Dr. Christine Vaupel Explains the Importance of a Mentor Program

Dr. Christine Vaupel Explains the Importance of a Mentor Program

Why did you want to create the Mentor Program?

After 5 years of being involved in leadership in a global level mentoring program in the healthcare sector, I saw a glaring need for a unique program across the pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device industry focused specifically on the field medical role. 

Why is it important for the MSL Society to offer this type of program?

Having a mentor has been shown to be the single most important reason people succeed in careers, as it correlates more than intelligence, hard work and talent.  In a flash, three years have flown by and the numbers are astounding.  United by the passion of improving patient lives, by next year in over 70 companies we’ll have touched more than 100 mentees. The MSL Society mentor volunteers willing to share the precious commodity of time along their career journey provide tremendous value.

Why did you get involved to create it?

In my career, I have had some wonderful mentors.  After finishing my PhD, I arrived eager, wide-eyed and new to industry, pregnant with my third child. In my on-boarding process, I was assigned the most amazing mentor in my new company who cheered me on and enabled my success at a time it would have been easy to succumb to being overwhelmed.  Inspired by the concept of creating an additional support network for new MSLs and recently promoted MSLs managers, the MSL Society Mentoring Program was introduced.

2nd Year Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program

2nd Year Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program

The MSL Society is excited to announce the second year of our Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program. Building on the success of the first mentor program last year that consisted of 11 newly-hired MSLs and four experienced MSL mentors, the second year of the program has been greatly expanded to include 30 newly-hired MSLs who were matched with 10 experienced MSL mentors.

In addition, for the first time, the program has been expanded to newly-hired MSL Managers with less than one year of management experience. In total, five newly-hired MSL Managers were matched with two experienced MSL Manager mentors.

This is a free program and is only available to members of the MSL Society. It exemplifies our mission of being dedicated to helping and MSL Managers advance in their careers. 

In the program, a newly-hired MSL with less than two years of experience is formally matched with an experienced pair of MSL co-mentors for the purpose of professional development and knowledge sharing. The group mentoring approach affords opportunities for mentees not only to benefit from mentors but also from peer mentees.

The program lasts for one year. Both mentors and mentees must be current members of the MSL Society in order to participate and meet the following guidelines:

  • Mentors must have at least 5 years of experience
  • Mentees are those recently hired with less than 2 years of experience

This program is not available for aspiring MSLs (those interested in becoming an MSL).

The entire program is managed by highly experienced MSL leaders who have extensive experience in managing mentor programs:

Christine Vaupel, PhD, Head of Medical Affairs, Navigate BioPharma, a Novartis Company

Jinah Lee, PharmD, ‪Sr. Medical Science Liaison, GSK

This a unique and there is no other program in the world like this available for MSLs or MSL management. Its a very valuable resource for participants and some of the feedback has included:

“I am pleased to be a part of the first MSL management mentoring session sponsored by the Medical Science Liaison Society. I believe that professional and personal mentorship provides an additional layer of support and guidance to others and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the MSL community that has supported me through my career. Although informal mentor relationships are very valuable and do occur organically, they may not be as accessible for everyone. In contrast, formalized programs such as this one provide more structure and open up opportunities for more individuals to participate as mentees as well as mentors.A mentee/mentor relationship is more personal than that of a boss or coach and sits outside of the current scope of employment. When providing mentorship, I personally, like to focus not only on current issues but also, numerous areas of career and professional development topics.” Elizabeth Kupferer, PhD, Sr Director, Medical Science, Women’s Health, Valeant Pharmaceuticals

“I am excited to be part of the program and serve as a mentor because The MSL Society Mentoring Program offers multiple benefits to all who participate including 1) A safe and supportive environment to discuss current and essential concerns, 2) An opportunity to provide and receive best practices, useful tips, and insights and discuss common issues, 3) A networking experience for all levels of expertise, and finally 4) A allocated time to express and reflect with folks who do what you do in different therapeutic areas.”  Rita ZambelasAssociate Director, Medical Affairs, Amicus Therapeutics

“As a Mentor in the MSL Society mentorship program, I find it to be a mutually beneficial approach to share new MSL perspectives, ideas, and experiences in small groups working in various companies with products at different life cycle stages. Together we are building an open, energized and positive environment to exchange ideas and provide advice that builds bridges for accelerated career advancement in the MSL role. Through fostering communication and exploring innovative ways to perform MSL functions, mentorship develops stronger, more capable MSLs and leaders!” Cherie A. Hyder, PharmD, Senior Director, Head of Medical Affairs, Alimera Sciences

If you are interested in learning more about the MSL Mentoring Program or for a list of FAQ-see here: https://www.themsls.org/msl-mentor-program 

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.

Dr. Christine Vaupel & Jinah Lee Speak on the Value of Mentoring MSLs

Why is mentoring so important to the success of an MSL?

Mentoring is critical to success, not only because of the expertise and soft skills MSLs can acquire from mentors, but also because mentors can provide access to professional networks and personal support to facilitate success and mitigate less successful efforts. Excellent mentoring greatly enhances MSLs chances for job satisfaction and success for the mentor and the mentee. Research shows that great mentoring is the single, most important reason people thrive in a career, more than hard work, talent, and intelligence.

How does MSL mentoring improve the performance of new MSLs?

Confidence is increased by empowering MSLs to work more efficiently, encouraging them to negotiate when necessary, helping them set boundaries, and letting them know that despite the perception that perfection is success, increasing skill sets and building knowledge is a journey.

How has MSL mentoring evolved since you began your MSL career?

Initially, mentors were mainly assigned to a new MSL for the purpose of transfer of technical knowledge. However, as the MSLs grew in numbers in the industry, peer mentors began to support mentees in relation to how to do MSL job more effectively. It is the delicate balance of the art of doing this job which is precarious without experienced mentors. This is not something one can grasp from reading an article. The MSL community is getting larger now so mentoring has been integrated into MSL programs across companies and is crucial for the success of any level of MSL.

Please share how MSL teams can setup formal mentoring programs.

Establishing formal mentoring programs on MSL teams starts with leadership vision and support. Successful mentoring programs incorporate these key aspects: clear delineation of program goals and expectations for mentors and mentees, careful selection and pairing of mentors and mentees, holding both mentor and mentee accountable for the relationship’s success, recognition for mentors who make a difference and a timeline with a beginning and end of the formal mentoring relationship. How do you gauge success? By organizational follow-up; outcome survey data that lead to developing and implementing best practices.

Tell us about the MSL mentoring program with the MSL Society?

The MSL Mentor/Mentee program is a unique program across the Pharma industry offered through the MSL Society. Since the program is both group and one-on-one session mixed, it allows the mentees to not only build a vertical relationship between a mentor and a mentee but also allows the mentees to build a lateral network with their peers. The gem of this is that it reinforces, we are in it all together to ultimately benefit our patients. More information is available at the link below.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Judi Vensak Gives Advice to MSLs and MSL Managers Who Want to Advance in Leadership

Dr. Judi Vensak Gives Advice to MSLs and MSL Managers Who Want to Advance in Leadership

Please describe your career and journey into MSL Leadership.

Looking back, I can say with certainty that my journey to the MSL role and MSL leadership was not one by design! A long tenure in clinical medicine at an academic center put me in the company of many brilliant clinicians, challenging patients, and cutting edge researchers each day. A drug development partnership and the chance to do something completely different in life led me to my first MSL position 13 years ago.

How have your diverse experiences contributed to your success?

For me, career success is defined by really loving and finding purpose in my work after all, it is an area of life where we devote a majority of waking hours! Fortunately I was insightful enough to seek and seize opportunities to learn, contribute, lead, and network. It seemed like there was a wise and willing mentor at every pivotal point along the way. Every patient, position, colleague, and especially my successes and failures (alike) paved the path and equipped me with skills and experiences I use and draw on every single day.

How do you create and manage a positive culture in a fast growing MSL team?

Creating a positive culture begins at the interview and with every decision to offer an MSL the opportunity to join our team. We believe members must not only be intellectually competent and skilled to do the work but that they’re self leaders and demonstrate the ability to contribute to a positive and productive teamwork environment. My Leaders and I are keenly aware that we must model actions that we expect from our teams and members. Our leadership styles may be different but our basic philosophy to support activities and reward behaviors that develop individuals, build trust and cohesion, and promote collaboration (a core company value!) is aligned.

What advice can you give to MSLs and MSL managers who are looking to advance and leadership?

  • Be clear in your definition of success;life’s way too short to spend time pursuing any position or a position in a company that’s not in alignment with your true self and values.
  • Practice self leadership principles whether you hold positional power at work (yet!) or not.
  • Create a written plan of specific short and long term career goals and identify resources, people, and opportunities you’ll seek for the knowledge and experience needed to achieve them.
  • Create a separate but similar written plan for leadership skills development.
  • Network and find trusting others (colleague, manager, or mentor) to help you implement both plans and access opportunities for advancement.

I look forward to seeing you at the Women’s Summit where we can discuss your path to leadership!

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Christine Vaupel & Jinah Lee Share their Thoughts on Mentorship for Female MSLs

How does mentoring female MSLs increase their confidence?

Confidence is increased by empowering them to work more efficiently, encouraging them to negotiate when necessary, helping them set boundaries, and letting them know it is okay to not be a superwoman despite the perception that perfection is success.

You know this saying, “behind every great man, there’s a great women.”  We would like to rephrase this and say “behind every great female leader, there is a great mentor.”

Please provide best practice for setting up mentorship program.

Successful mentoring programs incorporate these key aspects: clear delineation of program goals and expectations for mentors and mentees, careful selection and pairing of mentors and mentees, holding both mentor and mentee accountable for the relationship’s success, recognition for mentors who make a difference and a timeline with a beginning and end of the formal mentoring relationship.

How do you gauge success?  By organizational follow-up; outcome survey data that lead to developing and implementing best practices.

Please describe how mentoring female MSLs is different to male MSLs?

The overarching concept that comes to mind when we talk about a successful female MSL is ‘work life balance’. How does she do it?  There is no one size fits all. We believe that mentoring female MSLs gives mentors a unique opportunity to empower mentees to as Sheryl Sandberg says take a seat at the table.

Please tell us more about the new MSL Society mentorship program?

The MSL Mentor/Mentee program is a unique program across the Pharma industry offered through the MSL Society.  Since the program is both group and one-on-one session mixed, it allows the mentees to not only build a vertical relationship between a mentor and a mentee but also allows the mentees to build a lateral network with their peers.  The gem of this is that it reinforces, we are in it all together to ultimately benefit our patients. More information is available at the link below.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

NEW PROGRAM: Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program

NEW PROGRAM: Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program

The MSL Society is excited to announce and launch the first of its kind Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program. This program is complimentary for members of the MSL Society.  

The MSL Society is dedicated to helping MSLs advance in their careers and the program pairs new MSLs with more experienced MSLs on an informal basis for the purpose of providing one-on-one guidance and advice to the newer MSLs (mentees.) An experienced MSL will volunteer to serve as a mentor to a less experienced MSL (mentee) for at least a period of one year, during which time the mentor and mentee are encouraged to communicate on a monthly basis for discussions on mutually agreed topics.

The mentor will be encouraged to share experiences, feedback, and provide insights related to career guidance or career advancement. The mentee should enter into the mentor relationship with the goal of career enhancement and professional development. The program is not designed to be a substitute for internal management, HR, or other services offered through the mentee’s company. 

Both mentors and mentees must be current members of the MSL Society in order to participate and the following guidelines must be met:

•     Mentors must have at least 5 years of MSL experience

•     Mentees are those recently hired MSLs with less than 1 year of experience

•     Both mentors and mentees must be current members of the MSL Society in order to participate

•     This program is not available for aspiring MSLs (those interested in becoming an MSL)

The program is being managed by highly experienced MSLs who have extensive experience in managing mentor programs:

Christine Vaupel, PhD – MSL Mentoring Program Director,  Sr. Medical Science Liaison, Genoptix, a Novartis Company

Jinah Lee, PharmD – ‪Sr. Medical Science Liaison, GSK

If you are interested in participating in the MSL Mentoring Program or for a list of FAQ-see here: https://www.themsls.org/msl-mentor-program 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.