What's your job about?
I work in Marketing for the Gene Therapies team at Novartis. We are a small team dedicated to bringing two incredible gene therapies to patients in Australia. I work on a wide variety of projects which mostly focus on ensuring that health care professionals (HCPs) and patients are well informed about our therapies.
Right now, one of my key projects is a disease awareness campaign that will be rolled out to both HCPs and the general public. At the moment we’re working on creating the media plan for this and ensuring the websites and content are ready for the launch. We’ll be designing the advertising assets soon as well.
Some other things I’m working on are treatment information resources for HCPs and patients, aligning our external marketing and communications plans, and creating internal resources to assist my team. A typical day in my job could involve team alignment and project meetings, meetings with external agencies around ongoing projects, reviewing resources and campaign assets, and strategic planning.
Novartis is a big company, so I might also have larger meetings and events such as town halls (for company-wide updates), cross-divisional meetings (to share learnings and experiences) and personal development sessions and workshops.
What's your background?
I grew up in the suburbs of Wollongong and attended high school and university there as well. I graduated from the University of Wollongong with an International Bachelor of Science with a major in Biological Sciences. I also completed an Honours year where I investigated a potential therapeutic strategy for motor neuron disease.
I applied for many graduate roles after leaving uni; mostly government based positions in health and general services. When I came across the Novartis advertisement and did some background research, I immediately knew that I wanted to work there. Due to my science background, I applied for and accepted a position as a Medical Affairs Graduate.
My first rotation was in Scientific Affairs in the Pharmaceuticals division where I worked with all four of the key medical therapeutic area teams helping them to raise awareness of their therapies with doctors. In my second rotation, I moved into the medical Gene Therapy team and worked on educating and building awareness around gene therapy amongst key HCPs in Australia. At the end of the program, I wanted to stay in the team and continue bringing these amazing therapies to patients. There were no medical based roles available, so I applied for a marketing position and my manager was willing to take me on despite my having no previous marketing experience. I’ve now been in marketing for two months and I’m learning something new every day.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes definitely. As I mentioned, I don’t have a marketing background or prior experience. A part of the reason I was chosen for my current role was my passion for the therapy area and knowledge from my time in medical.
In my role, we work on a wide variety of projects at any time so it’s important to be efficient and flexible with your time. Being able to clearly communicate with others is also crucial as you’ll always be speaking and engaging with different people on your projects; whether in your team, from other functions or from outside the company.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I am passionate about the science of gene therapy so I’m really excited to be involved in bringing these revolutionary therapies to patients. The best part of my role is speaking to doctors about their therapeutic area and hearing from patients and families about their journeys.
My team is incredible to work with; we’re all very passionate about our work and we have a great time while doing it which makes it easy to be motivated! A rewarding part of my job is finalising a project that I know will make a difference to the doctors we work with and their patients.
What are the limitations of your job?
The pharmaceutical industry in Australia is very highly regulated and we operate under a national code of conduct, so there are often many different processes that need to be completed to get projects across the line. As a result it can sometimes take us a while to push through new initiatives and innovations.
We work in a global company so meetings with international colleagues are held at all hours of the day. Like any job, there are times that are busier than others but a positive is that it’s up to you to manage your hours throughout the week.
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