With experience ranging from regulatory affairs to business development, Paola Jo has during her two years at MSC grown to become a cornerstone of the company. Whether it’s a question about the structure of a molecule or life advice, Paola is always there to help – always close to laughter and always in a good mood. This past month, she was promoted and we thought it’s no better time to ask her participate in our A day in the life of… series. This is Paola Jo, management consultant at MSC.
Paola, why did you join MSC?
My passion is Life Science which drove me to purse an undergraduate degree in biological chemistry at the University of Toronto in Canada. As I came to realize that the academic world was not for me, I decided to embark on a slightly different path and obtained a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and business design in bioscience from Chalmers University of Technology. While working in a biotech start-up developing a medical treatment for disc herniation, MSC caught my attention. This company seemed like an exciting and stimulating workplace where I would get to work with very innovative biotech companies developing groundbreaking technologies and define business strategies. Today, I am happy to say that my first impression was on point!
Working at MSC is very fun as I get to experience different challenges every day. Each client has a different complex problem or question, and it’s up to us to conduct necessary analyses and provide our client with quality recommendations in a timely matter. Since I get to work with various problems that range anywhere from regulatory, valuation and business strategy to writing blog posts about different therapeutic indications, I am never bored. The best part is that I get to learn in a hands-on setting and in an accelerated way, while also making a living out of it.
Describe your role in the company?
As a Management Consultant, I work with new projects every couple of days. Although every project is different, the analytical component is always present. Some of the projects that I perform include valuations, investor presentations, market and customer verification analysis, business strategy development and analysis of data, lots of data! Since my transition from senior business analyst to this role, a significant portion of my time is spent managing projects, from the problem formulation to the execution all in direct contact with the client. As an additional part of my job, I hold a role as a project manager in Regulatory Affairs at a promising innovative Swedish biotech company. There, I have had the opportunity to get hands-on experience of early stage drug development and regulatory filings such as orphan drug designations (ODD) and investigational new drug applications (IND).
“The best part is that I get to learn in a hands-on setting and in an accelerated way, while also making a living out of it.”
Can you describe your day?
The days that I don’t work at a client’s, I sit at MSC’s headquarters and this is what a typical day at the office might look like.
09:00 I have a meeting with Robert to provide feedback on the report and then I prepare the delivery for the client. After doing so, I jump right straight into my latest project, which is an investor presentation for a Medtech company. I create some slides with a focus on the market section. Since I need to supplement some market data, I perform some calculations in an excel spreadsheet based on research data sourced in a database and supported assumptions. This results in an accurate overview of the market size for a very particular technology in selected regions.
11:00 I realize that it is time for the weekly meeting where the whole team gets together, and everyone provides a status update of their projects and discusses events and happenings within the company. We finish the meeting with a discussion on the latest development and challenges in gene therapy development and regulations. My colleague Paula has recently been to an Advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) event and has put together an executive summary for us. The discussion is very interesting, and we decide to continue it while we head for lunch.
13:00 After lunch, I head to a meeting with our Communication Account Associate Elisabeth, who has created a blogpost based on data and content that I’ve previously sourced for Parkinson’s disease dementia as part of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. We discuss the different parts of the blog post and which sections can be further improved.
13:30 After providing feedback, I head back to my desk and continue my work with the investor presentation.
15:00 I get an email from a regulatory consultant located in the U.S. about the latest draft for regulatory submission in one of my projects. I read through the draft, answer some comments and send the revised draft to different team members from the client company for further revision.
16:45 I look at a calendar notification and it is now time for a meeting about Orphan Drug Designation strategy at a client’s office. Tobias, Paula and I then head to a client. While in the car, I take the chance to discuss the term sheet from another client’s potential licensing deal. Time runs quickly and we are now at the client’s office where we run a successful workshop on orphan drug strategy.
18:00 After my day of work, I need some distraction and I finish off by taking my climbing gear and meeting some old friends from university for a rock-climbing session.