Sanofi is a global pharmaceutical company and I am lucky enough to be a marketing graduate working for the primary care business unit. I work in customer engagement which is primarily a digital marketing role looking at new and innovative ways to connect with our customers. This involves designing a campaign communication strategy for a product launch for example. Due to the nature of the industry and the associated regulations, we are limited in how we can communicate so you won’t see us making TV ads or popping up on your Instagram, rather we communicate directly with specialists and doctors.
I grew up in East Melbourne and moved to Sydney when I was 8 years old. Starting both primary and secondary school were significant moments in my life, however I didn’t really know what I wanted to do until late in the piece. I started university studying human resources and quickly found this wasn’t for me. I enrolled in marketing and the rest is history.
While studying at university I started working in a pub and instantly fell in love with the job, so much so I went on to become a manager for a few years. I think this was pivotal in my education as it was something I loved doing and allowed me to put into practice some of the skills gained at university.
I studied a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing and coupled this with working in a management position within hospitality. I always had an interest in health and wellbeing so felt pharmaceuticals was a good fit. I applied and was lucky enough to get chosen to join the team. I have been in my current role since January 2019 and haven’t looked back.
Yes and No. I didn’t do a marketing internship as such coming from hospitality however for a role in marketing, you would definitely require a marketing degree. I feel the theory is important for practical use. I suppose this needs to be assessed on a case by case basis.
Every career path has its own unique set of required attributes and the first one that springs to mind for marketing is resilience. You can often stumble upon roadblocks or setbacks and need to be able to adapt as sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan! Second is teamwork. Sanofi is a large company with over 800 employees in Australia so you need to be able to listen to others and be willing to compromise. As the saying goes, there is no ‘I’ in team
The coolest thing about my job is the people I get to meet from working on projects involving so many stakeholders from right across the different parts of the business and external agencies. Before starting at the company, I had never heard of business units such as external affairs or market access, let alone what their role was. Almost a year into the role now, I deal with team members in these departments almost every day. In my role, you need to have a cool head and be able to manage projects efficiently which I think is one of my strengths.
Working in a newly developed role (Customer Engagement) which is all about communicating with customers in a digital format can be difficult as this is a new concept for the industry which is so tightly regulated. The team often have weird and wacky ideas for the next big break, only to find that is against the rules so this comes back to my earlier point around resilience being key! I also carry responsibility for my projects which is added pressure however I have tremendous support from my colleagues and managers as well as our internal programs.