Graduate profile: Anna Sophia Hendy, Behavioural Economics Project Assistant, AstraZeneca

Anna Sophia Hendy is currently Behavioural Economics Project Assistant at AstraZeneca.

am currently studying a BSc in Psychology at the University of Aberdeen. I have experience working in Healthcare as a Support Worker for people with learning disabilities, and as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) for the elderly. Therefore, I wanted to learn more about pharmaceuticals and this area of healthcare delivery.

In my role as Behavioural Economics Project Assistant, I research and present the ‘as-is’ behaviours and the psychology of stakeholders. I use this information to offer theoretically grounded solutions to deliver behavioural change.

Value proposition

I felt aligned with the values that this company upholds. Through working as an HCA and support worker, I have learnt the importance of putting the patient at the centre of everything you do. Also, through studying psychology, I have come to appreciate the importance of science and evidence-based treatments in improving care for all. As someone who is interested in technology, I wanted to work for a company which creates innovative solutions to disease management.

When working for a major global organisation like AstraZeneca (AZ), you are given the opportunity to make a difference on a large scale: reaching out and impacting the lives of many people worldwide. You also have great opportunities for personal growth in many differing areas of specialism. 

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A day in the life

I read important internal and external documents daily and select crucial information to discuss with my supervisor, to design exciting strategies for AZ to improve stakeholder engagement. I look at what is currently being created in disease areas, the psychological research, and come up with solutions to address stakeholder challenges. 

What I love the most about working here is becoming knowledgeable in this disease area, something I would not usually encounter in my studies. I am looking at this challenge as an outsider, but through the psychological lens: I feel I can add something useful to the current stakeholder understanding. Furthermore, I love that my research has the potential
to improve care in this area. 

Support and advice

My mentor is Matthew Bonam, Senior Director Scientific Project Management. He has given me an abundance of support, while giving me the freedom to be creative and self-learn. Ultimately, he has given me more confidence, encouraging me to trust myself and my own judgement.

I would advise anyone considering a career in the pharmaceutical industry to also trust their own judgement and intuition. I would encourage them to speak out when there is something they do not understand, and to ask questions, even if, at first, the questions may appear ‘silly’.

What’s next?

I would like to combine my interests in Artificial Intelligence and Behavioural Medicine into a future career in healthcare or pharma. My personal aspiration is to help others to improve their physical and mental wellbeing and increase access to good quality care. 

This article was originally published in Pharmafield.