1. December 2006 05:00
Star of the Pf Awards 2006, Christine Clapham came away with both the Career Representative and Outstanding Performer award. We caught up with Christine to ask how her temporary celebrity status has impacted her career and what advice she would offer to would-be winners entering the awards this year.
How did it feel to win, not only one award, but two?
I was so pleased to have won, both for myself and for Abbott. I was totally shocked and surprised as there were such a large number of quality entrants.
How would you describe the experience of entering the awards?
It was such a well-organised day. Everyone in charge was helpful and friendly, trying their best to reassure people. It was nerve-racking but on reflection a very enjoyable day. I did learn something about myself however, I did not realise just how competitive I am! I really did want to win.
If you were giving your ‘Oscar’ speech, who would you thank?
I would have to say a big thank you to my Regional Manager Alice Green ,as she cajoled me into taking part. Also to all the Senior Managers who were present at the Award Ceremony supporting the Abbott candidates. Not forgetting Pf for organising such a prestigious and memorable event.
What advice would you offer to candidates entering the 2007 awards?
Spend time preparing. For the telephone interview you will have to answer a number of questions in a call that could last up to twenty minutes. If you are lucky enough to get through to the next stage you will be sent a briefing pack explaining the sort of presentations you will be expected to do on the assessment day. Be relaxed and be yourself, but most of all enjoy the day and the experience.
How has winning these awards affected your professional and personal life over the past six months?
Professionally, the awards have given me confidence in my own abilities as a Career Representative. The awards have been recognised by Abbott through many internal communications and I was presented with the Abbott Board of Management award at the last Conference. Personally, it has been wonderful to receive accolades from my colleagues within Abbott and also from fellow representatives from many other Pharma Companies, some of whom I have never even met before.
What do you enjoy about your role and what do you find frustrating?
I enjoy being a Medical Sales Representative because everyday is a new challenge, everyday is different. No matter how well you know the customer, their needs can change overnight, so you have to be able to adapt and think on your feet. Customers should be treated with the same professionalism and enthusiasm no matter how often you call on them. What is frustrating is the increasing workload that all our customers are experiencing in the NHS, making it difficult for us to access them.
Who inspires you, professionally or otherwise?
People who have the ability to think outside the box and bring new innovative ideas to the table, thereby increasing success.
What qualities do you feel are needed to be successful as a ‘career representative’?
Being able to develop relationships is the very nature of the job, but as you are not able to see the results immediately, you have to learn to be patient. When you have a bad day and it is raining, just try and be positive. You have to know what you want to achieve and what your priorities are to succeed and believe that you can do it. Your confidence can take a lot of knocks during the working day, so you have to believe that you have ability to be successful without being arrogant. Having a good sense of humour helps too!
Do you regret any of the career decisions you’ve made?
I have no regrets whatsoever. The role of the MSR is one of the most important roles in the company and something I still find rewarding and challenging.
What would you say was the best decision you ever made?
Making the decision many years ago to stay in this role and not to be tempted to pursue another path.
Will you be returning to the 2007 awards to defend your title?
2006 has been the pinnacle of my career in winning two of the top awards within the pharma industry. I feel someone else deserves to enjoy the experience.