Today we are happy to spend a brief moment with Duna Zaragoza, Head of Human Resources at MedSIR…we all known her as People Manager.
MedSIR Newsletter Team (MS): Thanks, Duna, for spending some time with us here today.
Duna Zaragoza (DZ): Thank you, it’s my pleasure!
MS: Well Duna, we know that you are officially the first employee of MedSIR. Tell us… What brought you to MedSIR?
DZ: The truth is that I remember my beginnings in MedSIR with a lot of love and a certain nostalgia. I know personally two of the four MedSIR partners because I worked with them on a previous occasion. When they explained their project to me, at the beginning it was difficult for me to understand because I had worked in a CRO and, although some may think a priori that they are similar companies, they are not. The concept behind MedSIR is completely different.
I started in MedSIR in 2012. At that time we did not have an office, everything was home based… Not many projects… We started with just one, and it did not take very long before two more very signed.
We were such a small group at our first Christmas meal that we didn’t even have to book a restaurant in advance! Hahaha.
Not a year passed that we already had an office in the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and the staff was growing, until today. Six years later we are in an office three times bigger than the previous one (which is too small for us) and almost 30 people have joined.
MS: Within the company, you have gone through several departments … In which one did you stay? If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
DZ: I started working at MedSIR as a Project Manager and after 3 years I realized that I needed a change.
One of the qualities of MedSIR as a company, and one that is most important for me is that from the beginning people listen to you and take an interest in your professional growth. This is the reason why after discussing it with directors, the opportunity arose to continue my career at MedSIR by joining the Department of Human Resources and Training, and in the Quality Department.
I could not tell you which of them I would stay with, because what I like most is the versatility of activities that I can do in each of them. It is a nonstop learning experience that I enjoy and that motivates me.
MS: Sometimes our clients ask us to define exactly how we work and what sets us apart. How would you define MedSIR to our readers?
DZ: If you allow me to make an informal definition…. because you will on our website the formal description… I would say that within our sector we are an unconventional company. For starters, we are the sponsors of most projects, and therefore have a vested interested in ensuring that our clinical trials are successfully carried out, without ever losing sight of our main purpose, which is to improve the patient’s lives.
There is a phrase that is mentioned many times when customers or suppliers come to see us and it is: what beautiful offices you have!, how much light! and … how much silence… It is a first impression that is repeated frequently and I totally agree. In MedSIR there are days when, instead of being in an office, you seem to be in a library because everyone is very focused in what they are doing. There is a good atmosphere and the fact that we work in an open space allows us to interact with everyone.
I have many anecdotes to share but without a doubt, for me, the best moments arise when we all meet once a month to share knowledge in one-hour sessions, and any of us can explain a topic of their interest to the rest of the team.
MS: What’s your favorite thing about your job? And the worst thing?
DZ: I will start with what I like least in the Human Resources Department. The worst has to do with personnel departures, or how to act in low yields (what do you mean? Poor performance?). It is not always easy to handle these two issues. Because of the General Quality System, the revision and modification of the SOPs.
In general, what I like the most about my job is that the tasks performed are not very repetitive and I am always learning new things.
For me, the best thing about working in human resources are the people itself. We have to be aware that they are the main asset of companies and that it is important to listen and meet their needs.
MS: As People Manager, we would like to know your opinion about the MedSIR Team. Is there any particular feature that all of them share? Do you think they have to have some special skills to survive at such a fast-paced environment?
DZ: Good question. I would say that we share several qualities such as commitment, common sense, the ability to work as a team, continuous improvement, … etc. We are consistent and committed to our work to give each day the best of us… Did I sell it well?… Hahaha… Jokes aside, in MedSIR there is a fantastic team with great potential. All these qualities help us to live better within a sector where the pace is quite high.
When we seek talent in MedSIR, we obviously value training and experience, but we also want it to be aligned with our values, and to share our company philosophy where each one is organized and planned in order to achieve their own and company objectives.
MS: If one thing distinguishes us from many other companies, it is the possibility to organize our working day as we want and be able to work from home. Yes, without ever losing sight of our objectives. How do you personally value this feature of MedSIR? Could you work in another company that does not share this philosophy?
DZ: Currently, I think that the model is changing and more companies are betting on a flexible schedule, but I think there is still a long way to go. In the case of MedSIR, from the beginning, there has always been the possibility of organizing your own working day. In this sense, I must say that family conciliation exists and is possible in a company like this.
The truth is that right now I would find it difficult to work in another different model of organization, having a strict office schedule.
In addition, I believe that MedSIR has adapted to the new environment, where it is important to have good working conditions that allow you to reconcile your free time, your family needs and your professional life. It is a challenge to be able to retain the best professionals and be able to demonstrate that we are an attractive enough company.
MS: And what about your hobbies? How do you keep yourself busy when not at MedSIR?
DZ: The activities that help me to disconnect from work are yoga and furniture restoration, but I have neglected them a bit because now I prefer to dedicate my free time to my two small children… and time just flies by!
Also, what really makes me completely disconnect is to escape the city on weekends(I think I’m too urban), and go to the beach or the mountain. It helps me to recharge batteries!
MS: Thanks so much Duna for your time
Thank you for these questions, and for highlighting some great elements of our company and the great team that we have at MedSIR.