Programme: BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences
Year of graduation: 2017
Current role and organisation: Graduate Brand & Customer Manager - MSD
Could you tell us a little bit about your current role and what you do on a day to day basis?
I am currently on a Graduate scheme with the global pharmaceutical company, MSD, where I work as the Graduate Brand and Customer Manager within the Specialty Care business unit. This predominantly involves working within the Antibiotics and Hepatitis C franchises of the business. Everyday is different but involves working with a wide range of teams; from customer engagment analytics, medical, business insights, sales teams, creative solutions...the list goes on! The overarching aim within marketing is to work with customers to effectively provide the desired information they need to make the right choice for their patients when it comes to prescribing medication.
How did you get to your current position, and what was your motivation for entering that industry? Was it what you expected?
I did multiple bouts of work experience both within and out of the healthcare setting and soon realised it was where I wanted to work. In addition, I really enjoyed working as a Brand Manager for Teach First during my final year at University and fortunately my current role is a nice blend of the two! My motivation to start a career specifically within the pharmaceutical industry was simple; I wanted my everyday work to have a real impact on the lives of patients. Being able to keep up to date with the scientific knowledge I gained from University but also getting to see new and innovative medicines benefit patients is extremely exciting. The scheme is pretty much what I expected, however the people I work alongside are better than I could have ever imagined and being able to work with such genuine, supportive and driven individuals is a privilege.
How do you think your degree is supporting you in your career so far?
In my current role, unlike University, I’m not in a laboratory, running VO2 max tests or writing reports, so for me the transferrable skills gained throughout my degree have been the most useful. My ability to prioritise tasks is challenged everyday whether I’m bouncing between meetings, brainstorming ideas or sieving through emails – I constantly need to ask myself; is this achieving my overall aim and is it the most important/ urgent task? Additionally, a science degree has definitely developed my analytical skills, which is valuable when challenging strategies, ideas and solutions.
What is the most important thing you've learnt since graduating and entering the world of work?
The most important thing I’ve learnt so far is that the relationships and connections built with individuals across the company are invaluable. Whether I’m introducing myself over a coffee, discussing a new idea with an expert, asking for feedback from my manager or simply going for drinks after work – networking is key. Another important lesson is ‘will is more important than skill’; this sounds cliché but I’ve learnt that if you are passionate, driven and enthusiastic you’ll be able to learn the skills along the way.
What are your ambitions for the future - where would you like to be in five years' time?
I don’t have a specific role/ company/ position that I’m aiming for – throughout the 2 years I hope to gain a real insight into to as many aspects of the business as possible. If, by the end of the scheme, I am able to clearly identify my likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses – then I believe I’ll be in a good position to map out the next 3 years of my career.