16th February 2021
One Year On: A year as an account executive
This February marked a full year since I had started at Consilium as an Account Executive. Reflecting on a whole year in the job involves bringing lots of strands together- the experiences I’ve enjoyed in the role, the challenges, and the learnings.
Lockdown, after all, has the tendency to both stretch and compress the passage of time, prompting as a reaction both ‘When will this end?’ and ‘Has it already been that long!?’. Twelve months in the job has felt busy and involved, but it’s also flown by.
Early 2020 was, of course, both a lucky and an unlucky time to join Consilium, my first job out of university. Unlucky in so far as a month into the job we were sent home, laptops in hand, to work remotely, just as I was growing accustomed to the City, our office environment and my colleagues. Lucky, as I had ended up alongside a considerate, friendly team who have endeavoured to stay true to their values and who made sure I felt supported.
I had, after all, started a job in strategic healthcare communications and investor relations just before the start of the biggest healthcare event in modern history. As an Account Executive, Consilium gave me the chance from the start to be involved in some remarkable COVID stories. I’d gone from knowing little about healthcare business to being on the inside track of Synairgen’s groundbreaking application of their inhaled interferon beta drug to the virus, a story which made headlines worldwide, and of Oxford Biomedica’s instrumental role in the manufacture of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.
And alongside these, I was opened up to companies which were continuing resolutely to advance their products, like Immunocore, who are progressing their cutting-edge T-cell receptor treatments to produce transformative medicines, and Quanta, whose small and powerful dialysis machine could transform how patients receive life sustaining kidney care. At every stage I felt like the clients I was working on were pioneers in their fields, and that we had access to the top-level decision makers at each company. I even worked on two Belgian healthcare IPOs - not bad from the comfort of home.
Although I’d enjoyed the short internships I’d done before applying to Consilium, the past year has been a major step up from Consumer and B2B PR to full-blown financial comms and IR, working with listed companies, world-leading scientists and top city analysts and media. It’s involved both early mornings and late nights, and some busy periods, but I’ve had the unique chance to work on the largest healthcare story ever, and I always knew that I could turn to the team at Consilium for assistance and to share my workload.
Interviews and selection processes are well and good for understanding a company, and in an hour-long meeting you can get a vague sense of the nebulous ‘social’ aspect of a job usually referred to as something like ‘company culture’. But no interview can tell you how you’ll find things six months into the job- whether you’ll fit in with everyone, whether the gloss of being a new starter will wear off, if you’ll enjoy the position long term, or, what happens if there’s a crisis. So more than any other part of the job, I was happy to find that I enjoyed the company of every person at Consilium, and still enjoy working with them. The firm has assembled a group of like-minded, excellent and determined advisors who have made me feel welcome and who continued to push and develop me.
I look forward to the next year, and hope that this year I have the chance to work alongside the team in person, and to meet with clients more frequently.
If you’re reading this and considering whether or not it’s the right time to move into a new job- or even a first job- then I’d advise you not to wait on the pandemic. Working from home is going to be a reality for a while to come, which makes the choice of who to throw your lot in with more sensitive than ever. If you’re looking for a varied, involved job working with high-profile companies, with a group of employees and partners who act with integrity and, as far as I can report, have proved themselves to me over the course of a unique year, then try Consilium Strategic Communications.