To celebrate British Science Week this week, we spoke with AVP Sales and Marketing Assistant, Anisha Abayakoon EMENA, about her first job in the Pharmaceutical industry here at Accord:

Last Summer, I graduated from University with a double degree in Pharmacology and Physiology and gained my role at Accord. Initially, there was a steep learning curve but with the support of my line manager and colleagues, I’m now able to understand how a pharmaceutical company operates and the key components when it comes to the development of biosimilars and generic medicines. Every day I learn something new! My job involves assisting the AVP and marketing team, providing support for presentations, collating business cases and effectively communicating with suppliers to maintain strong and healthy relationships.

Q What interested you about a Pharmaceutical career?

From a young age, I’ve been interested in pharmaceuticals and took part in internships at several pharmaceutical companies which allowed me to heighten this passion even further. Being born and raised in Sri Lanka, I became aware of the gap in the provision of medicine to those that come from a poorer background in comparison to higher income backgrounds. One of my main interests when it came to pharmaceuticals was how pharmaceutical companies tackle the provision of medicine to those that are from a lower income background as well as how innovation can contribute to more effective access to medicine. I was keen to join Accord due to the major focus on improving access to medicines as well as the focus on innovation of biosimilars and generics.

Q Tell us about working at Accord, how has your role developed?

My line manager is Paul Tredwell, VP of Speciality Brands. Paul ensured that I wasn’t just thrown into the deep end when I started and allowed me to sit in on meetings with key stakeholders and absorb and widen my knowledge. In addition to Paul, fellow colleagues and franchise managers were available to support and help me understand the role and answer any queries I encountered. Once I got a grasp and widened my knowledge further, I was given more responsibility in projects and got involved in aspects of the business that initially I may not have thought I could be involved in. For example, over December I was sent out to observe a human factor study. This was new to me and very interesting as I got to witness how differently HCPs and patients tackle the provision of an existing drug in a new device. Accord has allowed me to explore different aspects of the company which has supported me in deciding how I would like my career to progress.

Q What advice would you give to someone looking for a Graduate opportunity?

It’s important to do what you are passionate about and not digress from that but don’t feel the pressure to impress immediately. As a graduate, you’re hired for your future potential and what you can contribute once you learn. Knowledge is key and you will never run out of ways to widen your knowledge so always ask questions but as my colleague advised me; just don’t ask the same question twice!

I’ve learnt a lot in quite a short amount of time and already feel like I’m a valuable part of Accord’s workforce which is a testament to how welcome I was made to feel by all my colleagues.