The 10-minute story that reminded me that connection is what drives us

Tess Brina, Regulatory Affairs Associate, Bristol Myers Squibb UK and Ireland
tess brina

I don’t know about you, but human connection really gets me going. You know when you’re having those mundane days, where everything feels a little grey and monotonous – and then a conversation with a friend or colleague, where you connect over a point or idea, totally transforms your mood and inspires you to throw yourself into things again? That’s what I’m talking about!

As humans, we’re hardwired to make meaningful social connections and those connections make us feel good. And when we feel good, we do good. Then if we share it with the world, it can be truly powerful.

Recently, I attended a company meeting which really struck a chord. The highlight was from a multiple myeloma patient who courageously shared his story, his journey, and what advances in medicine meant to him during his lifetime. It was by far the most gripping 10 minutes I’ve had in the past 12 months.

In those 10 minutes, I felt more connected to him, to all patients, to the company’s ethos, and to my colleagues. It really made me take stock because in these socially-starved times, real connection can be scarce. What was most inspiring about this patient’s story was that he was a voice of passion, a voice of hope. He was an empowered health advocate, using his experience and perspective to inspire others and deliver his message:

I have so much admiration for him bravely speaking his truth and evoking passion in people to do their best at work and to strive to find solutions. I went back to work after his talk with a renewed sense of purpose and drive, and believe I was a far better contributor for it.

It makes sense that humans are most creative and innovative when we feel unthreatened and relaxed. All too often that creativity, and ability to find solutions, can be hampered by stress and worry, or when we’re bogged down with facts and figures. I also believe that connection, whatever that looks like to an individual, can increase happiness levels and help us all to relax.

We’re in the business of finding solutions for our patients – be it R&D, access, supply or commercialisation – wherever we fit into the chain. But we can do better if we connect more – connect with each other, connect with our basic human needs and instincts. And, if we connect more, we can do more, because patients are waiting. 


November 2021