A Future in Pharmaceuticals

Anniken Strid decided to take her Master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation management after seeing a poster on a toilet door. Today she is Key account manager for an international pharmaceutical corporation.

Anniken Strid (Foto: Merete Granlund)

Anniken Strid finished her Master’s degree in June 2011. The day she got her thesis approved, she also started her new job as a product specialist in Astellas Pharma, a large international pharmaceutical corporation.

Anniken had a Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and biology chemistry before she started her master’s studies.

- I decided that lab work wasn’t for me. It takes a lot of patience, and that didn't suit me. When I had a year left of my Bachelor’s degree, I actually saw a poster advertising the Master in Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the inside of a toilet door at the University, and quickly decided that it was a better choice for me. The combination allows me to keep working with the subjects I studied in biology and chemistry, but at a different stage in the prosess, says Anniken.

A job for the restless

Anniken has recently been promoted to Key account manager, and her job is to oversee that new medicines are implemented in health care in the best possible way. She is now mainly working with an immunosuppressant that is used by transplant patients to stop the body’s immune system rejecting the new organ.

- Right now, I am administrating a Norwegian observational study that will include 120 patients and run for one year. Astellas is a highly innovative corporation and has many products in pipeline. That is one of the reasons I wanted to work here. These days we are launching a new product that I also am looking forward to work with, says Anniken.

Her job also includes spreading information about the advantages of the new product compared to the earlier options. As can be imagined, Anniken's job involves a lot of travelling and meetings with reseachers, doctors and others. So in stead of dealing with tubes in a laboratory, Anniken is living life in the fast lane.

- I sometimes have had up to 20 meetings in one week. But I really get to use everything I have learnt about strategy, pitching and finance! says Anniken, who at this stage in her life is pleased with the many opportunities see new places and meet new people. 

Transnational communication skills

Astellas is an international corporation that was founded in Japan, but today has branches all over the world.

- We cooperate a lot with the other Nordic affiliates, and the Nordic headquarters are located in Copenhagen. There we meet with our collegues at least twice a year for conferences and team building. One of the best things about my Master's studies was that I had to cooperate with students from other countries, and that the teaching language was English. Now I benefit from that experience, says Anniken.

During her studies in innovation and entrepreneurship she also attended Gründerskolen in Houston and had an internship in a medical start-up there.

- I worked closely with the founder of this company, and since we were the only two people there, I got to do all sorts of things, like participating in meetings where importants deals were made. That kind of practical experience is gold! says Anniken Strid.

By Merete Granlund
Published June 6, 2012 5:35 PM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2020 4:51 PM