My name is Laura O’Connor-Clark, and I joined ramarketing in March 2021 as a Senior Account Executive (which is basically keeping client projects on track and well organised). Right in the middle of another lockdown in the UK. I’ve lost count but I think we’re in our third lockdown.

I previously worked for a small molecule CDMO and fell in love with the pharma and biotech industry. I had always heard great things in the ecosystem about ramarketing’s success and their values really spoke to me, so when the opportunity came along to make the move, I jumped at the chance! Hearing things about a company and the reality of working within it are two very different things though. Lockdown adds to that anticipation. Having joined an agency and new role virtually for the first time, I wanted to share my experiences around what factors made a difference.

It’s the little things that make a difference

Starting a new job right now is strange to say the least. With interviews over Zoom and setting up your own IT equipment, (I’m surprised I managed to get online at all) it definitely changes things, but it wasn’t as daunting as I expected. Having such an incredibly lovely and helpful team makes all the difference. We have the opportunity to chat in the ‘virtual office’ on a very regular basis and even have weekly Pilates sessions to stay active! These small opportunities for the team to connect outside of the day-to-day makes a huge difference when you’re new. It allows you to build relationships with team members in the absence of those little moments you get when you’re in an office. For anyone hiring new starters, it’s really important to make room for these informal settings, as well as fool proofing the IT process.

Practice what you preach

I know it sounds cliché but the people are the best thing about ramarketing. Working in an environment where everyone is focused on the same goals and shares the same values makes a huge difference in your day-to-day life. People spend just as much time working as we do spending quality time at home with our loved ones, so having a great culture and liking the people that you work with is really important to me. It’s easy to have compelling values but what I’ve found since working with ramarketing is that they are lived and breathed throughout the entire agency. Maintaining culture is so much harder during lockdown, but these small gestures to keep the team connected has made a real difference.

Look forward

If I didn’t work in the pharma and biotech industry, I’d be doing something very different. Everyone who knows me personally knows how much my life revolves around food and drinks, so I think if I was to have a different career it would be something involving that. Maybe travelling the world as a wine connoisseur or training as a chocolatier – that sounds like a good gig! But my point is that I have interests that sit outside of my work life. Things I love doing, that I haven’t done in a long time. The learning? For new starters, looking forward is important. Whether it’s a big party you’re planning when you can meet up again or the ability to travel again, involving new team members in future plans can really boost morale and keeps an eye on the long term.

So, there you have it. My learnings from starting a new role in lockdown. I’m so proud to work for such a successful company with local roots and with a positive first few months, I’m excited to see what the future brings.