I was in my 10th-grade year in high school when I began getting into a lot of trouble both at home and at school. I was becoming a disruption in my classes, and my grades began to fall dramatically. My parents were worried about me, and so was I. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. With about three weeks left to go in the year, I was expelled from school. I was sent to an “alternative school,” which did not provide any classes to actually further my education, so I stopped going. My parents began to home-school me, and during the summer of my 10th-grade year, I began taking college classes. I realized that high school was not for me, and at the beginning of the next year, I enrolled full-time in community college. I learned at this point that it takes hard work, dedication, and determination to succeed. Over the next year and a half, I earned my associate’s degree at just 17. From there I transferred to a four-year university, where the same values paid off.
Tell me about a time you had to sell or persuade someone on an idea of yours.
The business team had a very tight deadline for getting FDA approval for a line extension of a newly marketed pharmaceutical product. The team wanted to do something very quickly, focusing only on efficacy and safety and not including any outcomes. I convinced the team to include some outcomes related to convenience, satisfaction, and sleep quality. I had to convince them that this information was critical for us to gain market access, especially related to managed-care formularies. The FDA approved the line extension.
Annually, a year-end tournament capped off lessons at my tennis club. However, students had started losing interest in the tournament. Three years ago, I figured out a way to motivate the kids to play in the tournament by making it much more age-friendly. I suggested to the head coach that we all pitch in to buy prizes for the students and trophies for the winners and have other games and exercises going on while the tournament took place. The result was a 40 percent increase in participants and a significant increase in the crowds of family and friends that came out to watch.
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