Safi Kani Masandi joined Prime Global in October 2020, completely remotely. Although she’s never been in the office or met any team members, Safi has taken all of this in her stride and is enjoying her new role of Senior Account Executive.
A vivacious, bubbly character, it was a real pleasure to chat to her about the reasons she moved to Prime Global, and life during COVID-19.
How are you enjoying your new job?
This is my second job in MedComms, after being in my first role for just over a year.
I’m finding my new role is manageably busy, which I love, as time flies and I’m learning a lot each day. It’s really rewarding.
It was certainly a novel experience to join a new company during the pandemic. It was done completely remotely, which I found very strange, as I’m sure everyone does. However, I’ve been made to feel part of my team and of the wider business as a whole. The switch to remote inductions, whilst it can never replicate face-to-face interaction, was done excellently.
How long have you worked in MedComms?
I’ve been working in MedComms for just under 18 months. My education and career has always been science-focused. I studied at Leeds University, gaining my Masters in Bioscience in 2016. After this I went onto to study for and achieve a PhD in Biology.
I have a love and passion for science, but on completing my PhD, I realised that working in a laboratory would not be the best route for me. The lab can be a solitary life at times and, whilst it’s fascinating, I thrive on collaborating with people and being part of a team.
Research and job searches led me to MedComms. Initially, I wasn’t sure what a career in the industry would entail, but it sounded exciting. Whilst I’m happy undertaking data analysis, it’s not my passion, for this reason I didn’t think a career as a medical writer would suit me. After doing some more reading, I had decided the account executive role would be perfect for me, and it is! I really enjoy the project management aspects of my job.
What attracted you to your new position and Prime Global?
I’ve always felt it’s extremely important, especially at the start of your career, to get as wide a range of skills as possible. In my first role, I was only responsible for working on the meetings part of the account. These could range from smaller events to large congresses, and there was a lot to learn. However, after twelve months, I felt like I had achieved all I could in that particular role. I wanted to gain experience of managing the production of publications, and unfortunately there just wasn’t that opportunity in my business unit.
My new position at Prime Global is perfect. There’s variety, I’m learning the publication side of the work which was my aim, and I’ll be expanding into medical affairs as well this year. So that’s what attracted me to Prime Global!
You’re based in London. Have you always lived there?
I moved to London for work, as my first job was based here. Before the move, I lived and studied in Leeds. I had decided I wanted a change of location, and London is such a hub for many industries. When I focused my job search on MedComms, it seemed there were so many opportunities here.
Prime Global works across the globe with several offices across the UK, so I know if I ever decide to move, I can work from any office without having to apply for a new job. But at the moment, I’m really happy in London, and I have family here too.
What advice would you give to other new starters?
I think my best advice to new starters is just to get stuck in! It can be very daunting starting a new role in a new company. This is magnified tenfold if you are starting out in a new industry as well. It’s easy to find yourself second guessing your decisions and work, as well as your ability to perform really well. Everything is new, you don’t even know the language used – phrases, terminology and acronyms specific to MedComms and the accounts you’re working on. Ask as many questions as you need. People don’t expect you to know everything, especially if you’re new to the industry. You’re never made to feel like there’s a stupid question – people are happy to help.
Take each day as it comes; keep pushing forward. I found that eventually, after a couple of months, everything started to come together, and my confidence was established.
What does a typical day look like for you, if there is such a thing?
As I’m sure you can imagine, each day is different. Ideally, I’ll spend the first half an hour or so on general admin, going through my emails and actioning and responding as relevant, as well as adding things to and updating my to do list. Often, I’ll have a conversation with my line manager to arrange priorities for the day.
I’ll be working from timelines for each project and account, so I will work through and check on deadlines, again actioning needed items and adding things to my to do list to ensure the work stays on track to meet deadlines.
Of course, this is in an ideal world! I’ve learned to create and manage successful plans, but it is absolutely essential to be flexible. Things change and plans can be fluid, you have to be able to adapt and not be rigidly fixed on your original timeline and idea.
I’ve learned to multitask too. I used to try and get one thing done at a time, but this really slows down the process so I start as much as I can and get the ball rolling!
What three words would you use to describe your role?
I am going to use phrases –
Project management, finance management, liaising with clients.
What is on your wish list for your next five years here?
I think, just like most people, I want to do a really good job and be a successful member of the accounts team, in my current role. I would love to be able to help grow the team and the work we do. Further to this, I’d like to gain more experience in the business development arena. I haven’t had the chance to do this yet, but I know the opportunity will be coming up this year.
There are many training and promotion opportunities at Prime Global. I’d like to take advantage of this and climb the ladder, essentially.
What do you enjoy in your free time?
Well with COVID-19, it’s become quite boring. Sleeping and eating! Before the pandemic I used to meet up with friends after work, go for drinks, I was really into spoken word. I also enjoy taking pictures and travelling but of course we can’t do any of these things anymore. Now I pretty much just relax, make food and enjoy catching up with friends over Facetime.
How do you define success?
I feel things have been a success when I receive positive feedback. Whether it be from teammates or a line manager, I find this really motivating. However, aside from this, my definition of success is quite simple. When I’m happy and enjoying my work – that’s success.
Thank you, Safi! We really enjoyed talking with you.