What advice would you give your younger self?

Mary Clark, Managing Director, Optimum Strategic Communications

“Be passionate and enthusiastic – try new things – and get out there – if you are not on the pitch, no one will know you are playing.”

Annalisa Jenkins, Chairman of the Court, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

“A wonderful mentor told me in 1998 …“Always be gracious and kind to everyone you meet on your journey but also understand that you can’t make everyone happy all of the time.””

Linden Thomson, Fund Manager, AXA Investment Managers

“Be open to opportunity; investigate all that come along and (generally) only say no if there is a very good reason. You never know what doors may open up.”

Geraldine O’Keeffe, Partner, LSP

“Think big and aim high – the biggest obstacle standing in your path is your own self-doubt.”

Deborah Harland, Partner, SR One

“Always have your own money; financial independence is liberating both personally and professionally.”

Mette Kirstine Agger, Managing Partner, Lundbeckfonden Ventures

“Remember to pause, enjoy and celebrate the successes. There is always a next day for hard work.”

Tina Tan, Executive Editor, FirstWord MedTech

“Don’t let the haters get you down and, as hard as it is, avoid comparing yourself with others. To quote a line from Desiderata, “… there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.””

Alison Howie, Chief Product Officer, IXICO

“I think I’d actually high-five my younger self in my self-awareness: recognising (at the end of my science degree) that I wasn’t cut out to be a “proper scientist”, instead of following my friends into lab-based roles or PhD’s, I headed off to a marketing job with a large blue-chip company. What seemed, at the time, to be a bit of a rash decision has since supported a career that has enabled me to combine my love of science with real world problem-solving and provided a lot of interesting opportunities along the way.”

Avital Weiss, Project Manager, ImaginAb

“Every child needs one adult to believe in them. Luckily, I had my grandmother, who always told me I have “golden hands”. This was the best advice I have ever received. I grew up feeling that my hands are magical and that if I believed and insisted enough, I could do everything. Had I met my younger self today, I would have told her (me), that my grandmother was right. I would have inspired her to be curious and not shy – to never stop asking questions to understand how and why things are the way they are and to always try, and see how the answer is only a part of a bigger picture.
I would have also told myself to have more confidence and believe in myself and that it would take a few more years for me to understand my values and strengths, but once I do, the sky would be the limit.”

Renée Aguiar-Lucander, Chief Executive Officer,  Calliditas Therapeutics

“Focus more on networking and less on the task. I believe that we tend to be quite task-oriented – very good at delivering on time at a high quality with attention to detail. However, sometimes we would be better served to go to a conference, sign up to be a speaker or go out and have a drink with our boss, or our team or a client, because in the long run, it’s the relationships which matter and the connections you make along the way. These are the people who will recommend you for a job, or a project etc. So go out there and be seen!”