Product Manager

My role involves managing the day to day activities of an oncology product, as well as leading the strategic direction for the product in the UK.

​So, what do you do?

My role involves managing the day to day activities of an oncology product, as well as leading the strategic direction for the product in the UK. I continuously monitor both internal and external factors that could affect the performance of the business and ensure that there are contingency plans in place should marketplace factors affect the direction we need to move. 

What does your typical day involve?

I don’t really have a typical day. Each day is very different in the challenges and issues that arise. I might have a day consisting mainly of meetings. These meetings are very diverse in their objectives and can be related to my product, or some other company issue. On other days I might not have any meetings but still have lots to do in terms of answering ad hoc questions, analysing financial information, planning and driving a new campaign etc. Other aspects to my day include developing and reviewing analytics to understand the marketplace, interpreting market research, identifying brand performance (both positive and negative) so that I can address them using relevant tactics.

Do you work mostly on your own or as part of team?

The nature of my job means that I have to be effective at both working individually and as part of a team. In my opinion I do both equally.

How long have you been in your current role?

Almost 3 years

What qualifications and experience do you have?

I have A-levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, a BSc Honours degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College, London and did a PhD in Virology at Warwick University. I am also currently studying for an MBA at Tanaka Business School, Imperial College.

When and why did you decide on a career in the pharmaceutical industry?

I felt it was the best way to engage in a challenging career path as well as apply the science that I learnt at University

How has your career developed since you left university?

My career has taken a few twists and turns since University. I finished my PhD and then moved into Market Research. I then worked for a small consulting firm and then finally moved into the Pharmaceutical Industry as a specialist sales representative. It is currently a relatively common career path to move from being a medical rep to a Product Manager, but more and more I think companies are starting to look at individuals with different career backgrounds and not just sales. And here I am!

Do you think additional qualifications or experience would be an advantage for someone entering the industry now?

I think a good solid science background and/or a business qualification (degree level or higher) is always an advantage.

What is it like socially where you work?

It is very good. The people I work with are one of the main reasons I continue to work for the company.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Making a positive difference to the many patients we serve with our products.

What possibilities are there for your career in the future?

There are so many career options available for me. The company is very good at developing you as an individual and there is constant dialogue with your line manager as to what you want to do and how it fits in with the organisation.

What do you think are the most important skills for someone in your role to have?

Being flexible, people orientated, analytical and patient!

What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking a career in the pharmaceutical industry?

Go for it!!


Case study

Manufacturing Production Manager / Director

I have never looked at another industry since joining and have found each job role as fulfilling as the last.