Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 9 - Corey Robinson - EMBRACE CHANGE - Part 1 of 3

So, in this new role, I'd be taking any valuable insights that I get from my interactions with physicians. And yeah, it's a two way communication. Not only would I be executing on what our framework is and what the tactics are, but I would also be listening to the physicians and then reporting back what I hear saying, hey, this is our strategy.

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So, in this new role, I'd be taking any valuable insights that I get from my interactions with physicians. And yeah, it's a two way communication. Not only would I be executing on what our framework is and what the tactics are, but I would also be listening to the physicians and then reporting back what I hear saying, hey, this is our strategy. This episode of the Smart Athlete podcast is brought to you by Solpri, Skincare for Athletes. Whether you're in the gym, on the mats, on the road, or in the pool, we protect your skin so you're more comfortable in your own body. To learn more, go to JESSE: Today, the Smarter Athlete podcast, my guest is a competitive triathlete who's had a podium finish at St. Croix in 2014. He also happens to be a double threat. He has his doctorate in pharmacy and his MBA. Welcome to the show today, Corey Robinson. COREY: Hey, everyone. Thanks for having me, Jesse. No problem. JESSE: Thanks for coming on. I know you've been all call you notoriously difficult to get ahold of because you seem very, very busy, which is good, hopefully. So, I kinda want to jump a little bit, just straight into like, what you do cuz. So, Episode Three, I had Todd Buckingham, on who referred me to talk to you. And Todd mentioned, he said, quote, this is what Todd told me. He said, you're in biopharmaceutical global marketing for rare diseases. So, what does that actually mean? COREY: Yeah. So, I guess to give you a brief overview of what I currently do, so I'm in a global role. So, it's largely focused on strategy for the company. And we, I support a few products, but primarily one that treats a rare disease, it affects one one in 100,000 people worldwide. And we have a treatment for it. And a lot of the marketing and strategy around it goes to raising awareness as well as just kind of understanding of the disease because it is so rare that even physicians that are trained in these type of diseases may have never even heard of it. So, a lot of it is educational. But yeah, from my global position, I do a lot of working with regional colleagues as well as country level colleagues, that then can do their job better at a local country level position. JESSE: So, I'm kind of curious what came first, the MBA or the pharmacy degree or they were they conjoined? COREY: Yeah. So, I guess they were conjoined, I would say. I started off down a pharmacy track and then about halfway through my pharmacy education, I went to the University of Connecticut, and they had the opportunity to do a joint degree. So as you're getting your pharm D, you could also work towards your MBA. So, I figured regardless, if I was going to be a CVS, Walgreens pharmacist or work in a hospital, it would be nice to have a business background to be able to supplement my science education as well. And then now, I mean, I'm in marketing, I'm not even filling prescriptions. So, I'm definitely using more of the business side of things and those tools and skills that I learned in business school rather than pharmacy school. But I'm in the pharmaceutical industry, so it's nice to have that science background as well. JESSE: So, I mean, how do you end up there? I mean, when you decided, okay, let's do the pharmacy degree, did you envision yourself like, okay, I'll make a nice paycheck and work at CVS or Walgreens and do that, unlike typical what people think of as a pharmacy job, or was it like more intentional getting into this more obtuse kind of role? COREY: Yeah, so for me, it was. I mean, I like to keep my options open. And I saw a degree in pharmacy as a way to keep my options open. I knew that I could work in a retail pharmacy, I could work in a hospital pharmacy, and I could work anywhere in the US. So, I liked having those options. It wasn't until later in school that I found out there was different career paths that you could go down. And then more specific for me, that pharmacists could find themselves in a career in the pharmaceutical industry. So yeah, at first it was keeping my options open, could work anywhere in the US, made a pretty good salary. So, that was kind of my, and I was good at math and science. So, that was kind of my interest into pharmacy. JESSE: Okay. Just lost. Oh, so you kind of mentioned, just in case we lose you later on, can you talk about the potential new job, or is that under wraps? COREY: Well, as long as this doesn't get posted today, I can talk about it. It'll be a couple weeks. JESSE: Okay. Yeah, no, I can disclose that. Actually, my current manager does know, I'm looking for jobs outside the company. She's well aware that I'm looking to move to Denver. So yeah, currently, I'm in Cambridge, working for Santa Fe Genzyme. I'm in a global marketing role. So, it's very much a 30,000 foot view of the industry, and how things function, which as been great for me because it gives me a great broad overview of the pharmaceutical industry. But I'm looking for more three foot view of the pharmaceutical industry and really, learn kind of hone my skills, working closely with physicians, rather than working with other marketers that work with sales reps, that work with each CPs. So, I'm looking to get that position, customer facing experience. And I'm looking to get country level experience as well. So, it just makes sense for me to get that country level experience in the US. But what prompted the move out to Denver is my girlfriend's, she's about one year away from becoming a Registered Dietitian. And in order for her to do that, she needs a one year internship in a hospital doing experiential hands on learning. And it's similar to a nd residency program where there's a match. So, she found out, it was early April that she matched with Children's Hospital of Colorado, which is in Aurora just outside of Denver. And then things are going pretty serious for us so I figured this would be a good catalyst for me to look for a customer facing US role within the pharmaceutical industry out in Denver. And also, Denver is a pretty cool place to live. My brother was there there's a bunch of guys on EMJ that live out there too. And I mean, it's very out-doorsy and people are very in tune with their fitness and well being so very much similar to my personality. Oh, yeah, as you mentioned, I had an interview last Wednesday, it was a live face to face interview. And I'm supposed to hear back today the guys-- the hiring manager is located in California. So, I guess still 1:30 pm for him. So, I guess he's got two more hours but I'm hoping to get that call anytime now just saying what the next steps are or if I got the job. JESSE: Yeah, I don't like I don't I never want the episode to be cut short we don't have to. But this is one of those cases where it's like, if you have to cut it short, you get good news like it's fine. I would prefer you take care of it like-- I mean, Denver’s a beautiful city. Actually, I have a friend that I ran with in college who lives in Aurora, so I've been out there, I've been Aurora. It's like, at least from what I gather nice suburbs, but then you've got access to everything that Colorado has to offer as far as being outdoors. So, I mean, beautiful place to live. Was there any way to like, with the match? Is there any way to like, try to match up your job with like, where she is? Or are you just like, incidentally, looking in the area? COREY: Yes, I would. I didn't start looking for a job until I knew where she matched. So, I mean, I got a good job, things are going well, I like it. But I mean, it would be a good opportunity for me to get customer facing experience, US experience. So, like I said this was the catalyst that I needed to kind of start actively doing that and not getting too comfortable in my current position at my job. So yeah, she was looking all out west. So, she was applying to I mean, we live together now in Cambridge, and there are good programs in the Boston area. But she really wanted to mean, she was looking at these programs out west just because from her interest, they're the ones that they appealed mostly to her. They're very clinically focused. The one she got is actually focused in pediatrics as well. So, it was her top choice and it's a world renowned Children's Hospital. So, she’s very excited and yeah, she got her top choice. And it's I think there's like they take three, they take three interns and over 100 people apply. So, it was-- we both did, we were being very realistic and thinking that she wouldn't match with Colorado just because the odds were not in her favor. But apparently, she's smart and she had some good experience and they like her. There was an interview part of the matching process. So, yeah, she marched with Colorado and then yeah, she matched in early April, and then I started looking for jobs out in the Denver area, so I could move with her. Her program doesn't start till July 22 so I do have some time to figure out a job. Yeah. So, hopefully, I’ll get good news today, and I'll secure job. Worst case scenario, I wouldn't get a job right away and I would be fine. being fun employed for a little bit and maybe focus more on training or traveling or something like that. JESSE: Well, it seems like you got a lot of skills. And I mean, it's ?? 11:18> tell her congratulations for me, because I mean, that's big, especially when you get exactly what you wanted. You can't ask for more than that. But yeah, I mean, it seems like you've got a lot of skills like, you're probably pretty employable, just generally speaking. So, I ?? 11:41> too worried about you. I am curious though like, you're talking about coming from like, where you are now, like 30,000 feet and coming down to like the three feet of you. For you, what are you missing? Like, what would in whatever your job you're looking at, what would a typical day look like for you that you're actually looking for? So, not my current role, but the role that I’m applying to? JESSE: Yeah, right. Well, I want to do like, what does that actually look like? You go ahead into working and what are you doing? COREY: Yeah, so it's more day to day execution on all aspects of biopharma marketing. So, right now in my 30,000 foot view, I'm focused more on strategy and then rolling out that strategy to the regional and country level marketers who are then rolling it out to either the field marketers, or the sales reps, who are then executing on that strategy. And they're doing different ways of executing. So, yeah, right now, it's very much a high level, overall strategy, making sure that us as a company, whether we're talking to a physician in Japan, or a physician in the US, we're having the same conversation, we're saying the same messages; That there's no confusion there, between what we're saying to our customers. And our customers are the physicians, for the most part. In some cases, it's either payers or patients. But for the most part, in this example, it's the physicians. So, what I would be doing in this new role is more of that having that direct conversation with the physicians. And there's different depending on what the strategies are. So I am applying, the position that I'm waiting to hear back from is a different company. So, I don't quite know their strategies or what they would be looking to do. But this specific role would be customer facing. So, I'd be engaging directly with the physicians. And there's the speaker programs that are very common in the industry, where we would contract with a physician to give a talk, an hour long presentation to other physicians to talking about the disease, talking about therapy, as a way to promote our product or to raise awareness of the disease. And in addition to that, there's a lot of activities around congresses or conferences. So, where medical societies host these events, and it's a big opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to have a presence there, and from a regional or national level, be able to interact with many different positions and get those messages across to them. So yeah, for the role I'm applying to, a lot of the responsibilities would be engaging with the physicians to conduct those speaker programs, or also planning on behalf of the company, planning our activities at a conference, making sure there's a booth, making sure there's materials in the booth, making sure that we're aligned with the messages that we want to say to the physicians, if there's any senior leaders in the company that want to meet with any of the physician there, I would set up those meetings. So yeah, it's it's very much more hands on, customer facing, which I do have a little experience doing in my current role. Because there's been a few Congress's that have planned as well as different events that I’ve planned where we've had physicians involved. So, I've been working directly with physicians. So I'm hoping that this role that I applied to, I’m waiting to hear back today, if I got it or not, that they can see that it's not a drastic shift of what I'm currently doing. It's kind of I'm able to take my global experience and bring it to this new role, and still be able to do the role while providing an extra perspective to the team. JESSE: So, it kind sounds like, I'll try to summarize if I understood. So, you're basically going from where you are now, where you're building the framework of marketing to actually becoming, I'll call it the cog, but I don't mean that in a demeaning way. But becoming a cog in the framework and executing one part of the strategy. COREY: Yeah. JESSE: Okay. Would you since you have experience building the framework, which, for anybody who's ever been in business, for themselves, or done any kind of marketing you know that like putting that framework all together is not an easy job. Would you be able to send information back up the chain to help kind of affect the framework from the bottom up? Or would you just be executing? COREY: Yeah. No, that's a good that that's a really good question. Yeah, no, I would be taking any valuable insights. So, in this new role, I'd be taking any valuable insights that I get from my interactions with physicians. And it's a two way communication, not only would I be executing on what our framework is, and what the tactics are, but I’d also be listening to the physicians and then reporting back what I hear. Saying, hey, this is our strategy, physician, Dr. So and So thinks we should be doing this, maybe we should reconsider this. So yeah, there would be that feedback that I would be providing as well. So, it's really this customer facing role where I'm the liaison between the company and the physician. And it's a two way communication street where we would be telling them things as well as I would be listening and then reporting back up, saying, this is stupid, we should be doing something else or this position thinks this language is terrible. Let's reassess, etc. So yeah, you're you're correct. Go to Part 2 Go to Part 3

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