A medical doctor by training, Nada Martini has worked in a variety of marketing and strategy roles in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, with a current focus in oncology. As she considered the next step in her career, she recognized that deepening her knowledge of immuno-oncology would be essential. She took HMX Pro Immunology – Immuno-oncology to gain an overview of the field and take on new challenges.
Did the level of the immuno-oncology course feel right for you?
It did, because of the mix of the way it was presented and the way it was implemented. In the beginning, it felt like somewhat basic material, but it was a good refresher for me as the field has evolved a lot in the years since I left medical school.
But then, what really made it that right level was presenting the materials in different ways – the more theoretical aspects, combined with the practical implications and the clinical application of it. Also, I felt like the [assessment] questions didn’t just ask you to repeat what you’d heard, but you really had to think about what you’ve learned to answer them. I felt like I actually learned something on top of what I had previously learned just by answering the questions and having to think about them.
What aspects of the course did you find most engaging?
Making great online trainings is not easy. Being in the pharmaceutical industry, we take all these trainings for compliance and other things. People spend a lot of time and effort to make them interesting and engaging, but so often they are not. This was a real contrast to it. I felt like the mix of formats really worked for me.
I loved the hand drawings, like on a whiteboard; It wasn’t just a pre-recorded animation; you really have the sense of somebody walking you through the subject. I also loved the discussions between some of the faculty and the researchers and clinicians. Also, I call them the inspirational videos, where there are people being asked about the future of the field and to reflect back on how far we’ve come. So, that mix really made it very engaging.
How difficult was it to fit the course in alongside your other responsibilities?
That was my one hesitation when I signed up for it…I thought, is it realistic for me to do this? Because I’m also a single parent – and all of a sudden became an at-home teacher as well [due to COVID-19]. On the other hand, I no longer had to commute to the office and that’s where I felt like, ok, I can really do this – just plan ahead and make sure that I block out some time whenever I can to work on it.
I think I would have been disappointed if it had felt too easy to fit in, if I had been able to complete it with barely having to pay attention. Then I would have wondered, was that really worth taking? You have to make the time, you have to be focused on it and pay attention and take notes, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth doing.
How do you think you’ll use what you’ve learned from this course?
I accepted an offer at Bristol Myers Squibb, and I will actually be working on early development, and some of the assets in the pipeline are immuno-oncology assets and CAR T. So this will prove to be very valuable to me.