Germans are often stereotyped as being reserved, but my experience thus far has been the opposite in the capital city of Germany, the melting pot of cultural diversity: Berlin. Amidst the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I accepted the challenge to move out of my comfort zone. I applied for a senior position in the Medical Writing Team (MW) of ICRC Weyer in July 2020 over LinkedIn, from India. I was immediately contacted by the Lead of the MW Team and then started my journey.
Although the pandemic had brought some challenges to the hiring process, the Hiring Team was very supportive, caring and patient throughout the process. I consequently moved to Berlin exactly after 10 months. ICRC-Weyer was very considerate of my request to help me find an apartment and signed me up for one by the time I was in Berlin. My colleagues gave me a floral welcome and I was happy to find a lovely welcome message from our Managing Director upon my arrival.
Since my Day 1 I felt that the adrenalin was quite high at ICRC-Weyer. The teams worked on some promising novel drugs and label-extensions for existing drugs for our clients. I quickly realized how diverse my organization is. We have associates from different nationalities working together in the same office, towards the same goals. I got an opportunity to put my earlier experience to good use. I learnt some new document types too. All this while, my Team Lead had been a great mentor and helped me get on to speed with understanding the requirements of the submission teams. It was an extremely busy year, but the learning was intense. In order to continue my learning, I was also given a chance to become a part of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) and to be a part of some conferences as well. Thanks to the enthusiasm, support, and encouragement I received; I could also mentor other medical writers in the team to take on the challenging projects independently.
Later that year, I decided to get married. My colleagues were equally happy for me, and I was granted the opportunity to enjoy all the moments of my wedding in my home country along with my family. My ICRC-Weyer family even participated in my wedding graciously through the live streaming. I am so grateful that I was also permitted to work from home for a few days as I warmed up to responsibilities as of being a wife in my home country. And when the time came to integrate my husband in Germany, once again, the management and Office Manager readily helped us with documentation needed for the visa.
Today it is an honor to extend the same warm welcome that I once received to the new medical writers joining my team. Even when we are working from home, we always make plans to meet up in the office over a pizza. Kudos to ICRC-Weyer for exemplifying professionalism at work, warmth in inter-personal relations and continuous learning support to its employees.
Keerthika Gogula, Senior Medical Writer