Ahead of Careers in data and tech week we caught up with LSE alumna, Sharon Terracina, to find out more about her career journey so far and how she came to build her career within the digital health space.
How and why healthcare, and more specifically why digital health?
Healthcare has always been my passion, being my prime objective, having a positive impact in this sector: contributing to “more”. When I left high school, I entered medicine but encountered a little caveat… I did not like to ‘touch’ people and even less, “other people’s” blood. Not very good news at that stage. How could I ensure then that I could end up professionally in the healthcare space, without having a clinical/medical background? Technology appeared to be the route, which, in combination with a solid career in business administration and international management, could allow me to enter this fascinating world. And so it happened. Right after LSE, I was hired by Cerner and worked in London. That was then the beginning of my career in the digital health space.
And what’s your current role?
A couple of years ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to change my professional career and join Roche, based in its headquarters in Basel. Attracted by Roche’s ambition to build and roll-out a digitally-enabled clinical decision support portfolio, I felt I could bring the right level of experience and knowledge, while at the same time creating a tangible impact. So today I am a Digital Market Development manager, covering EMEA and LATAM. What does my role entail? It is a multifaceted role with a focus on supporting affiliates to develop markets within the digital health space and to ensure commercial success.
What are the key skills you’ve been able to develop in your journey?
First of all, resilience. I have always been a person with willpower but not used to failure (I am a perfectionist!). And indeed, I did not always get where I wanted when I wanted. Starting without a clinical or scientific background made it hard to enter the sector. However, effort, belief and great people around me helped me fulfil my passion.
Second, becoming a generalist. There are many subject matter experts out there in the market. I had to be ready and able to connect the dots, understand journeys, create mind maps and connect people.
What have been your key learnings so far?
Don’t be put off by the NOs in your career. Focus on the YESs, your strengths, and the small steps that get you closer to your goal(s). Network, talk to people, share your passions and thoughts. Listen and then speak. Be courageous to defend your position with solid arguments, and be open and grateful to being challenged, it will make you evolve.
Be pragmatic. Think big and start small. Go back to simplicity, convert complex things into understandable granular simple matters. This will allow you to move fast, learn and iterate on your learning. Embrace feedback. Test, make mistakes, make it better, grow.
Sharon Terracina is a CEMS Alumni, born in Barcelona. After her CEMS MSc and several international experiences, she felt more convinced than ever to enter the healthcare space and have a greater impact on society.