It was a long day, full of activity. We had to be ready to go at 0745 so we could hop on the subway to Uxbridge. I must say, once past a certain point in London, the tube, underground, and subway are all misnomers as the trains run above ground… Anyway, we were on our way to visit the London offices of Bristol-Myers Squibb, a drug research and manufacturing company. After the hour long tube (not really tube though) journey, during which I navigated to the correct lines, we found our way to the correct bus stop and waited for an employee shuttle.
Once arrived at the campus we entered a very modern and scientifically decorated building while the entire group, sans myself, flocked around the coffee machine. After getting their much needed caffeine doses, we were led into a conference room to meet Jo Cowler, the Director Strategy & Operations for the UK and Ireland at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). She told us about how the industry is structured and what she does for BMS. She also talked about how she, a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Sciences, got to where she was in the pharma industry. Then Ms. Cowler invited four other BMS employees, who are pharmacists by training, to come tell us about what they do and how they got there. This allowed us to see some different career pathways that can be achieved in pharma industry with a pharmacy degree.
Ms. Cowler invited Jérome Garcin, Pratik Thakkar, Patrick Hopkinson, and Sandip Ghosh to speak with us. Mr. Garcin is the Oncology Business Unit Director for the UK and Ireland, Mr. Thakkar is a Medical Advisor, Mr. Hopkinson is the Executive Director World Wide Health Economics and Outcomes Research, and Mr. Ghosh is the Associate Director of Access Strategy. All of these gentlemen shared their paths and choices that brought them to where they are today. We then asked some questions of them and got a lot of useful information. After the scheduled meeting, we got to informally meet with Laura McMullin, the Executive Director for Worldwide Commercial of Cardiovascular. She was a wonderful person and we got to have some fun and engaging conversation with her.
After our meetings at BMS, we took the “Underground” back to King’s Cross and Chapter. I, however, took some different trains to the Newport Street area of London with the desire to checkout the restaurant Pharmacy 2 (more to come in a future post). Unfortunately I didn’t have as much time as I thought so I stopped at a little hole in the wall cafe and ordered a Mince and Onion Pie. It was a tasty lunch and quite hot. After I had to book it back to IES to be on time for class, but there were severe delays on the Piccadilly Line, which I needed to take. I made it to class right at the tail end of 1330 so I maintain that I was on time.
During class we got to hear the career path that Dr. Scott took to get to where he is today. I am very happy to have had Dr. Scott and he has a lot of cool experiences that have contributed to his career path. I will always be able to go to him if I have questions and getting to know him better on this trip has been an excellent opportunity in and of itself. After IES I returned to chapter to update some of my previous posts with pictures and I am slowly but surely catching up.
At 1745 the entire group headed out to Nando’s for some delectable peri-peri chicken. They roasted one heck of a bird and even though UK chickens are significantly smaller than their US brethren, I still ate too much food. Then as a group we went to School of Rock at the New London Theatre. The performance was amazing and I never would’ve picked it on my own so I was glad IES did for me. While there I got to know one of the IES staff members a bit better. She is Polish and we talked about the 2023 World Scout Jamboree most likely being in Poland, among other things. It was a long day from 0615 to 2315, but it was full of good experiences, continuing this awesome trip to London and Europe.
Martin “Mixy” McNichols
Until we meet again