Simon S.

Head of Commercial Excellence
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Simon S.

My employment

Head of Commercial Excellence
Large business (250+ employees)
18,000 pounds

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A day in the life of a Head of Commercial Excellence in Australia

Passion for People with 20 years experience in Sales, Marketing and Project Management roles.

What I do

Heading up the commercial excellence function at Sanofi Australia. Responsible for business intelligence, sales force effectiveness, CRM, learning & development, multi-channel marketing and digital functions.

What I like most

Leading teams and enabling people to maximise their full career potential

What I like least


How I looked for work

Back in the 90s we used newspapers and the York University Careers centre.

How studying in the UK affected my job seeking

My pharmaceutical sales experience was very transferable back to Australia. Within a week of moving back I had numerous job offers for consideration. I think the key was being passionate about the role I was applying for, having done appropriate research on the companies I applied for, and bringing relevant career examples to the interview.

How I found out about the job

National press

The recruitment process

Sent off my CV
2 Day in-house selection program
Final interview

My career goals when I graduated

Marketing Manager

My career history

1995-1997 GP Sales Representative
1997-2000 Hospital Sales Representative
2000-2002 Product Manager - Cardiovascular
2002-2004 Sales Manager - Osteoporosis
2004-2005 Project Manager - Developing Automated Business Planning Software
2005-2008 Marketing Manager - Cardiometabolic & New Products
2008-2009 State Manager (Queensland)
2009-2011 National Sales Manager (Australia)
2011-2013 Diabetes Business Unit Manager
2013-Current Head of Commercial Excellence

What has helped my career to progress

Being Agile
Always being open to new challenges
Working cross-functionally

How my studies have helped my career

Given the clinical focus of working in the pharmaceutical industry my degree in Biology has formed the foundation for understanding clinical trials, mode of action of drugs, anatomy and physiology of disease states, etc

What surprised me about my career so far

How rewarding making a difference to patients lives can be. The immense opportunities that can be availed from staying with one company.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Somewhere in the Sanofi Family continuing to positively impact patients lives

My advice to students considering work

Keep an open mind. If the interview, company or person interviewing you don't feel right - go with your gut and politely decline the offer. Years of interviewing experience have taught me the importance of this the other way round as well. Be yourself!

My advice about working in my industry

Do it if you're passionate about improving lives or making a difference in healthcare. I've seen all types of people be successful in the pharmaceutical industry, including; scientists, clinically orientated individuals, highly rapport orientated people, traditional sales people, numerical people, etc. When we recruit we're often looking for future potential as much as current potential so don't be put off if you don't think you're the best fit for the role, we might be looking to recruit the next director!

Contacting me

With 20 years industry experience and having managed hundreds of people in that time I'm happy to engage on pretty much any topic from careers advice through to interview tips, job selection, etc

Next steps...

If you like the look of Simon’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Simon a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Simon to be your mentor.

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