“I went from a junior role to managing a global team in just a few years”
Bejal Bhimjiyani joined STEM as a maths graduate in 2012, working her way up from junior analyst to manager, and later to Director and then Head of Global Analysis. More recently she’s taken on a new challenge as Project Director in Global Client Relations.
To work on a project with a client, and see how the results can help them accelerate performance, is amazing.
As an analyst, you take interviews and observations, gained from the client leadership through to the field team, then analyse the data to understand the team’s strengths, opportunities and best practice. You have to show the data in the most visually engaging way, telling a story that resonates with the client and helps them accelerate performance.
I was only 21 when I joined, with no industry background.
But I learned so much from the senior leaders and was given the opportunity to prove myself. When you’re that young and inexperienced sometimes you fail, but STEM believed in me and supported me in the right way so I could grow and be the best I could be.
The company itself has grown a lot since then too, but we still have a very supportive culture. My manager’s my mentor, but really there’s an informal mentorship structure where you can go to any of the senior leaders for help and advice.
Whatever your role, you’re encouraged to develop management skills.
One of the keys to my success is that I’ve been given lots of opportunity to manage people. In the analysis team, we get people even at a junior level coaching others, giving feedback and developing management skills early on. That way when they do start to apply for more senior roles, they’ve already got some of that experience.
At STEM you can be chucked in at the deep end. But that’s ok – at that point you’ve been taught how to swim.
When I moved from Director to Head of Analysis, I went from managing 10 people to leading almost 60 across the world. I didn’t think that move would happen as quickly as it did, but I felt ready and supported. Before I moved to my new role I’d spent time preparing, so I could really hit the ground running.
I’ve also had a lot of good management and leadership training. A great thing about STEM – and being part of the wider UDG Healthcare Group – is that you have the chance to take these incredibly relevant, practical courses where you can immediately embed theory in what you do.
Being a project director is all about building partnerships.
In January 2020 my role completely changed when I moved out of the Analysis team and into the Global Client Relations team as a project director.
As a project director, I’m working with clients, managing projects, making sure they’re well delivered and trying to win new and repeat business. It’s the sort of role you can aspire to when you’re a junior analyst, and shows just how much career potential there is here.
You can have a personal life and be successful at STEM.
Everyone here works incredibly hard, but there’s also a great deal of flexibility to fit around personal commitments. I’m getting married this year and hope to start a family, and talking to other women – and men – you can do really well in your career at STEM and still be there to pick up the kids.
Several of us have recently launched a Furthering Women in STEM networking group, to provide career support and empower female colleagues to achieve more.
Joining STEM is a fantastic way to grow your career.
One of the biggest benefits of working for STEM is the ability to work across brands and therapy areas and gain knowledge of the entire industry – it really gives you a big step up. And as part of UDG, there are so many more opportunities to take your career in exciting new directions.