Job Title: Global Medical Project Director for a multi-national pharmaceutical company
My position in a nutshell… I lead projects that help doctors and nurses better understand medicines so that they can best use them for their patients. The medicine that I’m involved in is for lupus. Lupus is an auto immune condition where the body attacks itself and that can cause problems within the joints and within multiple organs including the kidney.
I got the job… By studying hard. I did a degree in pharmacology and a PhD in neuroscience, so I’m a scientist by background. I was working in a consultancy for the company I’m now working for and they asked me if I wanted a permanent role – I said yes – and have been in my current role for about four years.
My typical day… Every day is wonderful and varied, which is one of the reasons I really enjoy the job. Typically though, I will start off my mornings answering emails that have come in from colleagues in the US, or Asia overnight. Then we’ll jump on a call with either Japanese of Chinese colleagues – we’ve recently launched in China, so they really appreciate our help in communicating the science and data behind the medicine so that doctors in China can understand it well and use it in the right patients. I’ll also work on a couple of congresses that we are planning at the moment, both in the US and in Germany and towards the end of the day I will catch up with my team on projects that we have going on, to make sure that we can problem solve and address any issues that come up and ensure that we are making progress.
The best part of my job… Is seeing the difference that it can make to people’s lives, whether that’s them being able to return to work, or spend quality time with their family without feeling sick or fatigued. That is a huge motivator for me and keeps me going when I’m working hard and times are a little bit tough.
The worst part of my job… There are lots of emails and lots of meetings – sometimes they can seem never ending and a little bit tedious but they are all part of making progress and moving things ahead to ensure medical professionals can use the medicine most effectively.
Advice / key skills needed for anyone wanting to start their own business… Firstly, you need to have a good scientific understanding and a keen interest in science and how the body works. Second, you need good organisational skills, it’s really important to be structured in your thinking and planning. Third, you need to be able to communicate effectively and build good, long-lasting relationships with people.
How can I found out more about the pharmaceutical industry… Go to the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry school site: www.abpischools.org.uk