We chatted with Kasia Robertson, the Senior Regulatory Manager for Alliance Pharmaceuticals. She has moved from one country to another for different positions within the Life Sciences industry, while still maintaining her passion for the field. Here are the stories and advice she had to share with us.
On taking chances with her career.
Kasia Robertson: After studying microbiology at university, I joined the pharmaceutical industry as a medical representative, but the job did not suit me—I felt I was underachieving. It was during this time that I met up with an old friend from university, and we were chatting about jobs. She shared that there was a vacancy in her Regulatory Affairs department at a pharmaceutical company. She asked if I would be interested, but I had to ask, what is Regulatory Affairs? The position sounded very interesting, and ultimately I said yes to exploring the opportunity.
This happened to be during the transition period shortly after Poland joined European Union, where the life sciences industry including labs, pharma companies, healthcare providers had to change all documentation, standard operating procedures and policies to the new requirements of the EU. I had the scientific background they were looking for and needed, so I took a chance and moved to a new field of Regulatory Affairs.
My start with this small Polish company led to new challenges and opportunities to work in Regulatory Affairs roles for other companies and broaden my knowledge.
On the strengths she has developed throughout her career.
KR: One of my strengths has been the willingness to try new things in my career, which led me to a move from Poland to the U.K. The whole experience – moving to another country and changing my environment from a small organization to a large corporation – really tested my adaptability and flexibility. You have to adjust quickly, in order to work successfully with people from different countries, from different environments. One of my key skills that I’ve leveraged to succeed in these situations is my ability to communicate well – you have to bring all your communication skills together to work effectively across multi-cultural, complex organizations.
On the best career advice, she’s ever received.
KR: The best career advice I have ever received was to pursue my interests. Don’t get a job that is boring to you, something that is not interesting for you. This is how I ended up with my career in Regulatory Affairs, which led to me relocating to the U.K.—having passion for my career has given me great personal and professional opportunities. To pursue a career that I find interesting was very good advice, and it was actually advice that was given to me by my father.
On advice that she would give to those starting out in Life Sciences.
KR: Don’t stay in a position or in a job that is not developing you. If you feel that you’re not progressing, you need to change your role, your tasks, your responsibilities, or even the company. You must develop and grow in your career. Take a chance, because it may lead to great opportunities.
This blog is part of a series that focuses on individual journeys of the women in life sciences who are driving change to how we develop and deliver better patient outcomes.