Making a Medly: Where Career Growth and Company Expansion Meet
Before Margo Bernhaut became a manager of talent acquisition at Medly, she spent a year advancing through the ranks of the digital pharmacy and prescription delivery company’s team — first as the team’s sole tech recruiter, later growing into management with a distributed team. “It has been an absolute whirlwind,” she said.
Between mentorship and the support of a passionate and talented team, Bernhaut’s journey at Medly continues on with the responsibility of building out the tech organization and leading a distributed team in the U.S. and India — all with the end goal of using technology to facilitate a seamless pharmacy experience for patients: “My growth has been expedited since I’ve had to quickly learn how to empower teams and stakeholders on two continents.”
In tandem with Bernhaut, Medly has experienced its own phases of growth — through both its tech team and its organizational infrastructure with the addition of expert leadership. Though a company’s rapid growth often comes with unique challenges, there’s a particular thrill in overcoming them. In Bernhaut’s case, that goes hand in hand with the recruiting hurdles she faces in the ever-competitive areas of engineering and product.
“I’m excited about finding awesome and authentic people who share our passion for building products to better the lives of our patients. We hire happy, humble and hungry folks to join our diverse and equitable tech team,” she said. “Medly celebrates innovation, and since we are a rapidly-growing company, you may find yourself in a situation where you are navigating new territory and need to be resourceful with what you have.”
It’s been said before that there is strength in numbers, and that certainly seems to be the case for Medly. Built In NYC sat down with Bernhaut to learn more about what her leadership experience has been like, the company’s mission to leverage technology to reinvent the pharmacy and improve patient health on a national scale, and how Medly team members at every level are making it all happen.
Tell us about your journey at Medly. What difficulties came with advancing through different roles in the company?
When I was brought on in June 2020, our tech team in the U.S. was made up of 13 people, and we are now exceeding more than 80. I initially joined as a talent acquisition specialist, and with great mentorship and rapid hiring plans, I was promoted into my first managerial role in June 2021. I’m currently a manager of talent acquisition, leading all recruitment in the U.S. under our chief technology officer, which includes engineering, product and product design. This encompasses both the individual recruitment aspect — from candidate outreach through the offer — and the buildout of hiring plans and strategies with my tech leaders.
I want to empower each team member with the confidence, resources and knowledge they need to thrive.”
Leading a distributed team in the U.S. and India, what has your leadership experience been like?
It’s been a really exciting learning opportunity to lead an international team so early on in my career. I’ve partnered closely with the leader of our people team in India who has provided mentorship on how to effectively lead teams in both countries. At the end of the day, my goal as a manager remains the same regardless of where folks are located. Although that looks different for every person in terms of coaching, development, feedback and collaboration styles, I want to empower each team member with the confidence, resources and knowledge they need to thrive.
How is Medly changing the pharmacy experience for patients? How might new hires be able to leave their mark on the industry?
With each new hire, Medly is making the patient experience a little better by growing our footprint, expanding our capabilities and iterating on the pharmacy experience.
All of Medly’s teams are growing like crazy — especially tech. Our engineers, product managers and designers are building the products that expand and improve the pharmacy experience for patients, while also creating applications that increase efficiency for Medly’s internal teams. For example, one of our teams is building a web application suite that allows patients to directly schedule the date and time they would like their prescriptions to be delivered. This solves the all-too-common experience of waiting in line at the pharmacy.
How has Medly evolved — both as a company and a product — since you joined the team?
The Medly I joined is completely different from the Medly we are today — in the best way! Back in early 2020, we hadn’t even built our careers page yet. In just two years, we acquired a national pharmacy chain, Pharmaca, which has allowed us to expand both nationwide and into the beauty and wellness space. In addition to launching dozens of products that are improving our internal and patient workflows, we have also brought in amazing leaders who are subject matter experts in each of their areas to help with our exciting growth.
Renee Kaspar, our chief people officer, joined in the later half of last year, and she has been absolutely crucial in building out the foundational infrastructure and processes across our people team. We are now better able to support our people by providing consistency and clarity across different verticals including recruitment, people operations, and learning and development. She ensures that we continue to stay connected and communicate effectively so that all employees feel inspired and connected to Medly’s vision, values and future goals.
I am lucky enough to work with the brightest, most passionate, empathetic and humble team.”
What role has leadership played in Medly’s structural growth?
Renee is a great example of the expert leaders who are building the organizational infrastructure to help us scale — and in her case, empowering the people team to support all of Medly’s employees. As a leader myself, I am committed to living our values of accountability, collaboration, agility and awareness. A specific example is when I partnered closely with my leaders in tech to build out our structured interview process in order to hold our team accountable to practicing fair and unbiased interviewing, while at the same time providing a cohesive and consistent interview experience for candidates. This has created an amazing opportunity to empower our team as interviewers and external candidates interested in joining the team. It is actions like this that help Medly demonstrate its values on a daily basis.
What sets Medly apart from its competition, and how do those qualities impact the products you’re building?
Our people are one hundred percent what set us apart. I am lucky enough to work alongside the brightest, most passionate, empathetic and humble team, which is fundamental to building products that foster a seamless pharmacy experience. When you have a team that exemplifies these qualities and is committed to building products that are changing the lives of our patients, there truly isn’t anything we can’t achieve. Specifically on the tech team, our amazing leaders — Prasad Pola, Sarkis Kalashian, Ryan Martin, Sarah Foster and Sharon Kim — are dedicated to creating a transparent environment where everyone is encouraged to learn and grow. Not only is what we’re doing impactful, but it’s truly special that we have a team that lives these values day in and day out.