“The opportunities here are almost limitless”
Laurence began his career as a graduate trainee at GSK and worked in pharma and healthcare organisations for 13 years. After holding various brand, sales and marketing management roles, he joined STEM in 2011 and is one of our longest-serving employees.
What attracted you to STEM?
What STEM was doing was unique, so I knew it would be amazing to be part of the journey. And I haven’t been disappointed – it’s the key reason I’m still here.
How has your career here progressed?
I came in as European Project Director for the first couple of years and then as we grew, I became the Head of Commercial Operations for mid-Europe.
It was a fantastic entrepreneurial opportunity; it was like running my own business within a business. They gave me a lot of autonomy and trusted me to deliver – and I really thrived on it.
It’s pretty much the same for anyone joining STEM today; you’re given a high level of responsibility and when you’re running a project, you’re the face of STEM for your client at that moment.
As the company grew rapidly I became President for International and I now oversee more than 40 countries.
What makes STEM different?
We have a unique and totally differentiated service that our clients love. From a career perspective, the trajectory that’s possible at STEM, I believe, is much greater than in pharma. And that’s because you can be exposed to such a breadth of clients, senior leaders and brands across geographies. I’m sure I wouldn’t have had that exposure had I not come to STEM, and I don’t think I would have developed as much either. With every interaction you learn something.
What support have you had and what support can people expect at STEM?
Although the training was less structured than it is now, what I did have was some of the best of my career. The training here is evolving all the time but is always very practical, with a mixture of classroom and field-based learning.
We have a very strong culture. I liken it to a family – not easy and cosy – but open, honest and very supportive. So although you get a lot of autonomy and there’s a focus on results and performance, you get a lot of constructive support too. I know that the support I’ve had has made my abilities and competencies much better than they would have been otherwise.
How would you describe the career opportunities at STEM?
Almost limitless. That’s driven by our tremendous growth. People join and because we’re growing so quickly, there are opportunities coming up all the time. It’s not an uncommon trajectory for someone to come in as a Project Director and fairly quickly end up running a key business unit.
Because we’re now part of a global network and the wider UDG Healthcare plc group, there’s a wider range of career roles available than ever before.
Finally, what advice do you have for anyone new to STEM or thinking of joining?
Absolutely go for it!
The credibility this company has is second to none. People who are entrepreneurial, who have drive and a can-do attitude, thrive here. If you’re prepared to come and get stuck in, the career trajectory and day-to-day enjoyment you’ll have here is much greater than if you stay in pharma – I’m sure of that.