Meet a Medidatian: Niralee P.’s Advice to ‘Build Your Own Career Ladder’ at Medidata
Medidatian Niralee P. got the urge to join Medidata while working on clinical trial process improvements in her role for CSL Behring.
She heard a consultant, who previously worked for Medidata, explain what the company was working on to improve clinical trials. The consultant had started the operational excellence team she now works in today.
A business major with a science background, Niralee was so fascinated by the technical side of Medidata’s work improving clinical trials (work instructions, standard operating procedures, and a framework for how the organization works) that she decided to change careers.
“Medidata’s technology was so impressive to me. I was just blown away by it. So when I heard about an opportunity at Medidata, I did a little bit of research. When I learned the advancements being made, and the things Medidata was doing to help better people's lives, I wanted to join this company and be a part of helping change people's lives too.”
– Niralee P., Business Process Manager, Professional Services, Medidata
Niralee works as a business process manager within the Professional Services organization and manages their quality system documentation. She works with an amazing team of Documentation Specialists that ensures Medidata is compliant in its documentation and processes. Essentially, she helps the Professional Services (PS) team document how it completes client engagements for the various services provided by PS.
She is also responsible for finding different tools and technologies to improve the jobs of her Professional Services team members. Her team implemented Blue Works Live, which is a sophisticated process mapping tool that helps the PS Strategy & Transformation team map out future state processes for our clients.
“We show our clients what the future state could look like and how they can get there using our products,” said Niralee. “I also research and find other tools that better enable our employees to do their jobs. We evaluate and gather requirements. It’s really cool and a lot of fun!”
One of the innovative projects Niralee worked on was hosting “Process Hackathons” in which different team members would work together to solve a process problem. Participants were encouraged to conceptualize and build innovative solutions—on the spot in 24 or 48 hours—for use in real-world clinical trials.
During the two years the hackathons were held, the team recommended many process improvements, such as automating the timesheet process so PS project managers would type into the Google Calendar, and it would autofill into Salesforce. This solution came out of our Japan office and was the winner of the Hackathon that year.
“The hackathons were fulfilling because we made process improvements quickly. It was a really cool way to show the improvements that we can make in an organization within 24 hours. And imagine if we had more time, how we can make our processes even more efficient,” said Niralee.
The best thing about working at Medidata are the opportunities, she said. After eight years, her job was no longer fulfilling and she wasn’t any closer to getting promoted. She wanted to stay with Medidata because she loved the flexibility she had with her busy life as a mother of two children, Anaya, 7, and Devin, 5, and husband Hersh. She found the answers she needed to get ahead in the company by joining the Women of Color business resource group (BRG). She learned new skills and discovered skills she never knew she had.
What lifted her up professionally and personally was working with other women in the BRG and learning from them. She asked colleagues many questions. How do they approach different situations? How can she change what she’s doing in her job so she can be seen and heard?
“I learned as a lead within the Women of Color organization. Once I got that confidence, I was able to push for things that I needed in my job, and lo and behold, I got promoted. That helped me. I now have a team of people who I support. I love our people. I got to literally hand-pick each person who works with me, and we've built this family together.”
Niralee went on to create the new South Asian Identities at Medidata (SAIM) BRG to celebrate the different South Asian cultures, which are from the countries of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Napal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the Maldives.
The idea for SAIM came to her while she was a member of the Women of Color BRG. She wanted to tap into the South Asian male population at Medidata, get her male colleagues involved in different initiatives, and have a conversation between South Asian men and women to figure out how they can overcome career barriers they faced in the U.S.
As the chairman of SAIM, she found the leadership skills she needed to help the members voice and develop themselves, advance, and get promoted within Medidata. The group, which already has more than 100 members and is growing beyond her expectations, recently hosted Diwali celebrations at our NJ and NYC offices to sample great Indian food, music, and games. Diwali is a five-day festival of lights and is one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs.
“SAIM has helped me grow professionally in so many ways. I've been able to build confidence, and discover some leadership skills that I didn't know I had. It’s helped me get organized and learn about time management. It's something I do on the side, but it's very fulfilling,” said Niralee.
What career advice does Niralee have for her fellow Medidatians?
“Someone told me that I had to build my own career ladder. I had to make the decisions that needed to be made because no one's going to make them for me if I want to get promoted. Build your own career ladder.
“Find something else to do in the organization to learn and build those skills that you need to advance. Then bring back those skills and use them in your current role. That's what I did, and that helped me build my own career ladder and get to where I am today,” she added.
Want to learn more about Niralee? Watch the short video below to see her favorite part of being a Medidatian.
If you’re looking for a new career challenge at Medidata, click here to check out these exciting opportunities that are currently available throughout the company globally.