Episode 212: Unveiling Vicky Martin's Journey of Self-Discovery in Career HappinessDec 05, 2023
Vicky Martin, PhD., the head scientist for FetTech, is our guest on this episode of Your Next Stop. With a background in science and a passion for her field, Vicky's journey to becoming a lead scientist is both intriguing and inspiring. Growing up in Southern California, Vicky's parents, though not particularly science-oriented, instilled in her a curiosity and love for learning. Despite excelling in math, Vicky surprisingly harbored a dislike for the subject, which led her to explore other areas of interest. Throughout our conversation, we delve into Vicky's academic and professional achievements, highlighting her impressive credentials and her ability to communicate complex scientific concepts effectively. With her well-rounded background and deep understanding of scientific principles, Vicky brings invaluable expertise to the FetTech team. Tune in to gain insights into Vicky's career journey and the importance of self-discovery in pursuing a fulfilling career.
I'm a big believer in not just knowing something, but you need to understand the why, and that's what helps you retain the information. - Vicky Martin
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Welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. And in this episode, I speak with Vicky Martin. She is the head scientist for Fettech. And I love this conversation so much.
We go through all of Vicky's path, really how she became the head scientist for Fettech, but kind of what made her tick, what she did as a kid. Her mom was a chemist, her dad was an engineer, and why she ended up going into the sciences. You would think it's because of what the house was, but it's kind of not. So, like, you guys got to listen to this. We talk about passion, what drives you.
She was really good in math but hated it. And I became fascinated with that and kind of just going down some rabbit holes, as some of us say. And it's a really great episode because it really gives you different sides of people's lives and why we end up kind of going on, paths that we end up going on. So you don't want to miss this. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I do.
Welcome back to your next Stop. You know, I guys, I say this every single time, I'm so excited to bring you someone that has followed a passion and I'm even beyond more excited to introduce you to Vicky Martin, who is the lead scientist at Fettech. Hey, Vicky. How are you? Hi.
I'm doing well. How are I mean, Vicky knows I've been like squealing about this because as you guys have heard, I'm now working for a company in the biomedical tech field. And Vicky is the one that tells me the things I cannot say and I can say, and she does a lot more, but it is this world that I'm super fascinated about. So we are going to be starting something called Masterminds in Medicine. Stay tuned because I'm going to be putting a little snippet out.
You guys will be able to hear that. But I wanted to have Vicky on here because I wanted Vicky to tell and share her story because I became super fascinated on why and how Vicky got into the sciences. So we're going to jump right in. Vicky, I know we've talked about this a million times, but can you give us a little background, but kind of where you grew up and kind of paint that picture for us? Sure.
So I think I grew up in a pretty normal family. Mom, dad, me, my older brother. We were pretty standard, I think. My dad is an engineer, my mom was a chemist, but then she was a stay at home mom when we came along. But we were not like a nerdy science family.
We were just a pretty normal family, I think. I grew up in Southern California near Disneyland, so we used to watch the Disneyland fireworks from the top of my grandfather's van.
And then when I was in elementary school, my dad got a new job and he got transferred, and we moved to a suburb of Detroit, so we moved to Michigan. And that was a really hard move for me. I know it seems like moving in elementary school is a pretty normal thing for a lot of people, but we moved in the midst of the biggest blizzard. It was like the 20 year blizzard that they had had. And we moved, and there was all this snow, and then there was a layer of ice on top, and we had never really spent a lot of time in snow.
And I remember that first morning, like, running outside. We were so excited. Yes. Snow. And we slipped on the ice and fell on our backs.
This is terrible. We don't want to live here. It was a big transition, and I spent a lot of years growing up wanting to move back to the West Coast and sort of like having that as my refusing to adopt the Midwest identity, I guess. No. And it's interesting.
No. And again, I love how you paint that picture, because anyone that's listening can really feel like if you're in a warm climate and then you go to the snow, you are excited about it, but then the reality hits of what it actually is. And one thing that you said that I can say is true. I don't know the rest of your family, but when I met you Vicky has a PhD from Purdue, so she's got a really significant background. She is one of the smartest people I've probably ever encountered, and I know she gets really uncomfortable when I go down and talk about this, but it is so fascinating to me.
But Vicky also speaks at a level where I understand, and without a science background, I really am like, Wait, I totally get that. I wish you were my science teacher because I would have learned science in such a better and amazing way. I mean, I think that's one of the things with Fettech. Everyone really brings awesome quality to what their position is. And I've been on calls with really high level PhDs like yourself, and I think I said to you, you're a really well rounded human, and you kind of were like, what does that mean?
But it is. You wouldn't know that you're as smart as you are because you talk at a normal person's level. And I know that sounds really elementary and really silly, not really smart, but you really do. You explain things in such a beautiful way that someone that's not in the sciences can understand. Yeah, no, that's actually a nice way of saying it.
I've been told many times, like, it's just amazing. Like, you have a PhD. Like, you would never know it, and it's kind of a backhanded compliment a little bit, but totally. It took me a while to appreciate that that was actually a good thing, because it doesn't sound like it. No, I think it's really important.
I mean, that's how I think of things in my head sometimes, is you build an analogy to something in your everyday life that you're used to, or you kind of picture it in a certain way and helping other people to be able to see or envision it that way. That's what helps me remember it, and so I know it helps other people remember it too, and I think it's really important. I'm a big believer in not just knowing something, but you need to understand the why, and that's what helps you retain the information. So sometimes I know people I work with are a little like, okay, Vicky, whatever, but I like to get into, well, this is why this is or this is why we're doing this, or whatever, because I think it helps everybody to understand what we're doing and how things work a little. No, it really, really does.
And I know in the science world and we'll get into that a little bit, there's been times where you didn't feel right as even though you have the same degree, because people that really have a science background and anyone that has talked to someone that's super science and doesn't have that well rounded background, that doesn't communicate. We talk about this on this podcast all the time. Gifts, strengths and weaknesses. One of my gifts is communicating. One of my gifts is not science, but I've always been fascinated with how things work, and it is literally being on calls with you and having you break it down.
Then afterwards, it's it's really refreshing. And I know for the team it is as well, because it's not that you think, oh, wait, I'm the science, and you guys don't understand. You're like, hey, can I explain it to you in a different way? Because maybe you'll grasp it, and then it's like, oh, my God, I totally grasped that. So it is a beautiful trait of yours, and it is one of I being in this role and not having a super science background.
Really appreciate it. And I know that's one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on your next stop, because your story is fascinating. When we've gotten into just talking as friends and colleagues, you have said a couple of things, and I know you kind of chuckled because then I was like, wait a second. I need to dig into this. I want to ask more questions.
So, as you said, your parents kind of came from both that engineering side, and I am obviously very fascinated with the sides of the brains being dyslexic and what strengths people have and what weaknesses and how the brain works. So you came from a very science world. As you said. Your mom stayed home and raised you guys, and then as you were in school, was it kind of in your house? Like this is expected.
We want you to go into the sciences or like no, not at all. I don't really think so. I think I always said I wanted to be an engineer or a scientist because as a young female in the 90s, that's what impressed people, right? You would be going down the line. And when they would get to me, and it's like, Well, I want to be an engineer, and everybody's like, OOH, and your teachers are like, oh, wow.
And they encouraged that. And there's a lot of positive feedback for a kid that comes with that. So I think that actually led me very much to follow a science path. Realistically.
I enjoyed all of my classes pretty much equally. I liked science, but I liked English just as well. I took two foreign languages. I loved foreign language.
Like I said, we were definitely not a science nerd family. We were just kind of pretty standard, average people. So it was really hard to try and figure out there wasn't one thing I was particularly passionate about, so it was really hard to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. But I kept getting all this positive feedback that being a woman in science was something to be proud of and something to be excited about. So it's like, oh, well, I'll pursue that.
I'm good at it. I enjoy it as much as anything else. And everybody else seems to think this is a good idea and what I should do. So that's what I'll do. And I think, again, you paint that picture because talking about it and we've had conversations about Dyslexia and struggling in school and can't imagine wanting to go into things that just education and continue to go.
And so it always, again, fascinates me when someone is good at school and then what their path is and kind of what they go. And I know we had a conversation, so you know what I'm going to say about math, because I really, really struggle in math. And you were saying that you were really good in math, however, you hated math. And I think I asked you, did I ask you like, 30 questions? I was like, well, wait a second, I need to understand this.
I've never heard of this. And then you really broke it down. And if we think about it and I'm going to let you kind of talk about this, but when we talk about it, my listeners know I have the Dyslexic podcast, and we talk about struggling in school and what that does. And when your peers and they see like, why do you write that way? Why are you spelling that way?
Why you do this? And when kids are young, it's really not a mean thing. It's really just, why are you doing that? And then as you get older, it's like, well, why do you still spell like that? Why do you still do this?
But we talked about that. Yes, you were really good in school and you thrived in it, and it gave you the good feels. Like, why I played sports, that's where I got my good feels right. That's what kids look for, where you feel good, and that's what you kind of get drawn to. So I was really fascinated when you were like, I was really good in math, but I knew I was not going to go into that.
And then you explained something that I never really thought of, but and I shouldn't say never thought of, I really didn't dig deep into it because of me struggling in school. I never thought of the other side. So can you take us through that a little bit? Like why you did not pursue math? Sure.
So, yeah, I always did really well in school and I found most subjects to be pretty easy. Like I said, I really loved foreign languages and English and I was good at math. So by the time I was in 7th grade, I was two years ahead of my peers in math. So I jumped ahead a year in 6th grade. Like, I skipped 6th grade math and then I skipped another year.
And so I ended up two years ahead in math by 7th, 9th grade, something like that. Anyway, there was a small group of us that were in with a bunch of older kids in math, and so I knew it was something I was good at, but I didn't really like it.
I just didn't enjoy it. I could do it, but it was my least favorite subject. When I did have homework, it was always the thing I put off. I didn't really want to do it. My precalculus and calculus teachers were maybe didn't give a lot of great feedback and I felt like a little bit of a misfit.
And I think especially in those classes, you talk about being dyslexic and knowing that you're a little bit different than the other kids sitting in the classroom. And I don't fit in as like a stereotypical scientist or math and physics nerd or whatever. And so especially I think in that environment where you were with the super smart kids, I could keep up with the material, but I didn't fit in with that group at all. And you were the only girl, weren't you, with the group that you went up, that you were the 7th and 8th graders that you moved up with? You were the only female at that point.
There was a small group of us that were in a larger class of older kids and there were other girls in the class, but I was the only one that was two years younger than everyone. It was me and a few boys, and I didn't feel like I fit in. I didn't really enjoy it, but I kept with it because my plan was, well, I know if I get through calculus, then that's enough math to do what I want to do in life. And so I'll get through it. I'll get my AP credits, and then I'll never take a math class again.
And that's what I did. So I took calculus as a junior in high school and got my college credits, took the test, got the college credits, and I've never taken a math course since. It was so fascinating, but when you explained it that way, that you were like, I didn't fit in. I didn't feel good. I didn't fit in.
And I was like, that's so interesting, because I can really relate with that on the opposite side, right? And I think there's something to be said for how you feel when you're doing something. Not that we should only do things that make us feel good all the time, but I knew it wasn't something I was passionate about, and there were plenty of other things. Like I said, I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to do. So the first thing you do is cross off the things that you don't want to do, and I definitely wasn't passionate about that.
So let's cross that off the list and not have to deal with it and spend my time doing things that I do find interesting and that I'm excited about and passionate about. And I love that so much because, again, that's what this podcast is about, and that's what life is about, and that's what it fascinated me when you said it, because I was like, well, because of me, anything I was good at, I was drawn to because I got the good feedback, right? But you bring such a good point up that a lot of people go into things that they're good at, but they might not have that passion, and then they get stuck. And then that's when it's like, okay, I'm doing this because I was always good at it. Everyone's like, you should be a mathematician or you should be this, or you should be that.
But it's not your path, right? And I know you believe in God, so I know that we have this conversation, but when you have that path that God kind of sees for you, the universe, God, whatever you believe, but you're doing it just because you're good at it. But it's really not what you're meant to do. Again, that's where people in life, they go 20 years, and then they're like, I hate my job. I hate my life, because they didn't follow that.
So I love that you kind of figured that out early. Do you think that was something that kind of was just innate in you, or is that something that was really established in your family as your unit? That's a good question.
I don't remember receiving any specific guidance of, like, well, if you don't love this, then don't do it anymore. I think it was more we were more a family of, well, you get good grades, you get a scholarship, you go to college, then you graduate, and you find a job. And there was this single prescribed path. Not that I had to be a specific thing growing up, but these are the steps that you take. And so my parents were supportive when I decided I was going to push ahead.
I mean, who's not going to be supportive of their kid when they're like, I'm going to go take calculus, and I'm going to take the AP test? But then it was like, Well, I'm done. And they were like, well, okay, long as you do well with everything else, that's fine. And I think even though I felt a lot of times like I didn't know what I was doing, I kind of gave off this air that I had a plan. And again, I was telling everybody that I wanted to be an engineer and I wanted to do this and whatever.
And so it seemed like I had it all under control. I think I was always supported in it. Yeah. Which I love. Okay, so then you go into university, and so what did you decide?
Where did you go? What did you decide? And how did you kind of hone in on what you're doing now? And I know that there's a little fun story in there. Well, actually, some of that was in high school because, like I said, I thought I wanted to be an engineer like my dad.
And as a woman saying you wanted to be an engineer, everybody was excited about that. So then in high school, my dad worked for General Motors, and so I joined their robotics team. And this was back when first Robotics was, like, brand new. I think it was the second or third year. They've been running for forever now.
That kind of dates me a little bit, I guess. And so I joined a robotics team, and it was great because within the first, I loved it. I had so much fun. I learned a ton, but within the first few weeks, I was like, I don't want to be an engineer. I am surrounded by engineers.
This is what engineers do every day. It was like an internship in high school almost. I got to practice and see what it was really like watching these engineers work together to design this thing. And I just was like, this is not for me. This isn't what I want to do.
So that was helpful because then heading into college, I knew I wanted to do something sciency. I didn't like math. I didn't want to be an engineer. So I ended up heading more into the life sciences. So I did a lot of chemistry and biology and biochemistry, and it was just sort of I kept taking these classes, and they were fascinating.
And then another class opportunity would come up, and that sounds even more exciting and just reading the syllabus, I couldn't wait to take this class. And so it seemed like this was the right path for me. But then I get to the end of undergrad, and I still have no idea what I want to do with just I just like learning about these things. And I think it's so there's some um for a while, I thought I wanted to be a plant geneticist. I was going to develop some, like, the golden rice in China.
I was going to develop the next crop that was going to save some malnourished population in some country. And then I really didn't like my botany class, and so that was out. And so it was sort of this process of pursuing something that seemed interesting and seeing how it went and deciding whether I wanted to do more of that or crossing something off the list. So I'm very cognizant of the fact that I was lucky, that I was good enough at a lot of things, that I had a list to cross things off of. I think that that was really a blessing.
But the flip side, I think that people don't realize when they have one or two things that they're good at, is when you're good at a lot of things and you like a lot of things, it's really hard. You feel like no matter what you pick, what if it's the wrong choice? And so it was really paralyzing, I think, sometimes for me. I also remember in college, and then even more so in grad school, starting to realize that I wasn't really your stereotypical scientist. I had all of these friends that we were all good, and I was getting good grades, so were my friends.
That was fine. But some of them I would just look at, and I was like, oh, my gosh, you are incredibly smart. And I think there's sort of two types of people. There's people that are kind of good at a lot of things, and then there's people that are really good at one specific thing, or they're really good at digging down into all the minute details. And most of the time, at least in science, a PhD, you get your PhD, and then, especially if you go on to be a professor, you can spend your entire career studying the details of how this protein tyrosine kinase signals in this cell type and what that does, and it's incredibly deep.
And those people are brilliant. And I started to look around and realize I was keeping up and I could do this, but I didn't feel like that was really me. And for a really long time, I saw that as a weakness that I tried to hide, right, because all of these PhDs are I felt like I was kind of faking it, right? Like I had this impostor syndrome that. I got my PhD.
And I did well and I enjoyed it and I learned a lot. But I always felt like I wasn't as good as everybody else because they were always down in these details. And I was like, I did my work. I'm going to go home with my family and go do these other fun things. You know what I mean?
And that's the well balanced. And that's what I thought was really interesting when you said that to me, you were like, well, as a scientist and one of the things I did studying when I did a fitness thing, and I think I shared this with you, we did this whole analysis on brain types. And my brain type is a direction changer where I can change direction in like 2 seconds. There was a very specific brain that's called the investigator. I'm almost positive and I could be wrong on that, so don't quote me.
I'm going to look back. But it is a very specific brain type that goes deep, deep, deep. And that's a scientist. And actually that was one of the things they said, think of a scientist that just wants to study one thing and go deep that is like the brain type. And the reason why we did this is because you want different brain types on your team.
So this actually came from NASA because again, if you think of the space shuttle, you don't want to have the same brain in the space shuttle because if something happens, you're all going to go down if it's not someone's skill set, right? So they have each individual brain in the space shuttle. So I was fascinated with that because again, if you think of different industries, you think of different ways, people, different personalities. There are very much a stereotype kind of brain or like the kind of person so when you said, so I want to take you and we're going to kind of skip a little bit. But when you decided and then we'll go back, because I want to say what you studied and stuff, but when you were working at the One company and that's what you said to me, and I was like, oh, wow.
That's so interesting. You're like a lot of scientists had one or two projects, but you had 75. I did, I had a lot, which. To me, to me that's amazing because again, I would be a little bit more where I would want to kind of dabble in all of it, right? Because my brain is not the brain that goes deep, deep, deep.
I like surface. I get to know what I need and then I'm on to the next thing. I get to know what I need, then I'm onto the next thing. So I kind of think that that is such an awesome way when you were explaining that of how the scientists and how the world kind of worked was really cool. So when you decided to kind of and as you said, you looked at that as a weakness where someone from the outside of the science world is like, no, that's why you can talk and have really good conversations and be really well, then, because I'm sure there's been times where you're out and talking to people, right?
And you're like, oh, yeah, I have a PhD from Purdue. And what did you study? Because I remember a couple of times you have said it, and I always. Like, giggle because, oh, molecular pharmacology. Yeah, I'm giggling again.
I'm like, I don't even know what that is. It makes me sweat. It brings me back to school where I was like, oh, I'm not taking that class. So how did you determine that that's what you were going to end up studying?
Because I knew that I was struggling to narrow things down. I specifically applied to graduate programs that had a lot of times in the life sciences. A lot of schools have an interdisciplinary life science program, so you can come in and you can rotate through labs in different departments based on the specific research that that lab is doing. And so a lot of schools have it. And I thought, well, that's perfect for me because I have no idea what department to apply for.
I don't know if it should be. Biochemistry or chemistry or some of them were in agriculture or just the basic biology department, and I wasn't really sure what to do. So these programs that allow some flexibility were perfect for me. So that's what I applied for. And at the time, I was applying with my at the time fiance, and we were trying to find a school that we could both get accepted to.
And so that's how we ended up at Purdue because it was a good fit for both of. I wrote I just picked labs again, sort of based on reading what they were researching and did it sound interesting and talking to other students and figuring out what the vibe was in that lab. Because I'm a firm believer that who you work with has as much to do with your job satisfaction as what you're doing. And so that was really important. And I picked labs where I felt like I would be a good personality fit, as well as interested in what they were doing.
And my last rotation was a perfect fit, and that's where I landed. And all through my five years of grad school, I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I left. I just kept slowly crossing things off the list, like, oh, it looks like the new professor across the hall is here every night and every weekend until he gets tenure, and that's not the lifestyle I want, so I guess I won't be a professor. And so it was just things like that, just like crossing things off the list. And it's a little bit difficult sometimes to even know what else.
Is left. So when it was getting close to graduation, I was like, well, I'm just going to apply to everything that sounds interesting, and I'll use the interviews as practice and I'll just be myself and we'll see what happens and hopefully something will come through. And I had a friend who we were in the same program, but she had been out for a few years. She got a Master's and went into industry, and they were hiring and she was like, this is a great place to work. And I was like, oh, well, I didn't really know a lot about the job, but it seemed great.
And she liked her coworkers and it was a medical device company and they were doing and it was important to me that I like where I was working and who I was working with and that I felt like I was making a difference and helping other people. And so it seemed like a good fit. And I interviewed and it was a great fit, and that's where I ended up. So I started out working in clinical trials as a project manager, and they were specifically looking for kind of atypical PhDs that had a science background, but were really strong in communication and multitasking and all of these things that administrative type stuff, project management, all the things that I was decently good at. And I didn't have to be perfect at any of them, because then I was in industry, and so I was on a team, and there was a statistician that I could go talk to to do the math for me.
And there were nurses on staff when we were talking medical things that I didn't know. And so I was good at being sort of the hub of the wheel and having all of these different people around that were experts in their specific area that I knew I could go to. That was huge for me because, again, that was like my biggest. I was so self conscious about feeling like even with a PhD, I still felt like I wasn't really an expert at any one thing. And the thing that you said, because I literally say this to my kids, I say this to any teenager that will listen, it's more important in the beginning to find out what you don't want to do and what you want to do will just come out.
But the more things that you can try, the more things that you can put your hands in, the more things you can learn about to be like, yes, no, I don't want to do that. No, I don't want to do that, is so important. So I love that you already had that kind of mindset. I mean, one of the things that we kind of both you and I laugh and when Danielle is like, you guys are so good together, because we do have a lot of the same thoughts and values right, our core values. Because again, it's so important if you're not working with people that you respect and you enjoy, and you would want to get to know why, right, why you spend so much your time.
My grandmother used to say that she was a nurse and she used to say that's where you spend the most of your time, you have to be in love with what you're doing and the people around is really the most important. So I think that's brilliant. Like you went into something and again, that was your path. Right. So where did that take you and how long were you with that company?
And then kind of where did you pivot from there? So I guess maybe coming from a classic old fashioned kind of family, I was very much raised in that old fashioned mindset of you find a company and you're loyal and you stay there and you retire there. And that's what I thought I was going to do once I had been there a couple of years, and I was really liking it and I was thriving. And even on the days when I didn't like it, I always had this fear that I would go somewhere else, the grass wouldn't be greener, and it just felt like any kind of a move was such a monumental thing. And what if it doesn't work out?
That I really loved where I was and I loved my coworkers, but at the same time, I was terrified to make a change, even at the times that I didn't love it. So I really thought that that's where I was going to be until I retired. I changed roles within the company, which was something that I did really like. They were very supportive of employees developing and moving into new roles within the same company. I think it's a smart thing from the outside for employee retention.
So I moved up to managing a team of project managers, and then we were growing, and so we needed to sort of change the way we were structured because we were getting too big. And so in that change of structure, the science was separated from the operations piece, which is really typical in larger companies. And I was managing an operations team, so I stayed there for a while and knew that that's not where I fit and I really wanted so when an opening came up, I moved over to the clinical science side, which was a little bit hard because it meant stepping down out of management. And I realized in that time that I really liked the teaching side of management. I liked mentoring new employees and helping kind of guide the direction of where we were headed next as a team.
So that was a good transition, but also difficult for that one part of it. And then as I grew in that role, I started working with all of our clients were internal, right? So other parts of the company that were making different types of products, and I started working with more and more specialized groups that were working on more biologic type devices, which was a good fit for my background, and a lot of us were engineers, and I was not definitely not. So it was a good fit, and it also felt like a good fit personality wise, and a good opportunity. So after about ten years, I ended up moving to another company within the same group.
So the company I worked for, these big corporations, have separate smaller companies within them. And so I transferred over to another company, but I was still within the same corporation, and it was a great learning opportunity. I moved into a much smaller team, so I was the only person with any clinical research experience. I was one of very few PhDs, one of very few biologists on the team. And so that was great because it brought all sorts of challenges.
It made me kind of confront all sorts of insecurities where I had this safety net of lots of other people with the same expertise that if I didn't know what to do, I could kind of bounce ideas off of and stuff. And I'm not knocking that. I think that's really important to have. But then I got to this point where it was like, well, now I'm the one that has to make the decision on my own because I'm the only one here that has that. And so it was a really I think it sort of forced me to take off the training wheels a little bit.
Yeah. So I want to stop you for a second because I love kind of the timeline. So where were you? Were you married? Did you have kids at this point?
Oh, I got married. My husband and I were high school sweethearts, so I was married before I came to grad school. Okay. We were dating all through well, tail end of high school, all through college, and applied to grad schools together. And we got married right before we started grad school.
So I had been married for five years when I got my first job. And then about two years into that job, we had our oldest we have two boys. So by the time I was making these career jumps, let's see, my kids were late preschool, early elementary school.
So that plays a role in it as well, because you have built this career, and it's like, okay, now I have other people that need me, right? It's not like I can't just be like, I'm going to try over here, I'm going to try over here. Well, for sure, right? It makes any kind of change a lot scarier because everybody's depending on you. But I will absolutely say I was pretty well married to my job at that point.
I definitely have always had a little bit of kind of workaholic tendencies and I look back now because my life is very much more balanced now. I think the Pandemic did that to a lot of us, right. It kind of helped us reassess priorities. And then a lot of other things have happened. But I look back and I didn't have great work life balance.
I was completely committed to my job and pushing those studies through because I felt like the things I was working on were really important and they were meeting unmet needs for patients. And it always felt so urgent to get these therapies through. If we really believed in something, to get the information to show if that was true and really get it out there, to be able to start helping people. And the sense of urgency was always there. And so I did not have great work life boundaries at that time in my life.
Right. Luckily, my kids were young enough. They don't remember a lot of it now, right? No, but it's an important thought because as you said, one of the things that you said a little while ago is that it was important to you to make a difference in other people's lives. So when you have that and that's something that's a value, that's a core principle of yourself, of your personality, of who you are, to balance, that is difficult.
And I think people appreciate the honesty that you just said there, because it is something with age as we grow and we kind of morph into these more adult like people, even though we could have been adult like before we learn from these things. So you jumped into another role. You had this more of a smaller team, you had different assets than others. And so then where did that take you? So I made that jump probably about six months into the Pandemic.
So I had gone from I wasn't traveling as much as some people that work in sales, but I was traveling a lot. I was gone a lot. My kids never saw me in the morning because I was off at work in order to make to balance bus and daycare schedules. I was gone to work before they ever woke up in the morning. And the Pandemic hit and everything changed for all of us.
And so there was a lot of reassessing. Is this what I want to be doing? Am I happy with what I'm doing? Not just content wise, but lifestyle wise and just a lot of different things. When that opportunity came up and it was a hard decision because like I said, I really thought I was going to be in one place forever, I think the biggest thing that move taught me was that it's okay to make a jump.
I mean, I landed and I loved what I was doing and I had an amazing team and so it was a good jump, but it also felt like, well, I made it. And if it wasn't good, I could probably make it again and I'd be okay. And so it just took a lot of that pressure and scariness off of making a jump. So I did that for about two years, and then, like I said, it was a really small company within a larger corporation, and we unfortunately found out that our company was being closed. And so I suddenly found myself without a job from the company that I thought I was going to retire from, like I thought I had been loyal to and was kind of married to.
And all of a sudden I didn't have a job anymore. And that's just in hindsight. I mean, there was a lot to work through there, but in hindsight, those business decisions get made all the time. That's what life is like.
When you're a loyal person. Well, when you're a loyal person, it is, because I've witnessed that I've lost jobs. But when you're a loyal person, it stings. It stings when you're like, well, wait a second, yours was getting closed. So it's a little bit of a different it's like, yeah, we don't have a choice, everyone's gone.
But just that time in our lives where it's like we are making pivots and it's not always our choice, and that sometimes is really difficult. And having a personality where, as you said, this was kind of like, no, this is what you do. You get married, you have kids, you stay in your job, you do these different kind of things. It takes the wind out of your sail, and you have to learn how to okay, I need to get myself together to get to that next step, to find out what I'm meant to be doing. So when that happened, take us through that.
So you said you took kind of a six month, let's figure this out, kind of thing. Yeah, well, luckily, because our company was being closed, we had a little bit of a severance cushion that usually comes along with that, which was really good because yeah, it was a big mental reset for me because, like I said, I was really kind of married to my job. And frankly, ever since I was a kid, I had put so much of my intrinsic value in my job, what I was going to be doing, right, it goes all the way back to that whole, oh, I'm going to be an engineer. Oh, there's just this value assigned to you as a female in the sciences that had a very high pressure, demanding, high powered job. That was who I was.
And then when all that was gone, it's like, who am I? It was really a massive reassessment for me of what is my value as a person, because what I've always defined it as suddenly can just be taken away. And those are business decisions. They have to happen. That's just the way it is.
It's not personal, although it felt personal at first, but like you said, you get over that and you realize it's not, and it's just how it is.
I did not just jump into another company. I decided to take some time. I actually set up a consulting business, so I do some clinical strategy and regulatory consulting. And I thought, well, this will be good. I can stay fresh.
But it just sort of gave me some time to reassess what was next. And the first company that I actually signed on to consult with was Fettech, which is where we both are. But I told them very much up front, like, this is what's happened. I'm not really ready to commit to being a part of a company right now. I'm kind of taking a break from all that.
And so it was very much a, well, we'll wait and see. Let's get through this milestone together, and we'll see how things go. And I think that was really what I needed. But we did get through the milestone, and it went really well. And again, it's very important to me to feel like I'm valued, like my opinion is valued.
I think it kind of helps with all of those insecurities that I've mentioned about feeling like I'm not the deep expert in this one thing, but knowing that I have expertise and starting to realize that I have expertise and that that's valuable and feeling valued and appreciated and working with people that I enjoy working with, those are really big things. And then again, most importantly, knowing that what you're doing is having an impact, because even now that I have great work life balance, it takes me away from time with my family, and my family is the most important thing to me. So if it's going to be something that's going to take time away from that focus, it needs to be worthwhile. I love it. And one of the things that you said, and it really is true, the reason why I love working with this company, too, is because Clay and Danielle are so open and so respect us as people and what we can bring to the table, but also are like, hey, why don't you jump on this call?
It could be interesting for you, right? How I've been brought into the research and development stuff. I just sit mean, I remember the first day that we were on the call, and there was like, the three, four PhDs. I don't even remember what it was, but I was sitting there like, what title am I going to say? And usually, again, my listeners know I'm a confident person, but every once in a while there'll be like, that gut check.
Oh, I'm back in school. And it's like, shit, I don't know what they're talking about. I go to write something down that someone says because I want to look it up. And I'm like, I don't even know how to say that. Or spell that.
So I'm just going to sit here. And I remember it was like we all went around and introduced ourselves, and it was like, they asked me to be on this call, right? The fetties know what I can bring to this company. They know. So I'm going to be confident.
I'm the communications person, right? I don't have the science background, but I'm here. I'm excited to learn because that's what they were saying. Why don't you go on these calls? You don't have to, but you can learn.
And you open armed were like, hey, if you have any questions, please let me know. And then same when we do the PR stuff, I'm like, hey, Vicky, jump over. They're doing website stuff. Because I know again, that's stuff that you enjoy, and it's like, come over. Because also it's a different skill set and different eyes.
And that's one of the reasons why I love doing the podcast with all different kind of people. Because sometimes we ask a question and it's a really innocent question, but then it gets everyone thinking, well, wait a second. Because when you're doing it marketing all these different things that I'm doing all the time to sometimes have you ask a question when we were starting the podcast, right? You asked one question, and we were like, Whoa. Oh, wait.
We need to pivot everything, because that's a really important question. We didn't even think about it because we weren't thinking on that side. And so that's one of the things I love so much about working with you and Fettech is that we all kind of bring that. We all ask questions. We all kind of respect each other's opinions.
When someone asks a question, it's not like, oh, we don't have time for that. It's like, yeah, let's pause and let's answer it. Because again, it brings up good conversations, and it brings things to, okay, where's that next step? And so again, it's beautiful. Yeah, well, and I think there's sort of two distinct personalities, and I mean, lots of people in the middle, right?
There's like, here's what I know. Here's my job. There's people that are really good at their lane, and that's super important. And then there's people that and maybe it's those of us that get easily bored that are kind of like, well, here's what I know, but here's what I don't know, and I'll go figure it out. It's fine.
I'll go figure it out. And if you're that personality, to be on a team full of people with that same personality, you really do feel like you can do anything because you can be honest about what your strengths are, but also what your weaknesses are, because it's not a weakness. If you're then willing to go find the right person, get the knowledge, or find the expert that you need and plug that in, then as a team, you really start to be able to do amazing things. And that's just so special to have. It is.
And one of the things that I think you and I have talked about is that also because I remember there was something where it was like, okay, Juliet, why don't you run with that? And I was like, well, wait a second. If I mess up, which I'm fine, okay, I can make failures, but is this something that's going to get us in trouble with the know? And it's no, no, you won't get in trouble. So that's why we're putting you on that.
This is fine. But it is also working with Clay and Danielle, it is like, okay, we're all going to make mistakes. That's how we learn from them. And they kind of embrace that because of their backgrounds and their stories. And that's why I love doing podcasts and talking to people because stories do connect us.
Someone's listening to this podcast, and they're like, oh, my gosh, it gets them thinking. And they might be in a spot right now where they're scared to make that pivot, right? Because they're like, oh, I don't know. I don't know. But they hear your story, and then they see where you've come out of because of the moves that you've made in your life.
And it's like, okay, I'm going to get a little confidence to go do that. So that's what I think is so brilliant about, again, being able to have a platform to be able to share stories. So. Vicky Vicky Martin. Thank you.
I mean, really, thank you for joining Your Next Stop and coming on here and sharing yourself, because I know it's not always easy. I know it's for you. You're like, no, this is the easy part. I love this. But it's not always easy for everyone.
And so I do appreciate you taking the time because I know you're busy. I was on the call today. I know what you have on your plate, but I really appreciate you joining and sharing. Oh, no, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
And thanks for having this platform to be able to share these things. I think our shared experiences really are an important way to help encourage each other. And so thanks for giving me the opportunity. Of course. So you guys know what to do.
Like, rate, review and share. Again, you might be listening to this and be like, oh, that's such a know conversation. We've heard about Fettech. They seem like a great company. But you don't know who needs to hear this.
You don't know who in your world needs to hear this conversation because it really, actually can change. So don't forget to rate, review and share. And Vicky, again, thank you so much. And we'll see you guys for another episode of Your Next Stop. I hope you liked this episode of your next stop.
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My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.
WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR PASSION YOU WILL NATURALLY ENRICH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE