Mahwish Ahmed is an enthusiastic person living in Irvine, California who has had major professional advancements and is currently in a management role for a reputable company. She has experience working for startups, mid-size companies, and large matrix organizations. She has experience with process integration and electronic management system migrations. Mahwish has experience in leading companywide training as well as development of processes with an expertise is in creating and improving processes.
She is eager to learn different technology, processes, and practices. She plans on working towards executive roles and plans to open up her own business one day.
In her free time, she enjoys connecting with family and friends across the country. She also likes to volunteer and give back to the society as much as she can.
What was your favorite subject in school?
Math! Ever since elementary school math has been my favorite subject and still is! I love it because there is an answer to every mathematical problem but the challenge is in finding the right answer. I find math to be logical and practical. In school, SATs, and in college, I have done very well in math classes and have taken many advanced courses in math.
And my favorite subject relates to my personality: a problem solver.
What was your first job?
I will talk about my first job out of college which was an internship. I worked for a small company that focused strictly on research and development. I was hired to develop protocols on formulation of new materials, formalize the protocol, test to the protocol, document results, and revise the protocol as necessary to generate the desired formulation of new material.
I would also discuss the results and my recommendations to the company’s management. I was in the position for 6 to 7 months and enjoyed my experience within that role. I also helped with the acquisition of the research I performed by a larger company for commercialization.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
Since graduation, I have worked in the same industry as it relates to my education. I joined the industry in 2006 through a contracting position and then became a full-time employee for the same company. Since then, I have worked my way up to management positions.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Each job and every assignment I have been involved in or completed has prepared me for the role I am in now. My first job in research and development provided background on how the user needs are translated into design of a product and product testing for safety.
My brief assignments in regulatory affairs exposed me to regulatory requirements of various different regions for commercializing the product and launching new products.
During my experience in design assurance, I learned about the regulatory requirements associated with product development and technical understanding of medical products.
Then I transitioned into systems and compliance looking at process mapping and compliance to the processes.
As an individual contributor, I not only learned technical and regulatory requirements but also enhanced my communication and presentation skills. When I moved into management roles, I have applied the technical/ regulatory knowledge to not only influence people on my team but others within the organization. Through the technical and regulatory knowledge I have gained over the years, I am confident in making decisions and leading the teams in my current role.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
I have had many days that can be considered as my best day at work. I will emphasize on one of those best days spent working in Irvine, Ca.
I had recently joined a new company and the site which I was working at was also new. A lot of new employees were coming on board and new processes were being developed. Three months into the new role, we were informed by regulatory authority regarding an upcoming mandatory audit with 5-6 days to prepare. We all got to work as a team (senior management, engineers, and technicians) and prepared the necessary documentation and the site for an audit. During this time, we heard that the auditor coming to audit us was very strict but we still continued with preparation and determination to have no findings. It was a tough challenge as we did not have time to prepare. Even though we had some challenges finding some information, for the most part we all worked together as a team with a goal in mind. We came out with no findings and a greater understanding of how important it is to work together. That I think is one of the best days at work.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
In my field, I have many stressful and long days. It is very hard to be motivated and keep the team motivated. When I feel tired, I have to constantly remind myself who I am going to work for. I am going to work for patients who need our products.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Business that help people, especially their health. I feel that my work every day helps people improve their life.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
No, not really.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Graduating with my master’s degree. This personal achievement is significant not only for me but for my family as I was the first one in my immediate and extended family to graduate with a master’s degree.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
If you have a problem and you need to talk to your boss, go to him or her with proposed solutions. This shows that you are willing to be part of the solution, even if the solution is not optimal.
Another wisdom is to avail any opportunity you may get to learn whether through books, professional organizations, conferences, travel within your company, and through your network.