Employee Stories
15th May 2019

Marlaina Lewis

Marlaina Lewis

I started working for Cello Health in October and it has been a wonderful experience thus far. From the moment I walked into the office it felt like home. The whole team went above and beyond to make me feel welcome and a part of the team.
My career started working in a toxicology laboratory performing forensic and clinical drug testing, after I had completed a Bachelors in Chemistry and Masters in Forensic Science. My ambitions and interests quickly led me to the pharmaceutical industry. During my time in the pharmaceutical industry, I worked on a wide variety of dosage forms from injectables to orals to topicals in both early phase drug development as well as over the counter drug innovation. It was my growing interest of the innovation and commercialization of drug products along with my strong passion for helping clients achieve their goals, that led me into strategy consulting and ultimately to Cello. Having come from a different background to most, I was nervous about starting over and questioned whether or not I could do it, but my nerves and fears quickly have changed into excitement and anticipation of what I would learn and the great team I would be growing with. Most of the time, when first starting a job, the team will make you feel welcome, sure, but Cello goes above and beyond. From the moment I walked in the door I was greeted and felt I was a part of a very close-knit team where it is clear that these people genuinely care about the work they do and want to help each and every person grow professionally alongside growing Cello as a company. This blew me away as it can be such a rare find in today’s corporate culture.
Has this role been exactly what I expected? Yes, and no. I think being someone who has had a very different path than most in consulting, there was a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity moving into this field for me. I had an idea of some of what consultants do, but it still was a very broad term to me and expected that coming in to a brand new area from my “somewhat” broader field would have a steep learning curve. At the Associate Consultant level, I knew I would be performing a lot of supportive work and learning the field, so in that sense it has been what I imagined. But, what hasn’t been as I expected is how much of a collaborative effort every project is – there really is no, one person who completes a project and so many different people are involved from proposal writing to completion.
This was a surprise, whilst I knew there would be collaboration I hadn’t expected it at this level and for it to include everyone from brand new team member to experienced Vice President. In places I have worked in the past that, upper management would rarely be involved in projects other when giving approvals and minor input, but not here. Everyone, at every level, works together to get the work done and to dazzle our clients. This for me is what makes Cello such a great place to work, we are in it together and help each other do the best job we can.
That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges. Having spent the first five years of my career in a laboratory environment, from toxicology to drug development, the move to consulting in an office environment was an adjustment that pushed me out of my comfort zone and into new territory. There have been many days where I have been unsure of where to even begin but my colleagues are always there to help, giving a welcome push that has helped me grow and learn at a rapid rate with support and encouragement.
Another wonderful thing about Cello is that we are a small but growing company, one of the things I was looking for when changing jobs, where I could have more exposure to more people and different types of work, with the scope to grow. I have found that small companies tend to allow for a vast amount of learning on a wide variety of things in a short period of time.
Being new to the field of consulting, I was looking for this rapid growth and learning. That being said, smaller companies tend to have less structure and formal training. Cello has not been different in these aspects. There is a steep learning curve, with not an overly thorough training program, particularly in the US, as we are a much smaller team, and the employee is expected to be very proactive in their own development and training. That being said, just in the last six months since I’ve joined, I have noticed Cello making big strides to add to their formal training and mentoring. Also, I find that no matter who you ask, everyone from VP to associate, is more than willing to teach you and answer any questions you may have, which is refreshing! I find if there is a resource needed to do my job, Cello is more than willing to provide it. I think between that willingness to allow their people to grow as well as this supportive team, I have what I need to be very successful in my role and at Cello.
Lastly, I find the Cello culture to be a very warm and welcoming team. Both globally and locally, everyone seems to care about one another. Everyone tends to celebrate each other’s wins, rally together when someone needs help, and learn from failures. Being a global company, with a headquarters across the very large pond (in the UK), it can be difficult to have as much collaboration and team building as one would want. However, I find that Cello really tries to bridge this distance gap, or at least shrink it, by collaborative work teams that are mixture of employees of all levels from both countries. I am very excited to see how my career develops and how Cello grows in the months and years to come. Cello is made up of a diverse and collaborative group of people who have passion and heart for all they do and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the team! Looking forward to a bright future!

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