Toni, Commercial management (Pharmaceuticals), US
I’m Toni and I've been with GSK for almost two and a half years. My educational background is unusual in that I graduated with two degrees in different areas: a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. Through the Future Leaders programme, I’ve had the opportunity to merge both my interests into the work I do every day.
Learning to be a Future Leader
I’m part of the US Commercial Future Leaders programme, which is focused on sales and marketing. During my first two years in the programme, I was a vaccines sales rep in San Francisco. For this rotation, I moved across the country to a new city where I initially had very few contacts, so it was a big change.
My role in vaccine sales meant I had the opportunity to create meaningful partnerships with doctors. I started out detailing our Bexsero Meningitis B vaccine to independent physician clinics; calling on over 150 pediatricians and general practitioners across San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Silicon Valley. In my second year I transitioned to a new team and worked with San Francisco’s top three largest private hospital systems and public health centres, with sales totaling $10.5million. My two years in sales have been extremely impactful on the work I do today in marketing because they showed me how important it is to establish trust with doctors. At the end of the day, our job is to empower doctors to make the best decisions for their patients.
To find my next rotation, I did a lot of networking. I reached out to people in Rockville Maryland, where the new Slauoi Vaccines R&D center was established, and the commercial team there brought me onto the Neisseria Global Marketing team. Joining this team was the perfect opportunity for me to apply the insights I gained in sales to the global team’s support for our marketing efforts around the world.
Now, I’m looking forward to joining the Shingrix Global Marketing team in my final rotation, where I’ll be working on the Shingrix product launch in China. I’m excited about supporting such an important venture for the company and also about the opportunity to put my bilingual skills to use as we form partnerships with stakeholders in China.
Looking back, one of my biggest takeaways from the programme is that we control our own career path. The programme gives us the flexibility and freedom to work in a breadth of areas across the organisation, and it’s up to us to make it happen. While there are a lot of unknowns along the way, we learn to be agile and build resilience, which I believe in the long run better prepares us to be leaders.
When I was at university I didn't know how I was going to merge my science degree with my business degree. But when I saw this rotational programme, I thought it would be the ideal way to combine my two interests in one job.
The people in this organisation care deeply about their work and about each other.
I also think the people in this organisation care deeply about their work and about each other. Vaccines is a very challenging business due to complexity in R&D, manufacturing, clinical development, and commercial path to market unlike most other pharmaceutical segments. But we at GSK all come together as one team, act courageously, and do what’s best for the patient.
I'm definitely open to going overseas, but for now I'm fine in the US. This is one of the key markets for the continued success of GSK Vaccines. I get plenty of international exposure working with the teams in Belgium, as well as stakeholders across Europe, Latin America, and Emerging Markets.
Where do I see myself in five years' time? Hopefully continuing to challenge myself and growing both personally and professionally!
You may also like
Commercial management (Pharmaceuticals)
Are you a commercially sharp graduate who wants to help people do more, feel better, live longer? You can work towards this goal as part of our Commercial management team, based in Pharmaceuticals.
Applying for our Future Leaders graduate programme
Find out how to apply for our Future Leaders graduate programme, the career paths on offer and the countries where they're available.