Leadership Through Service
As far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to give back to the country that had given me so much. That opportunity came to me in the form of service in the United States Navy.
My time in the Navy provided me with valuable lessons. It was a unique challenge, at age 22, to be placed in charge of sailors. I was lucky to have my first commanding officer provide simple, but valuable, advice that I still live by today: Just take care of your people.
Throughout my time in the Navy, looking out for those under my command, removing obstacles that hinder their success, and helping them achieve their goals became foundational to my leadership philosophy. I learned to lead by example and with integrity – which meant doing the right thing, even when no one was watching. Doing that cultivates trust, respect, and confidence in others.
How Epilepsy Became My New Mission
During my time in the Navy, I developed a strong sense of purpose, service and mission. After fulfilling my service obligation, I was eager to find another career that continued to allow me to do something larger than myself. I found at UCB, a company that makes medicines to help improve the lives of people living with epilepsy, a different type of service: service to patients.
This idea of service to patients became key as I became interested in epilepsy and learned more about the needs of people living with severe neurological diseases.
I felt instantly connected to UCB, because I shared their sense of mission and was able to seamlessly integrate my leadership ideals. It became evident even during my interviews that people at UCB pride themselves on the purposeful nature of their work, their valuable and meaningful treatments, and their highly proficient and dedicated employees. UCB truly goes above and beyond to increase patient value and find solutions that can help improve the quality of life for patients.
As the UCB Neurology Ecosystem Lead for the Pacific West, I play a number of roles across many workstreams, but my team’s main focus is to ensure patients have access to our epilepsy medications and to address gaps in patient care. My team operates from a place of mission and purpose, which helps to fuel our motivation and determination to go the extra mile to help our patients. At the end of the day, it’s all about taking care of people.
The Value in Hiring a Veteran
As a veteran, I know the true value that service experience can bring to an organization like UCB. The values you learn while serving – commitment to a mission, selflessly helping those in need, and adapting to unpredictable environments – are invaluable traits in any job.
As I look back on my experience, I am grateful for all the lessons I learned during my time in the Navy, because it built the foundation for how I lead others, and I count myself lucky to have found a new mission and purpose at UCB.
Author: Lawford Ricafort, UCB Neurology Ecosystem Lead – Pacific West