Staying the Course — A Hidden and Underappreciated Path to Career Development

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June 23, 2024 at 10:49AM UTC

After three years spent in Corporate Development at Medidata Solutions, Inc. (“Medidata”), Christina Antoniou was asked to lead an exciting opportunity, the integration of Medidata into Dassault Systèmes, and was promoted to Vice President, Head of Integration. 

While the new operational role was a departure from Christina’s transactional experience in mergers and acquisitions, she was compelled to accept the position given Medidata’s demonstrated history of supporting and elevating talented employees with strong work ethics and entrepreneurial attitudes. Increased trust and greater responsibility are just a few of the benefits of gaining seniority at a company instead of bouncing around to separate opportunities, she says. 

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Recently, Christina took the time to share the details of her career progression, keep reading for her insights and tips. 

How long have you been with your company? What about it made you first want to join?

I have been with Medidata for four years. Prior to joining Medidata, I worked in investment banking, specifically in healthcare mergers and acquisitions. While I enjoyed advising a diverse group of clients — ranging from a surgery center operator to a robotics manufacturer — I wanted to join an innovative company in a role where I could not only define the long-term growth strategy but also see it in action.

Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at Medidata, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?

I joined Medidata as a Director of Corporate Development. Our team was responsible for developing and executing Medidata’s growth and acquisition strategy. During my first three years at the company, we completed several acquisitions as well as early-stage investments. After we sold the business in the fall of 2019, I was presented with the opportunity to lead Medidata’s integration into Dassault Systèmes, a pioneering software developer. 

The integration role has been exciting, providing me with the opportunity to play a role in Medidata’s continued growth story from a different, deeply operational angle. I’m helping the business to capture near and long-term value while gaining best practices from our innovative parent company.

What’s something you’re especially good at at work?

Driving projects to completion and getting results, often by connecting information and people. 

What’s the first thing you do at work every day? 

In my current role I am responsible for a number of projects across several different functional areas. To stay organized, I keep a detailed activity tracker – I check it in the morning to see what needs to get done and I update it in the evening to document what has been addressed. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and allows me to focus on what’s next.

A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop your career without job hopping?

Staying at Medidata for an extended period has allowed me to prove myself and to build visibility across the company. This visibility, coupled with my entrepreneurial attitude, has positioned me for growth opportunities at the firm. 

Ultimately, what has led you to stay at Medidata?

It’s a two-way investment. At Medidata I have had a number of mentors who have invested in me to achieve my full potential, presenting me with growth opportunities and stretch experiences. Similarly, I am equally invested in my work and the mission and vision of the company.

What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about Medidata that you think they should? 

Our cloud-based technologies are mission-critical and are being used in a number of ground-breaking clinical trials which are integral to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?

Having the ability to identify key points, synthesize information and articulate a cohesive story is incredibly important for any leader. Being able to observe those skills in a boss and emulate them in my own work has been key in my professional development. 

What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?

Success and action are intertwined. No matter what happens, just keep moving.


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