- Nationality: Greek
I have two Bachelor's degrees in business and computer science, a Master's in personnel management and a vocational certificate in business consultancy. My career has focused mainly on B2B sales roles in the Greek health sector (diagnostic centres and drugs warehouses), which has put me in contact with HR directors, health professionals, pharmacists, doctors, etc. Recently, I have been involved in the clinical trials sector.
Developing new drugs is a long and difficult process that can take years. Those working in the clinical trials sector are highly skilled professionals who spend a lot of their time travelling to hospitals and engaging with a range of stakeholders. Every detail must be logged and monitored.
During my time working in the clinical trials sector in the UK, I observed a number of issues facing employees and their companies that were holding them back from being more productive and efficient. The need for pharmaceutical companies to have large headquarters where all their staff are based and have to check in and out of seemed like a waste of resources. The corporate culture also seemed to be holding back innovation. Highly skills and experienced executives who understand the sensitive and vital nature of their role in clinical trials do not need constant face to face supervision and developments in technology mean that they can easily communicate with their teams whilst out ‘in the field’.
When I looked into it, I found that not only was it not really on the agenda or a priority for the sector, but there was a gap in existing knowledge about how new ways of working could be implemented. Often, flexibility of work is combined with low skilled, self employed workers – I wanted to prove that the highly skilled professionals in the clinical trials sector in the UK were just as suited to home working. And that more flexible home-based working is actually beneficial for the businesses they work for. It would mean companies could hire the best talent from around the country and significantly reduce overheads such as real estate and parking.
I started looking into doing a PhD research project to address this gap in knowledge. My ambition is to become an academic and business consultant on the subject and this felt like the best route. I came across University of Bradford School of Management and was impressed with their track record in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour research. I found a supervisor who understood my mission and was behind helping me achieve it. The support I have received so far in developing and scoping my research ideas has been fantastic.
I have found that my experience working in medical trials with huge amounts of data has really helped me develop academic research skills quickly. My PhD supervisor secured me an opportunity to undertake some research for law firm Ward Hadaway to identify Yorkshire’s 50 fastest growing companies. I used quantitative and qualitative criteria to rank all the companies headquartered in the region that had been profitable in the last three years and have a turnover of at least £1m, according to their growth. This piece of research helped me to apply my thinking about the potential for companies to innovate and grow by adopting new working styles and moving with technology.