Manager, Advisory - Health Industries
Alena is a manager in the Health Industries Advisory practice. Following an internship in Assurance Financial Services in New York City, she joined the Health Industries Advisory practice in Boston as an associate in 2009. In 2011, she was promoted to senior associate and transferred to the San Francisco office. In her free time, Alena enjoys staying active by hiking with her dog and running the hills of San Francisco. She finished her first triathlon in the summer of 2012. Despite her relocations to New York City, Boston and San Francisco she has always remained loyal to the University of Michigan football team.
Q: Tell us about your experience with PwC before entering the Advisory practice.
A: During the first couple years of my time at the University of Michigan, there were two things I was certain about: (1) I wanted to pursue a career in accounting and (2) I wanted to live in New York after graduation.
However, within the first couple of weeks of my internship, a few things struck me. One was that I loved the people at PwC. I loved the environment, the culture and the firm. I also realized that instead of accounting, I wanted to channel my time and energy toward an issue that I’m deeply passionate about and that is one of the most significant challenges facing our country: healthcare.
Halfway through my internship, I talked to my coach and mentioned my interest in healthcare and the Advisory practice thinking that it would be a better fit. I asked about the opportunities for me to transfer within the firm. While it was a hard conversation to have as an intern, my coach was extremely supportive. He connected me with different people at the firm who could help me better align my passions, interests, and skills with career opportunities at the firm. I spoke with Human Resources about different options, which ultimately led to an interview for a position in Health Industry Advisory in Boston.
Q: It seems like one of the big important lessons you learned here was that you need to speak up.
A: Yes, definitely. I think that says a lot about the culture at PwC and how open it is. People here really care about you and think of you as a person, not just as a number or another associate, but it is up to you to advocate for yourself. The feeling of being supported here has continued throughout my career.
Q: Tell us about when you started full-time in the Health Industry Advisory practice in Boston
A: This transition was the perfect fit for me as it allowed me to devote myself to an industry I am passionate about in a city that better fit my personality and interests.
While living in Boston, I had my everyday responsibilities at the firm, but I also wanted to become involved in the greater-Boston community. I wanted to know not only people who work in hospitals and consulting, but also meet people who worked elsewhere in the healthcare industry, such as insurance and pharmaceutical companies
Through my own network I began connecting with other professionals, one in particular who worked in healthcare consumer advocacy in Boston. Together, we founded an organization to support and connect young professionals in the healthcare industry.
Q: What did you learn from starting such an organization?
A: Starting an organization teaches you a lot about building relationships, leadership, and managing others. My organization’s focus on fostering cross-sector relationships also helped me learn more about the health industry through young professionals with diverse perspectives and experiences.
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