What it takes to be a future leader in pharma

Pf Awards Future Leader winner, Lauren Laskier, reflects on her accolade and how the recognition has pushed her forward in her pharma career.

Congratulations on your Pf Awards win. How did you feel when your name was announced?

Thrilled, ecstatic and in a state of shock all at the same time!

What does it mean to you to win this Pf Award?

The Pf journey provided me with an opportunity to share my achievements working both as a pharmacist in the NHS and on the MSD Sales and Marketing graduate programme.

Not only has winning the Future Leader Award been a genuine privilege and honour, but this has also reiterated the importance of always being authentic, true to yourself and leading with kindness.

What do you love most about your job?

There are many aspects of my role that I love, but if I had to pick, it would be working as part of a tight knit team and knowing that our hard work ultimately has a positive impact on people’s lives.

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We’ve all had to change the way we work, and the Pf Awards themselves were no exception. Where did you watch the Awards ceremony and how did you celebrate?

I was in my element watching the ceremony from home; I was on the couch in my pyjamas with lots of chocolates and bubbles. When my name was announced, I celebrated by screaming down the phone to friends, family and colleagues (I bet my poor neighbours weren’t too pleased).

A big congratulations and thanks to the E4H team who successfully transitioned the ceremony into a fun virtual meeting in such a short space of time.

How has the way you work changed due to Covid-19 and how has MSD responded to the challenge?

Although I have found that working from home has encompassed various highs and lows, I have been impressed to realise how engaging and productive virtual meetings can be! I am really keen to take what I have learnt during lockdown forward as the world transitions into a ‘new normal’. I think that it is important to acknowledge that this pandemic has impacted everyone, everywhere in some way.

MSD have been incredibly supportive throughout this and we have quickly adapted to new ways of working. We have also stayed in regular contact with regular meetings with our managing director and leadership team and the wider business, who have led with compassion and flexibility. Our people are our greatest asset and the company has ensured that we all continue to be supported.

What has winning the Award done for your career?

Winning the Future Leader Award has truly opened doors for me. I have been fortunate to meet lots of great people in pharma that I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise, and I have recently been invited to participate in a regular industry-wide aspiring leader roundtable.

Most importantly, this recognition has allowed me to build on my confidence by proving that, however daunting it may feel at the time, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can really pay off.

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What are your career ambitions now?

I have recently finished the MSD graduate programme and I have started a new role within the HIV marketing team. I am excited to learn more about this complex therapeutic area, whilst also developing my strategic thinking and financial acumen. Following this, I am really keen to gain global exposure to further my breadth and depth of understanding of different healthcare systems, go-to market models and strategies seen across different subsidiaries.

From a long-term perspective, I hope to combine my experience and drive for both culture and people to ultimately transition into a leadership role.

What would you say to anyone thinking of entering the Pf Awards?

Go for it and apply, you never know what could come from the experience. The Pf Awards is a great opportunity to meet new people whilst reflecting on and showcasing your work; all whilst having good giggle!

Could you be a Pf Awards winner? The Pf Awards 2021 are now open for entries.

This article was originally published in Pharmafield.