Tim, Training Director
My day is very varied and can depend on whether I am running a training course or ‘in the office’.
An office day involves the usual email back and forth traffic on various projects, then could involve meeting with groups in the business for which my group develops training. We would discuss what skills and their staff need, where they are now and what they need in future. Part of the solution to their needs may be training, which could involve developing an instructor-led course, an elearning course or facilitating discussions ‘on-the-job’.
As I manage a team, part of my day would always be talking with them on what they need to do and this could involve helping to design training and putting courses together. We also have a lot of technical systems work in managing training curricula for staff, so that would also be a typical area of work in a day.
When training, things are very different! – it is then all about keeping the delegates on the course involved in exercises and discussions – by the end of a day you are ready for some relaxation!
As I am part of a global group we often travel to countries to train staff as well, so this adds another aspect to the job which is stimulating and enjoyable.
This would be about 50:50 – I am part of a global training team of about 30 inpiduals and we then work with the business areas outside our own team.
Nine years in my current role, 22 years in the industry.
I have A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Kent
I pretty much fell into the industry when looking for ‘science’ based jobs after university and the company advertised for graduates.
I started off working on clinical trials for an anti-gastric ulcer drug, looking at the studies we were doing in patients - analysing their data. I was always interested in the technology side of the job and took the opportunity to then work on developing a computer system for managing clinical trials. This took me to live and work in the US for a while, which was a great experience.
I then started to head a project looking at how we could go from capturing data on paper at hospitals/doctor’s surgeries to using laptops – this was way before the concept of a smart phone or an iPad! I always liked the training aspect of my job and moved into that area and eventually moved to heading up a team and into my current position.
My career has taken me to many countries and I have been very luckily to see and interact with different cultures and people.
As the industry supports so many different disciplines, really the important thing is to have a good level degree and the enthusiasm to work in the industry. If you wanted to look at a specific qualification, then there are pharmaceutical medicine qualifications that could lead to an MSc. Experience, once you are in the industry is always going to be the key for longer term career movement.
It is open-plan, modern and relaxed office environment and I have met many people who have become close friends over the years. Hard work is expected but the balance between that and home life can be managed. The people you work with are the most important piece for me and luckily, I have a great team and we laugh a lot!
Specifically in training to see how I have helped many people understand some complex areas and make their lives easier. Overall, having contributed to getting effective drugs onto the market is a great feeling.
As the company I work for is large and the industry itself also, my particular area of training has many possibilities and my work and goals are varied and change as the business and technology changes.
Being adaptable and embracing change as this is a constant force in the industry and for someone in training I need to have these skills to continually learn myself and ensure others learn too.
Ensure you understand how you fit into the process of getting drugs to patients and really be motivated by that. Be prepared for hard work but accompanied by great personal satisfaction.