Advice on advocating for yourself from Sandra Ramos-Alves, treasurer of Bristol Myers Squibb.
Sandra Ramos-Alves was an assistant treasurer at Celgene when Bristol Myers Squibb bought it in 2019. By June of 2021, she was acting treasurer of BMS. And in October of that year she was named senior vice president and treasurer of the pharmaceutical giant that had acquired the company where she had worked for more than 14 years.
- In a Strategic Finance Lab podcast episode you can hear by heading to Apple or Spotify, Ms. Ramos-Alves says she may not have her current position if she hadn’t taken the advice of an insistent mentor and mustered up the courage to set up a meeting with the CFO. At that meeting, she told him she was interested in being BMS treasurer “when the time is right.”
- That experience taught her the importance of advocating for yourself and telling people what you want. Because someday, when an opportunity arises, they may deliver for you. “We all do own our careers,” she says.
- She also tells NeuGroup’s Nilly Essaides that mutual trust and integrity are the foundation of her leadership style. Trust in her team allows Ms. Ramos-Alves to empower people to make decisions and only bring her in when needed. By not wading too deep into the details of every issue, she avoids being an impediment, she says.
- Even better, the trust allows her to step away and spend time with her family—her top priority. That includes taking vacations and leaving her laptop at home. But she never completely disconnects, she admits. Her iPhone is always on.