hero header image Olga van Grol-Lawlor | Creating Your Own Role: The Power of Proactivity

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Olga van Grol-Lawlor | Creating Your Own Role: The Power of Proactivity

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⭐ Introduction

Welcome to another episode of Career Diaries by Elemed, the podcast dedicated to discussing careers in the MedTech industry! In this episode, we had the pleasure of interviewing Olga van Grol-Lawlor, Manager of Global Regulatory Intelligence and Advocacy at Boston Scientific. Olga shared her experiences and insights on transitioning from a traditional regulatory affairs role to the emerging field of regulatory intelligence advocacy, shedding light on their career paths and highlighting the importance of networking, seizing opportunities, and embracing advocacy. 

Let’s delve into her conversation to discover the valuable lessons she shared!

📈 Navigating a Non-Linear Career Path

Olga’s journey into regulatory intelligence was certainly unconventional! With a background in equine science, she previously found herself in a laboratory job before delving into the world of regulatory intelligence. Her experiences taught her the value of being open-minded and willing to take side steps to gain exposure to grow and expand within the professional world. She remarked on how stepping down in one’s title can actually lead to greater opportunities in larger companies! 

👋 Networking and Reaching Out

Recognising the limitations that a small team can have, Olga emphasised the significance of connecting with the right people to gather additional insights that can influence legislation. Actively attending and participating in events such as trade associations, Olga was able to further expand her network – Enabling her to reach out to industry experts and secure their valuable input. 

She further discussed how building relationships with these individuals allowed her to seek guidance from them which, in turn, allowed for broader perspectives to form and open doors to new and exciting opportunities!

🏋️ Embracing Advocacy and Leveraging Natural Strengths

The journey that Olga took to her current role revealed the power of demonstrating value and the impact it can have on shaping one’s career path. As she transitioned into her regulatory-focused position at Boston Scientific, she seized the opportunity to shape her given responsibilities according to her strengths. Through the combination of her expertise in advocacy with regulatory analysis, she not only played a crucial role in influencing positive change but also secured the necessary resources to make a significant impact within the organisation.

She emphasised the importance of individuals identifying their unique strengths and aligning them with the needs of their workplaces. By doing so, professionals can form meaningful contributions that can unearth greater job satisfaction.

Olga discussed how one’s work aligning with their natural strengths allows for tasks to become more effortless, which enables people to excel and deliver exceptional results. Recognising and communicating such an alignment not only enhances personal growth but also garners support from decision-makers who recognise the value brought to the organisation.

🙇 The Universality of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome, the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been truthfully achieved, is something that Olga has had her fair share of experience in. She spoke about needing support through educational means and undertaking courses in an attempt to relieve the feelings associated with the syndrome. 

She also discussed how she overcame the feelings associated with imposter syndrome by recognising her own values and strengths, and telling herself that she ‘did deserve a seat at this table’. Another aspect of her overcoming the emotions associated with imposter syndrome was by talking about her feelings with other professionals and coming to the realisation that many individuals, even those she looked up to, cooperation-wise, held similar experiences – that these emotions were shared.

✍️ Key Insights

Olga continuously scans the global regulatory environment for trends, conducts research, and compiles new regulatory requirements. She and her team actively engage in trade associations, in addition to connecting organisations both internally as well as externally.

A big thing Olga emphasised was the act of saying ‘yes’ to things, and how it can open unexpected doors; shown in her journey from gaining a degree in equine science, to being the manager of global regulatory.

🎙️ Conclusion

Olga van Grol-Lawlor’s career journey exemplifies the power of seizing opportunities and taking calculated risks. Her unique background in equine science led her to venture into the regulatory affairs field, where she embraced new challenges and proactively created opportunities for herself. Through her role as the manager of Global Regulatory Intelligence and Advocacy at Boston Scientific, Olga combines her expertise in regulatory intelligence and her passion for advocacy. Her ability to shape her role and demonstrate the value of advocacy within the organisation has propelled her career forward. Olga’s story serves as an inspiration for professionals looking to make unconventional career transitions and emphasises the importance of embracing change and taking leaps of faith to achieve professional growth and success.

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