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Wisdom and wine: A night at the HCA’s speed networking event

One of them had years of experience at the ABPI, lots of them had years of experience in the world’s best and brightest agencies, some of them had spent decades working inside pharma organisations, but what did they all have in common?

Well, they were all generously spending their Thursday evening passing on their knowledge and guiding up-and-coming young minds at the HCA’s Speed Mentoring event!

With 10 of the best healthcare communications experts in the UK, along with the HCA’s Chief Executive, Mike Dixon, playing host, there was plenty of both wisdom and wine to get the conversations flowing (along with some very tasty nibbles).

Resolute was lucky enough to be able to send three of its newest recruits to sip at the fountain of knowledge, and here’s what they had to say about the experience:

“As someone who is very new to the field – I’d joined Resolute the week before the event! – I wasn’t sure what I could take away from this speed mentoring event but, I have to say, I found the evening overwhelmingly useful. Speaking to people who had, on average, been in the field for around 20 years, really gave me a feel for how the industry has developed and will be developing. It was also incredibly useful to get tips about how I should go forward in terms of approach to every day work, as well as how to cultivate my long-term aspirations. I was also able to get an insight into what these prominent people in the field liked to see in those who are climbing the ladder. I would definitely recommend speed mentoring to anyone, whatever position you’re in, to go to a HCA event. You never know who you might meet and there’s bound to be something new you can take away from the experience!” Vee Ragunathan, Account Executive

“The HCA mentoring was extremely insightful and of great value to me personally. I wasn’t too sure what to expect before the event but I am really glad that I was encouraged to attend. We got to speak 1-on-1 with a variety of individuals with a huge amount of collective experience in the sector. Not only were they able to give great insight into this type of work, they also provided an extensive top down overview of where this type of career could take you. For me, one of the key takeaway points was how to maximize your experience and this has allowed me to really start thinking about what direction I would like to move in over the next 5 to 10 years. Overall I would really recommend people to attend any future events like this as it can really start to streamline your thinking and help you make decisions about where you want your career to lead you!” Emily Maguire, Medical Writer

“The best thing I learned during the event was that, while there were the industry experts who stayed purely in healthcare for 27+ years, quite a few of the mentors had started off in different careers and spent time switching back and forth across multiple industries. One mentor told me that after 30 years in all sorts of roles and sectors, you start to understand that people’s needs stay the same, so as long as you are aware of your strengths you can essentially place yourself anywhere! As my first mentoring event, it was also much less awkward that I was expecting (the wine definitely helped!) and I would definitely go again. It gave me a much wider perspective on the healthcare sector, and made me more aware of the complexity of the industry and the impact our work can have.” Stephanie Caprez, Senior Account Executive

So there you have it: a roaring endorsement if ever there was one.

And here’s a little piece of advice from Edel McCaffrey, a member of the HCA Executive Committee, the event organiser and one of the wonderful mentors dispensing advice on the night:

“Whatever you do, always try to build positive, long term relationships with the people and companies you work with throughout your career.  The world of healthcare communications is a rather small one, so it is inevitable that paths will cross again…”

 If you’d be interested in attending one of the HCA’s brilliant networking and mentoring events, keep an eye on their website and social media channels for news and updates!


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