This month Pf spoke to Julie Adams, Regional Healthcare Manager of AstraZeneca, about what it was like to win at the Pf Awards and how she proved that her role is anything but ‘woolly’.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The autonomy. I enjoy the fact that I am able to be innovative and creative in the way I deal with customers. In this role I can build a different type of relationship with the customer, one that is built on trust and respect. I find out what their issues are and can create a real win-win situation. I can work with my customers on finding solutions, as a partner rather than just someone trying to sell drugs. I actually think I’ve got the best job in the industry!
What do you find challenging?
Historically this role has had a degree of cynicism around it, both internally and externally, because people didn’t really understand what the role was. It was seen as ‘woolly’. The challenge for me when I first started was to help people understand the role’s contribution to the success of the company, and also to help customers to achieve their vision for their patients.
How did it feel to accept the Patient Care Initiative award ?
The overriding feeling was absolute relief.
I really felt I was representing my company, and I didn’t want to let them down. I was utterly delighted that the initiatives had been recognised. My customers were recognised for the initiatives by the Health Service Journal Awards, receiving the overall award for Excellence in Healthcare from Patricia Hewitt, so the fact that I also received recognition from my industry demonstrates this partnership in action.
What do you think it was that made you stand out from the crowd on the assessment day?
I think it was my passion and commitment to what I do. It’s passion that really makes a difference in your role, and I hope that came over to the judges on the day. I endeavoured also to give a professional image, and provided packs for each of the judges with examples of the different Patient Initiatives that were part of the projects. I tried to embody the four cornerstones that are central to AstraZeneca’s values: Partner of Choice, Patient at the Heart of our Brands, Professional Excellence and Inspiring People.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to excel in a similar role?
Have belief in yourself and a vision of where you want to be. Also, don’t give up. There are lots of setbacks in this industry and lots of different things we have to work with, but you really need to stay inspired.
Are you the best in the industry at what you do? Do you want to be recognised by your company AND your industry peers? Do you want to be on stage receiving an award? Here are some useful hints and tips from Lucy Randle, Managing Director of STAR Medical, that might help you to achieve that goal and make sure you stand out from the crowd:
• You’ve got to be in it to win it. It’s pretty obvious, but if you don’t enter, you won’t win. You’ve got to be willing to put your head above the parapet.
• Choose your category carefully. Do your research and identify the competition and the award category that are most suited to you, your skills and your company. Make sure that you get support/approval from your manager/HR department, and follow the process carefully as outlined. Ensure that you meet any deadlines laid out and that the quality of your work reflects your capabilities.
• Research and network. Ensure you are up-to-date on industry and ABPI news. Gather general information about the awards, and speak with previous entrants/winners about their experiences. If someone in your company has won in the past, find out how they prepared and how it felt to win – they will inspire you!
• Know yourself. In order to convince the judges that you are the best, you must understand and be able to articulate what it is that makes you so. Consider the key factors that drive your success. What are your strengths? What areas need improvement? What behaviours do you consistently
demonstrate in your day-to-day activities that ensure you deliver better results than the rest? The judges will be looking for you to have some insight into what motivates you and awareness of why you are successful. Think about your key competencies and how you can translate what you do in real life to the assessment situation. Be prepared to communicate your successes in a structured and logical fashion. Be passionate, but be professional. As always, presentation is everything.
• Be yourself. Don’t try to be anything you’re not. Have confidence in your own ability. The worst thing you can do is to try to second-guess what the judges are looking for – you’ll probably be wrong, and it will give a false impression of you.
• Enter wholeheartedly or not at all. If you’re going to do it, do it properly and give it 100% effort. This is particularly relevant if someone else is encouraging you to ‘go for it’. Don’t be half-hearted – make sure you demonstrate a real focus and genuine commitment to the essence of the competition.
If you think you’re the best, then pit your wits against the rest and see whether the industry agrees!
Sponsored by STAR Medical