Showcasing careers beyond academia
Charlotte Taylor

Charlotte Taylor

DPhil in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford
Senior Analyst
Costello Medical

Job highlight: The variety! My role is incredibly diverse with no two days ever being the same. I am constantly facing new challenges, trying out novel approaches and learning new skills, which keeps me motivated and engaged.

Postgraduate take-away: Multitasking and problem solving.

What’s your background?
Before joining Costello Medical, I graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc in Biochemistry. As part of my undergraduate studies, I spent an industrial year at GlaxoSmithKline working in the Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery in Stevenage. Following this, I completed a DPhil in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Oxford, where I was based at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Why did you move away from academia?
As I came to the end of my DPhil, I realised that although I loved the day-to-day laboratory work, I did not strive to run my own research group. This led me to look for other career paths. I knew that I was passionate about healthcare and wanted to use the skills that I had gained from my time in scientific research, so the medical communications sector seemed like a good option. After researching the sector and speaking to a number of medical communications agencies at the University of Oxford Careers Fair, Costello Medical really stood out as an exciting company to work for, so this is where I applied and now work!

How did you prepare for the work involved in your job?
During my time as a DPhil student, I became very adept at managing multiple projects at once, problem-solving, and reading and critiquing scientific literature; all of which are very valuable skills for my current role at Costello Medical. In addition, liaising with other collaborators and scientists on a day-to-day basis and attending and presenting at national and international conferences were also great opportunities to enhance my interpersonal and presentation skills, which I feel are qualities that will always be beneficial in the medical communications sector.

Can you describe a typical week in your job?
As a Senior Analyst, I am part of a few different project teams, some of which I project-manage and others in which I am more focused on the everyday project work. Day-to-day, most of my time is spent summarising clinical trials in visually appealing slidesets to support our client’s medical affairs teams, creating online learning modules, preparing materials for scientific symposia or educational events, and liaising with clients. The projects span multiple therapeutic areas; I have recently completed work in the fields of haemophilia and rheumatology. The role is incredibly varied so no two days are ever the same; I am constantly trying out different approaches and learning new skills.

What’s the workplace culture like?
Costello Medical really invests in and nurtures everyone in the team. From the day you start at the company your voice is heard and you feel like you can really make a difference. The company is also full of motivated, passionate and friendly people, which makes it an enjoyable and supportive working environment.

Which transferable skills are most important to your job?
Efficient time management, self-sufficiency, proactivity, and the ability to prioritise and problem-solve effectively.

What’s the best part of your job?
The variety of the job is great – you are constantly learning new skills and taking on new challenges, which means that every day is interesting. The company is also very open to new ideas and suggestions, and makes it easy for these to be shared with others.

What would you like to achieve in the future?
This is a really difficult question! I would like to feel that I have had a positive impact on those I work with, my clients and patients globally – the ability to support projects that help to improve patient outcomes is particularly exciting. I would also like to be involved with the development of new service offerings and initiatives within the Medical Affairs division, as well as contribute to the success and growth of Costello Medical.

The opportunities in medical communications and at Costello Medical are varied and I am excited for where this career will take me.

 Do you have any advice for current graduate students and postdocs considering a career outside of academia?
I would advise doing as much research as you can about your options; attend careers fairs, speak to the careers service, get advice from those who are in the roles you are interested in, use LinkedIn, speak to recruitment agencies – anything! There are so many roles out there that you might not be aware of.

Costello Medical is a vibrant, welcoming and rapidly growing medical communications and health economics agency based in Cambridge, London and Singapore. We work with a wide range of clients, including the world’s leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies, on projects in the areas of health technology assessment and health economics, medical affairs, market access, statistics, literature reviewing and publications. We provide strategic advice and technical expertise to our clients, preparing high-quality written and visual scientific documents that communicate the clinical, economic and patient-focused benefits of pharmaceutical products to various key stakeholders in the healthcare sector. Our work has a direct and measurable impact on the successful launch of novel therapies across a wide range of disease areas.

We are proud to have been listed in the UK’s The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For list in both 2017 and 2018. Please visit the website here to find out more information about our roles.