ashfield way: Quality, Partnership, Ingenuity, Expertise and Energy. It seemed like an ideal match, so I didn’t hesitate to apply when I saw a vacancy for an Associate Medical Writer.

After a few weeks of anxious waiting, I was contacted by Ashfield and invited to do a video interview. Despite thinking that this didn’t go particularly well, I was invited to an assessment centre and asked to put together a presentation about a brand which I felt communicated well.

The assessment centre was a daunting prospect. I was up against 20 very qualified scientists. From the get-go, Ashfield did everything they could to put my mind at ease. Upon arrival, we were directed to a café area to meet representatives from the agencies who would be assessing us throughout the day. Instantly this calmed my nerves. Having the opportunity to meet the assessors in a relaxed atmosphere made me feel less intimidated when being observed by them in an assessed setting.

The day itself was split into two parts. The morning consisted of two quite enjoyable group activities and a one-hour writing test, and the afternoon was taken up by competency-based interviews. At lunch, current Associate Medical Writers were on hand to offer advice, answer any questions and share their experiences of the job. Throughout the day the Ashfield employees did their utmost to make us feel at ease and welcome, I felt this encouraged and enabled me to perform to the best of my ability.

Four days after the assessment centre, I was offered the position of Associate Medical Writer for CircleScience, one of the largest agencies belonging to the Ashfield Healthcare group. I was absolutely thrilled. My first few days on the job have been a whirlwind of information. I have a great deal to learn, but it is clear that with all of the support and the training available, Ashfield will be a fantastic environment in which to grow as a medical writer. The team have been very welcoming and, after having received a customary welcoming fruit basket, I already feel like a part of the team. I believe the role of Associate Medical Writer with CircleScience will be a great challenge, but one that I am very excited to get stuck into. Look out for an update in a few weeks and I will give you some further insights into the role!

[Find out more about Ashfield Healthcare Communications here]

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