Kelly Artherholt's career has progressed rapidly since she first joined Jazz four years ago, and her development path has taken her from an accounting role to her current position in Clinical Operations.
Here's what Kelly has to say about her experience at Jazz:
Q: How long have you been with Jazz Pharmaceuticals? What was your initial role? What is your current position?
A: Four years ago I was hired by Jazz as a senior accountant in the finance department. Since then, I have progressed in two positions and have moved into an entirely new department. Currently, I work in clinical operations as a senior manager on the clinical strategic outsourcing team.
Q: What do you like best about your current job? Why?
A: I like that every day is different, which keeps the role challenging and engaging. I have found that I am constantly problem-solving. With each new clinical study we are learning, developing and improving processes. To be a part of R&D, which is relatively new to Jazz, is exciting and provides lots of opportunity for growth. In addition, I work cross–functionally with other departments and vendors, which only enhances the daily excitement.
Q: What does career development mean to you? How has your role/position developed since you first joined the company?
A: To me, career development means growing beyond your current position and being challenged to the next level. It means taking on new responsibilities and expanding your knowledge. When I see an opportunity to learn a new skill or develop my current skills, I try to be proactive and voice my interest. You have to be an advocate for your own career. Since I joined Jazz, I have advanced into new positions three times. I started my career as a senior accountant in the finance department and was then promoted to accounting manager. As an accounting manager I worked very closely with the clinical operations team and was always interested in the work that they do. When I was made aware of an open position on the outsourcing team, I reached out to the clinical operations manager about the role and the team. I was ultimately hired as a manager of strategic outsourcing in clinical operations. Today, my title is senior manager, strategic outsourcing. I started out reviewing and submitting contracts and have grown in my current position to now play a key role in the portfolio planning process, which is great exposure to upper management and the business as a whole.
Q: Who or what has been the most meaningful contributor to your development? How so?
A: Corina Hughes, my manager, has been the most influential. She has helped build my confidence in an area in which I had limited experience. It was a big jump going from an accountant to clinical trials. I had to learn a totally different language. Corina has been more than patient and gracious in including me in important projects such as the Nippon Shinyaku Alliance, and has allowed me to take the lead on high level projects. She has provided her support and input when I have needed it but has allowed me to make key decisions, which has helped in developing my leadership skills.
Q: What’s the best (most meaningful, must useful) feedback you’ve ever received and why was it meaningful?
A: "Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know." I used to be very reserved and intimidated as an accountant. Now, I am more confident in asking questions and providing input when the need arises.
Q: What role has/have either your manager(s) or any internal staff development programs played in your career growth and development? Can you provide an example?
A: The individual clinical trial managers have helped immensely. With each clinical trial they have guided me in what to expect from the contract research organizations (CRO) and with developing budgets related to their particular study.
Q: Please describe how one or more of Jazz’s Core Values are embodied by your role here.
A: Collaboration. I work cross-functionally on each clinical study to ensure corporate goals are met, and ultimately to ensure they yield results or information that helps patients. We also collaborate effectively within clinical operations, constantly sharing lessons learned on certain studies and working to improve processes.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge as you’ve grown in your career? How did you overcome it?
A: Transitioning from accounting to clinical operations was a big challenge. I was choosing to leave the profession I had prepared for in college to pursue something completely new and different. I was leaving my comfort zone and going into the unknown. I remember sitting in clinical trials working group meetings and quietly googling acronyms. Very quickly, I embraced the learning curve and enjoyed that I got to experience something new every day. All of my clinical operation colleagues were so welcoming and willing to help train me, which made the transition that much better.
Q: Complete this sentence: “When I am not at work, my favorite pastime is…”
A: When I am not at work my favorite pastime is hiking or going to the beach with my husband, Jeff and puppy, Bailey.
Here are a few words from Kelly’s mentor, Corina Hughes, Director of Strategic Outsourcing:
Q: You clearly played a role in Kelly’s growth at Jazz. What are the qualities that stood out to set her on that path toward career growth?
A: The qualities that stood out in Kelly were very much linked to our core values: Integrity, collaboration, passion, pursuit of excellence and innovation. Kelly exemplified these values to the tee and, in particular, showed how to get a job done while maintaining calm under pressure -- sometimes having to seek an out-of-the-box solution, but always ensuring a quality deliverable product within the specified timeframe.
Q: What advice/insights would you offer to other Jazzicians who want to follow a similar career development path?
A: Find something you love, feel passionate about it and go after it! Work with your manager, establish clear career goals. Have a clear understanding of what is needed to progress to the next level and partner with your manager to get there! Most importantly, remember that it is not just about the ‘what we do’ but, equally important, it is about the ‘how we do it’. Take advantage of some personal development courses offered through Learning and Development – they are invaluable.
Q: What else would you like to tell us about Kelly?
A: As her manager, I regularly receive feedback from colleagues saying how much they enjoy working with her and how great she is at her job, and how much she has helped them. I have spent the past two years building the department from the two people to the five people department that it is now. I could not have done it without Kelly’s support, sense of humor, kindness and basic good human nature. I look forward to continuing on this journey with Kelly and to see what they future holds for her here at Jazz.