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Interviu cu Diana Mereu, Director Executiv RASCI

1. Care este prima ta amintire legata de inceputul carierei tale?

Fiecare dintre noi isi scrie propria poveste. Eu am ales sa imi incep povestea in anul V de facultate, mai exact in cel de-al 2-lea semestru de practica obligatorie, cand am avut primul meu contact cu realitatea din piata muncii. Astfel, dupa 2 saptamani de batut la usi, am inceput un program de traineeship la ANMDMR, in cadrul Departamentului de Proceduri Europene.

What is your first memory related to the beginning of your career?

Each of us writes their own story. I chose to start my story in the 5th year of faculty, more precisely in the 2nd semester of mandatory practice, when I had my first contact with the reality of the working field. Therefore, after 2 weeks of knocking doors, I started a traineeship program at ANMDMR, within the European Procedures Department.

2. Cum s-a intersectat drumul tau cu RASCI?

Sunt un farmacist de profesie care a avut chemarea ONG-ului inca de la inceput. Insa, dacă m-ai fi întrebat acum câțiva ani ce imi imaginam eu ca aș face astăzi (intrebarea standard „unde te vezi tu în 5 ani?”), probabil ca nu as fi stiut ce răspuns sa dau. Și, în principal, motivul din spatele acestui fapt ar fi faptul că RASCI nu era inca infiintat in urma cu 5 ani.  Intotdeauna am încercat să găseasc soluții pentru a face viața oamenilor mai ușorara, mai fericita, mai sănătoasa și cred că prin intermediul ingrijirii personale oamenii pot atinge echilibrul potrivit între aceste 3 elemente. Contribuind la cresterea nivelului de educatie al oamenilor față de îngrijirea personala și, în același timp, conducand industria ce sta la bazele acesteia într-un mod etic și responsabil, au reprezentat cele 2 motive care m-au determinat sa contribui la înființarea și dezvoltarea RASCI in calitate de  Director Executiv, o poziție care mi-a permis să cresc alături de asociație și de sectorul român de îngrijire personala.

How did you cross paths with RASCI?

I am a pharmacist by profession who had the NGO calling from the very beginning. But, if you asked me a few years back what I would be doing today (that standard “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” type of question), probably I wouldn’t have known what answer to give. And, mainly, the reason behind it would be because RASCI wasn’t yet established 5 years ago. I have always tried to find solutions to making people’s lives easier, happier, healthier and I believe that through self-care people can have the right balance among these 3 elements. Contributing to advancing people’s knowledge towards self-care and, at the same time, leading the industry beneath it in an ethical and responsible manner, were the 2 reasons that motivated me to contribute to the establishment and development of RASCI as a CEO, a position which allowed me to grow alongside the association and the Romanian self-care sector altogether.

3. Care sunt lectiile pe care nu le-ai invatat la scoala, dar pe care viata/ experienta ti le-a oferit?

Nu cred ca exista o materie anume in scoala care sa ma fi ajutat in acesta experienta. Insa, modul in care studiul se desfasoara la Facultatea de Farmacie “Carol Davila” din Bucuresti iti structureaza gandirea intr-un mod analitic si te face sa acorzi o atentie sporita la detalii, ceea ce cu siguranta m-a facut sa ma adaptez rapid si usor la volumul si cerintele de lucru. Pentru ca sunt genul de persoana activa, careia ii place sa descopere tot timpul provocari noi, am reusit sa imi insusesc experintele si lectiile de viata atat de necesare in viitoarea mea cariera devenind voluntar intr-o asociatie de studenti (mai precis in anul 3 de facultate – ceea ce in cazul altor facultati ar fi fost si ultimul an de studii – unul dintre avantajele facultatii de farmacie este ca poti copilari mai mult, pana la 5 ani mai exact – daca esti norocos si iti iei toate examenele la timp). Si a fost cea mai buna decizie! Genul acesta de experienta, pe langa faptul ca te responsabilizeaza si iti deschide noi perspective, te si pune in contact cu alte medii si culturi.

What didn’t you learn “at school”, but life/ experience taught you?

I don’t think there is a certain subject in school that helped me in this experience. But, the way the study takes place at the “Carol Davila” Faculty of Pharmacy in Bucharest structures your thinking in an analytical way and makes you offer more attention to details, which surely made me rapidly and easily adapt to the work volume and requirements. Because I am the kind of active person, who likes discovering new challenges all the time, I managed to gain the life experiences and lessons so-needed in my future career by becoming a volunteer in a students’ association (more precisely in my 3rd year of university – what in the case of other universities would have been the last year of studies – one of the advantages of the pharmacy faculty being that one can be a child a little longer, up to 5 years more precisely – if you are lucky and pass all your exams in time). And it was the best decision! This kind of experience, apart from making you responsible and opening new perspectives, it also puts you in contact with other environments and cultures.

4. Daca nu ai fi facut ceea ce faci in prezent, in materie de ocupatie profesionala, ce ai fi facut si de ce?

Intotdeuna am considerat ca sunt o persoana ce se adapteaza usor la conditii noi de lucru, care a parcurs un drum plin de provocari profesionale pana sa fie propusa pentru preluarea pozitiei de Director Executiv al RASCI. Mereu am fost de parere ca tinerii aduc plus valoare societatii, mai ales unei societati asa dinamice ca aceasta in care traim, si de aceea cred ca m-as fi ocupat cu placere de modelarea mintii acestor tineri administrand diferite programe de training.

If you did not do what you are doing right now (as a job), what would you do and why?

I always considered myself a person who easily adapts to new working conditions, who went through a path full of professional challenges before being proposed for taking the CEO position of RASCI. I always was of the opinion that youngsters bring added value to the society, especially to a dynamic society as the one we live in, and that is why I think I would have dealt with pleasure of shaping the minds of the youth by managing different training programs.

5. Cum vezi transformarea industriei in urmatorii 10-20 de ani?

Digitalizarea este pe buzele tuturor si se asteapta ca aceasta sa revolutioneze modul in care sunt furnizate serviciile medicale. Aasteptarile cetatenilor cu privire la digitalizarea din sistemul de sanatate sunt indreptate catre imbunatatirea calitatii vietii, a calitatii interactiunilor cu profesionistii din domeniul sanatatii, precum si a starii generale de sanatate. Desi, in trecut, pacientii erau vazuti ca si beneficiari pasivi ai serviciilor medicale, asistam acum la o schimbare de paradigma, caci ei incep sa isi asume un rol activ in gestionarea propriei stari de sanatate. Asadar, atitudinea acestora schimba regulile jocului in sistemul de sanatate si industria de sanatate trebuie sa se adapteze rapid. Nu ar trebui sa fim surprinsi daca peste cativa ani vizita la doctor se va termina cu o reteta pentru… aplicatii mobile!

How do you see our industry transform in the next 10 to 20 years?

Digitalization is on the tip of everybody’s tongue and it is considered to revolutionize the way in which healthcare services are being provided. Citizens’ needs with regards to healthcare digitalization are directed towards improving the quality of life, the quality of interactions with healthcare professionals and the quality of the overall health status. Although, in the past, patients acted as passive recipients of healthcare, we now assist a paradigm shift, as they start playing an active role in managing their own health. Therefore, their attitude is a major game changer in healthcare and the healthcare industry should adapt rapidly. We shouldn’t let ourselves surprised if in a few years’ time the visit we pay to the doctor will end with a prescription for… medical apps!

6. Care este sursa ta de motivatie si de buna dispozitie?

Principala mea sursa de motivatie si de buna dispozitie o reprezinta oamenii din jurul meu cu care interactionez zilnic. Ei imi dau energia cu care reusesc sa duc la bun sfarsit o zi plina, sa merg mai departe dupa o perioada cu provocari, si tot ei sunt cei pe care ii aleg sa sarbatoresc povestile mele de succes.

What is your source of motivation and good mood?

My main source of motivation and good mood are the people around me with whom I interact daily. They give me the energy to succeed in wrapping up a full day, to move forward after a challenging period, and also, they are ones I chose to celebrate my success stories with.

7. Care sunt lucrurile pe care le admiri la colegii tai din industrie?

Mediul acesta „corporate” din industria de sanatate te modeleaza foarte bine: atat ca si profesionist, cat si ca om. Atat ca persoana care sa stie sa lucreze singura, dar si intr-o echipa. Si totodata, iti da libertatea de a interactiona cu alte departamente si cu alte echipe, invatandu-te sa descoperi indeaproape calitatile celor cu care ajungi sa interactionezi zilnic.

What do you admire at your fellow industry colleagues?

This “corporate” environment in the healthcare industry shapes oneself very well: not only as a professional, but also as a person. Not only as a person who works alone, but also as one who works in a team. And in the same time, it gives you the freedom to interact with other departments and other teams, teaching you to discover closely the qualities of those you get to interact daily with.

8. Ce tip de lectura iti place (autori si/ sau carti favorite)? Ti-a ramas in minte una dintre cartile citite ca fiind revelatoare?

Incerc sa prioritizez lectura in activitatea mea zilnica. Desi citesc foarte multe carti de dezvoltare personala, ultima carte citita a fost “Procesul”, o capodopera din literatura universala, scrisa de Franz Kafka, sau cum imi place mie sa il numesc, FK.

What do you like to read (as favorite authors and/ or books)? Do you remember a book that you read as revealing?

I try to prioritize reading in my daily activity. Although I read a lot of personal development books, the last book I read was “The Trial”, a masterpiece in world literature, written by Franz Kafka, or, as I like to call him, FK.

9. Iti place sa petreci majoritatea timpului tau liber

Calatorind! Imi place sa descopar culturi si oameni noi, iar, daca timpul nu imi permite sa descopar locuri indepartate, aleg sa descopar locuri noi din Bucuresti. Imi imbin cu usurinta timpul liber cu munca, chiar si in cele mai aglomerate zile, deoarece consider ca petrecand timp alaturi de familie, prieteni si colegi, reusesc sa imi iau doza zilnica recomandata de energie.

You like to spend most of your free time doing…

Traveling! I like discovering new cultures and people, and, if time doesn’t allow me to discover distant places, I choose to discover new places in Bucharest. I very easily intertwine my free time with my work, even in the busiest days, because I consider that spending time with family, friends and colleagues brings me the recommended daily energy dose.

10. Te simti fericită atunci cand…

… reusesc prin faptele mele sa ii fac pe cei din jurul meu fericiti.

You feel the happiest when…

… I manage through my actions to make those around me happy.

11. Daca ai putea alege orice loc din lume pentru a trai, care ar fi acesta?

Statele Unite ale Americii, mai exact New York – prin prisma energiei, vibratiei si a nenumaratelor posibilitati pe care le ofera, atat din perspectiva profesionala cat si personala. Deși, după o anumită vârstă, mi-ar plăcea foarte mult să mă retrag pe o insulă îndepărtată, unde aș putea practica ceea ce a devenit recent activitatea mea preferată – SURF!

If you could choose any place in the whole world to live, what would that be?

United States of America, more precisely New York – through the energy, vibration and countless possibilities it offers, both from a professional and personal perspective. Though, after a certain age, I would very much like to retire on a remote island where I could practice what recently became my favorite activity – SURF!

12. Un gand pentru tinerii care vor sa se alature industriei sau care sunt la inceputul carierei lor in industrie?

Calatoria fiecaruia dintre noi este diferita. Fiecare isi scrie propria poveste si nicio decizie nu este gresita. Indiferent daca drumul vostru are 2 benzi sau mai multe, fie ca circulati in linie dreapta sau nu, ca sunteti inconjurati de privelisti frumoase si pitoresti, sau altele inspaimantatoare, aveti grija intotdeauna sa va faceti asigurare de calatorie. Iar restul, va veni de la sine! Totodata, trebuie sa aveti in vedere ce va motiveaza, ce va place, la ce va pricepeti si sa fiti deschisi la experiente deschizatoare de drumuri. Un prim pas cred ca l-ati facut deja atunci cand ati accesat website-ul RASCI pentru vizualizarea acest interviu!

A thought for young people who want to join this industry or are at the beginning of their career in the industry?

The journey of each of us is different. Each writes their own story and no decision is wrong. Whether your road has 2 lanes or more, whether you’re traveling in a straight line or not, whether you’re surrounded by beautiful and picturesque views, or rather scary ones, always be careful to make travel insurance. And the rest will come by itself! At the same time, you have to consider what motivates you, what you like, what you are good at and to welcome eye-opening experiences. A first step I think you already took when you accessed the RASCI website to view this interview!