Stefanie, Finance, UK
I’m Stefanie and I’m on the fourth year of the Esprit finance programme. I did my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Business, followed by an MBA in Finance. Through the years, I have always continued my education, either through the CEB, which is the Corporate Executive Board, or through different programmes or platforms that have been offered by the different companies I’ve worked at.
Learning to be a visionary leader
I have just changed roles and joined the Finance transformation team. My official title is workstream lead, but I am evolving with the programme – it’s fairly new and fresh. My lens is heavily focused on technology and embedding different types of technology to make finance easier. It’s really fascinating; I get to meet different people in the tech organisation, talk to people in the business and pilot different systems and tools, looking at different reporting capabilities. It’s really interesting.
Before this, I was a senior finance business partner in Italy, responsible for the Vaccines and Rare Diseases business units. I spent my first year in Corporate working for the Chief Financial Officer and his planning team. When I first joined, there was a change in the IRFS standards: the governing body wanted to ensure investors were protected. This meant that every company now needed to assure shareholders that they would be solvent, not only in the long-term but also in the very short-term. I was only about two or three months into my role, when I was given the responsibility of writing a 30-page risk assessment detailing how we would look at risk in the company and mitigate against it. This was then put in the annual report to assure our shareholders. It was a great way to learn about the company and help make an impact from day one, an opportunity I was able to have because of Esprit
Everything we decide and everything we do ultimately impacts patients; patients are at the end of the supply chain, no matter what. So, every team meeting you’re part of and every proposal you put together, you have to put in 100%.
In working in the Finance Transformation team. I’m heavily focused on sourcing and embedding different types of technology that will ultimately make finance processes easier. It’s really fascinating.
The culture – when I first interviewed I really thought there was something in the water here; the enthusiasm is magnetic. Four years on and this is still true. The people I work with, old and new, believe in our mission and values and make working either on difficult projects or delivering important milestones engaging and rewarding.
I love to network, so I’m always having coffees with old line managers, having 1-to-1 meetings with my old team in Italy, having lunches with different leadership team members, organising quarterly drink catch ups and I had my team around on Sunday for a barbeque. I feel like the social angle here is a great addition to the day job.
I think we have a very consensus culture, which has its pros and cons. It’s great to get a lot of people around the table but it does slow us up at times. We are doing a lot at the moment to try and change that, and there’s a lot of agile working being adopted within the organisation. Let’s fail quickly, learn from it and move forward.