Leyna Prince, 7.4
I would love to say that I purposefully set out to develop a career in healthcare communications… But it happened by accident (a fortunate one). Like many, I was unaware of the industry when contemplating a next step after university. Having spent an enjoyable year studying for an MSc in Toxicology, I was keen to explore jobs that would allow me to stay close to science but didn’t want a lab-based role.
Thankfully, inspiration came in the form of my dissertation, supporting an experienced medical writer and editor with the development of a non-clinical overview for EU regulatory submission. I subsequently joined a journal publisher as a production editor; after a brief spell, I started to look for a new opportunity in a more dynamic workplace.
I only became aware of the healthcare communications industry when a recruiter approached me with an editing opportunity at a network agency. With London living expenses mounting, I applied. I remember checking the company website before interview and still being none the wiser at what they actually did.
I spent 7 years at this first agency and never looked back. I loved the challenging environment and team spirit. The role was a wonderful combination of editing and account handling, with direct client and expert contact and a real sense of contributing to collective agency and client goals. I was responsible for communications on project status as well as submissions of congress abstracts and journal manuscripts, in addition to quality control.
I progressed over time to Editorial Director, overseeing the editing and research team, and had the opportunity to spend a year working in New York. I was fortunate to have a manager who saw client service potential within me and coaxed me out of my comfort zone to contribute to the development and delivery of new business pitches. I was exposed to many different therapy areas and drug types, fulfilling the desire I had to keep learning from a science perspective.
It was through the BD activities that I discovered the buzz of presenting and client service in general. I went on to hold client service team lead roles in several agencies before joining AMICULUM in 2013. One of the aspects of AMICULUM that I found most attractive is the lack of job titles and an openness to fluidity in people’s roles, playing to their strengths and interests. I’m currently the commercial lead for 7.4 Limited, one of AMICULUM’s family of agencies. I work closely with our account leads to ensure a high standard of delivery and partnership with clients. A key aspect of the role is ensuring regular, open dialogue with clients to refine ways of working and the solutions we provide.
Why am I still working in healthcare communications after 15 years? There’s never a dull day. The team I work with are incredibly talented and a great bunch in general. And after all this time, I still encounter new challenges. There aren’t many jobs as entertaining and as fulfilling as this one.