Heli Tenhola, M.Sc. (Pharmacy), has worked at DRA for soon 10 years. Heli started her career at DRA already during her studies, and thanks to the experience she has gained through the years, she has been trusted with more versatile and more responsible expert roles in the pharmaceutical industry. The following interview will give you a glimpse to Heli’s interesting career path.
What is your role, and what are your duties at DRA now?
Currently, I’m involved in quality management in a client company. I facilitate different kind of audits, and I also help the client company’s affiliates to prepare for the audits. In addition, I’m one of the company’s contact persons in training matters in the EU area. I’m also engaged in the company’s risk management and in organising risk evaluation of different processes. Most of my time is dedicated to the work for the client company, but I have some expert duties at DRA as well: I update our orientation materials and support my colleagues in various quality tasks.
How have you grown professionally at DRA?
For the first five years, I was mainly involved in marketing authorisation tasks, but I had some duties related to pharmacovigilance as well. Quality matters have always formed a minor part of my duties, but little by little, I have shifted more to the quality management. A turning point in my career was when I returned to work after my parental leave in 2017. I was appointed Responsible Pharmacist in one big company for which I still continue working as a consultant through DRA. Since the Responsible Pharmacist duties and the quality management work then occupied all my time, everything else was cleared from my desk. Now I have once again taken another step in my career as I have moved on from the Responsible Pharmacist’s role to become a QA Specialist.
What is the best part of your job? What do you find fascinating about your job?
Previously, my job was tied to the client company’s Finnish organisation. However, in my current role as a QA Specialist, I get to take part in the EU-wide collaboration and activities throughout the company’s quality organisation, which is very interesting. I also find it motivating that my role has developed and that I have been trusted with more responsibility.
What is your superpower? What is your expertise in the pharmaceutical field?
My superpowers are the ability to manage the big picture and versatility: I have experience in marketing authorisation, pharmacovigilance and quality related work.
What makes DRA special?
DRA has allowed me to flexibly combine work and family life and make adjustments according to the changes in my personal life, for example during my parental leave and when my kids have been small. Thanks to this, both work and the time spent at home with the kids have felt meaningful, and I have been able to keep these parts of my life in balance. The employer has been flexible about working times, and I, for my part, have also adjusted my working hours when the client company has required more contribution from me – in other words, flexibility goes both ways.
Why would you recommend working at DRA?
DRA is an excellent vantage point to the pharmaceutical industry: given the fact that DRA is so broadly involved in everything related to the industry and the pharmaceutical companies’ operations, it offers a great opportunity to get a comprehensive overview of the many aspects of this industry. Another plus is that you get varying tasks as well as possibilities for developing yourself and getting more responsibility – these are exactly the reasons why I have enjoyed working at the same company for almost 10 years.