Power of Purpose Interviewer
As a child, I moved way too often. One constant amid the upheavals was the fact that our homes always overflowed with pets. And I had a big sister who ran a children’s zoo. So, naturally, I expected to become a veterinarian. Only at university did I consider medicine for humans as a potential career. But it turned out, my favourite classes were English. My father was a writer. I’d grown up loving stories, language and writing. So, my path veered toward the arts.
My love of good writing reflects my joy in clarity and creativity. I also love helping people overcome barriers and resolve problems, which requires both. I like to imagine myself a kind of ergonomic force in the world. People laugh when I say this. But it is true that when I see a problem, I tend to offer to help fix it.
I suspect this attitude comes largely from my complicated childhood. Both my parents married three times. As the baby of six, I spent my early years watching relationship and household breakdowns. I carried the weight of my mother’s depression, too, thinking it was my job to cheer her up, to fix her sadness—which of course I couldn’t.
When I went to university, I was drawn to early English literature—the quests of the Knights of the Round Table—and became a professor. I turned my love of problem-solving into a passion for helping students gain insights about themselves and the world through literature. Then I became a Dean and continued searching for ways to serve.
Along the way, I raised two daughters. As soon as they were old enough, I returned to school, eventually winding up with three master’s degrees. I jokingly say I’ve never left school—but I see, looking back, that the instability of my childhood was off-set by the stability I’ve always found at school, with its consistent rules and dependable, supportive people. So, no surprise, when I left the Dean’s role, that I pursued a doctorate in creative writing—and wrote a family memoir!
Now, I seek out project-based work that requires clarity of purpose, creativity and a focus on solutions. Interviewing pharma professionals feeds my curiosity about people, and stories, and allows me to help others achieve clarity about why it is that they do what they do. I believe that the stories we tell ourselves—about ourselves—are crucial, giving us the clarity of purpose to overcome the challenges in our lives.
Praise for Maggie Stainsby
“You’re hired! You really listened. That story was on point, absolutely perfect. I’m not going to change a word.”
– Ben, Field Medical Director