Lydia Crowe, Director at Mtech Access, shares her experiences of returning to work during lockdown, following her maternity leave. With a background in health economics and medical writing, and more than 16 years’ experience in market access, Lydia specialises in the scoping and development of digital, data-driven field force value communication materials and models.
We sit down with Lydia to find out more about her role at Mtech Access.
What initially brought you to a career in market access?
After my biology degree, I spent two years working in labs but knew I didn’t want a career in research. So, I combined my two interests – science and English – and got a job in medical writing for a market access agency.
From this I moved sideways into health economics, moving up through building models in Excel, then to project management and consultancy.
I established a love of commercial and promotional tools early on and this is where I now specialise. I get huge satisfaction from crafting a great value proposition or budget impact model and turning them into lovely looking digital tools.
Since joining Mtech Access, what are the biggest changes you have seen?
I joined in 2017, when Mtech Access was only about 10 people, and I was excited to work in a small team again. There are now approximately 70 people in the company, and we have added new services since then (global market access, systematic literature review and statistics, NHS Insights and Interaction), all of which strengthen the value we can bring to our clients.
The team has grown a huge amount in the last year and there are lots of new people to get to know. This growth has taken place across the business, which demonstrates the equal value of all our services and deliverables to our clients.
I was a bit unsure about working from home full time as I have always been much happier in the office, but I’ve adapted to it quicker than expected. I don’t feel that remote meetings have compromised our ability to engage with our clients. In fact, it means that it is easier for both parties to find time to talk as we don’t need to factor in travel time between offices.
What does a typical week in your role involve?
A huge variety, which is what I love about my job.
Looking across a couple of weeks in my calendar, I have new team member onboarding, client calls about projects and opportunities, project management, hands-on project work, and internal meetings to talk about commercial and operational activities. It can be challenging to balance it all, and some weeks I barely manage it, but it gets done somehow!
I get to work with people from all our business units, as well as clients from all sorts of pharmaceutical and devices companies, in the UK and in other markets. This means I am learning new things all the time and never get bored.
Next week I am attending my first virtual conference, which will be an interesting experience. No evening socialising – I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…
What are you most enjoying, now that you’re back at work (following your maternity leave)?
Apart from the peace and quiet?! I’ve really enjoyed getting my teeth back into projects and working with new clients, whilst also catching up with some of my favourite ‘old’ clients.
We’re also undergoing quite a few changes internally, to adapt and improve the business as we grow, so there have been some great opportunities to get involved with this.
Last but not least, with a couple of recent new recruits, I have a fantastic team of talented women, whom I can’t wait to see develop and progress.
What challenges have you faced that you might not have expected?
Although I’ve actually found working from home better than I expected, it can be tricky working alongside my husband in the same room, particularly when we are both on calls. There have been a few messages between us, asking each other to be quiet…
One aspect of office life that I miss is the ability to have quick conversations with colleagues, to brainstorm or ask their opinions / for their expertise. This has led to my calendar being filled with calls and meetings, which quickly consumes time in the day. I think we could all benefit from being more disciplined with this.
Thankfully my daughter is back at school now so there will hopefully be no more ‘homeschooling’ alongside odd working hours. As I’m sure other parents can sympathise, we all found this challenging and she was desperate to get back to her teachers and friends.
When you are not at work, what do you like to do?
I have two young children who take up a lot of my non-working life. In normal times we spend weekends visiting family and friends, and going for days or meals out. We’re usually very busy and, ironically, not keen on spending too much time in the house.
At the moment of course, our downtime consists of a lot of walking and home-based activities so we’re probably healthier and spending less money. We can’t wait to get back to our usual life though, even if it does mean we’ll end up complaining that we have no free weekends!
To find out more about our approach to value communication and how we can help you develop tools that help your products reach patients, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in joining our team at Mtech Access, please visit our careers page for details of our current vacancies.