Meet Divya Harjani

Divya tells us how our Commercial team is empowered to be dynamic and versatile, and what she is looking forward to in the upcoming year.

2020/09 6 min read


What brought you to Syapse?

While I was working as a strategy consultant, I did a lot of digital health strategy projects and Syapse kept coming up in the real world data landscape. I continued tracking the company as it was moving forward. Originally, I was approached for a different role but had a conversation with the recruiting team and was able to find the right role for me that also fit into what Syapse was looking for. I was really drawn by the fact that the company focuses on oncology and I would have the chance to help build out our life sciences business. I wanted to be a part of a team that was doing that and moving fast.

What motivates you day-to-day?

The most important and the most exciting part is learning and trying new things. Professionally, I’m excited that every day is new and different and that it comes with its own challenges. We’re always shifting, we’re always strategizing, we’re always adapting to new information.

It’s also exciting to think about the new ways that we’re trying to use data to solve problems. For example, I think about what we’ve learned with the recent work we’ve published on understanding the impact of COVID-19 and cancer patients. Being able to adapt to the needs of our industry in real-time is really exciting. I also didn’t realize the level of impact that I would be able to have when I was hired and it’s been very fulfilling. Within the first six months, I was able to influence the direction that we go in, the strategies we try, the services we offer, and the products we prioritize. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the level of impact I’ve had the chance to create in my first six months working at Syapse.

That’s a lot for your first 6-months on the job!

The commercial team and our job descriptions are pretty flexible. You’re there to be a high-impact performer and everybody on the commercial team has a singular objective which is to grow the business by bringing valuable insights and action to the cancer community. Leadership has made it very clear and has allowed us to take that mission and execute it. We are empowered to try new things and be creative — I’ve embraced that. If you’re an eager type and you want to make an impact, and you want to make significant contributions, Syapse creates opportunities to do that and will support you.

Is there a specific challenge Syapse is trying to solve that gets you excited?

More and more companies are interested in trying to address cancer in its earlier stages where there could be better outcomes in overall survival. Physicians, life sciences companies, and other groups in the healthcare ecosystem are trying to predict disease or improve time to diagnosis. In addition, life sciences companies approach us because we work with the dominant share of the oncology provider market — community health systems. They value our community health system partner relationships as we are able to capture a more comprehensive patient journey. It is our differentiator. I’m really excited about helping life sciences companies figure out ways to use data to identify diseases sooner, continue to reduce time to diagnosis, and treat cancer patients.

How do you explain your job to your relatives?

This has happened quite a bit recently! Because of COVID-19, I’ve caught up and FaceTimed with all my cousins. I just try to keep it simple. I tell them that I’m helping life sciences companies use real-world data to make better decisions about making the right drug available to the right patients. It starts with finding and establishing new partnerships with leaders in our industry and supporting them in their needs. I try to inspire them about what I do and tell them about the end goal and the impact of what we’re doing. Recently, I had to describe my job to my fiance’s niece, who’s 10 years old, and it was interesting. We then asked her to repeat what she heard and she was able to get it!

What has surprised you most since joining Syapse?

Probably the freedom to choose your path. I think that’s been really exciting for me. Coming in, I knew that there was this job description and that’s what I’m doing. What I’m realizing is that you can flex the boundaries. You have the opportunity to stretch in several different directions and grow professionally. Like I mentioned before, our leadership is pretty receptive to new ideas and different ways of working together. All ideas are worth discussing and I’ve had some pretty great brainstorming sessions! Leadership is open to listening and making time to connect with all employees.

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?

I’m excited to see what life sciences companies we partner with and what sort of interesting projects we work on. I’m excited to continue building and growing that side of our business. I’m also really excited to see how our products and services will evolve over the next 12 months. We’re really starting to hone in on what are the things that make Syapse special to a life sciences company and we’re really going after partnerships and opportunities where we have the opportunity to showcase the areas where we shine in terms of our data, our insights, and our research. We have a lot to offer, and we’re just starting to grow our team. So I’m very excited about having more of those insights out there for companies and for healthcare professionals to use as well.

On a personal front, I’m excited to plan my wedding! There’s a similar theme of adapting to change because we’re in a COVID-19 world where it’s very difficult to plan any kind of event. So I’m definitely making more progress at work than I am making in that personal goal.

What part of your story haven’t we talked about yet?

It’s been really interesting to see how the company has responded to things shifting with COVID-19. I haven’t faced something like this in my lifetime, but I’m very impressed by the way the company has responded. To see the sort of empathy, support, and the guidance that the company has been providing through this time gives me the warm and fuzzies. We spend so much of our time at work, and to know we are also important and supported by the company has been really great to see.

Lightning Round!

If you could become an expert in anything instantly, what would it be?

I’d love to wake up and be a musician, play any kind of instrument or be able to hold a tune.

Are you learning anything new right now?

I am reading a book called The Challenger Sale. I’m learning a lot about human psychology through that. It’s a book for business development and sales teams and the insights are based on a large national survey — data!

COVID-19 aside, where is the first place you want to travel?

Anywhere outside. Bali and Bora Bora had been on the top of the list for a while. So I’d love to go there for a couple of weeks. Recently, I visited the Smoky Mountains.

If you could switch roles at Syapse for a day, what other jobs would you like to try?

I’d switch places with Ken Tarkoff (CEO) or Fletcher Payne (CFO). If I could switch places with them and instantly download their brains, I could use their experience in my own day-to-day work.

Do you have a favorite quarantine meal?

We’ve been making roast chicken, a lot of roast chicken and vegetables. My fiancé loves to cook, so we’ve been using America’s Test Kitchen and they have some really great recipes. He makes a great Brazilian fish stew as well!