By Dr Stephen Kershaw
Meet Stephen, epidemiology whizz and film fanatic. Stephen joined us at the start of 2023 as a Business Intelligence (BI) Consultant after leaving academia, and has quickly become an integral part of our strategic intelligence offering, working to provide data-driven insights to our clients.
1. What does a typical day as a VISFO Business Intelligence Consultant look like?
We work on lots of projects in our team, so I try to start every day the same way: by ironing everything out, catching up on emails, and deciding how to tackle it all! After that, each day usually turns out differently thanks to the variety of projects I get to work on.
2. What was your journey prior to starting your role at VISFO? Previous experience?
After completing my PhD in Immunology at the University of Manchester, I pursued a post-doc in cancer research. It was during this project that I realised I wanted to see the ‘other side’ of science and pursue a role that was a more tangible application of my skills. Even so, I really appreciate my time in research, it’s given me some great skills that I use in my work at VISFO.
3. Why did you decide to work in this field?
It wasn’t actually a field I saw myself working in originally! While in academia, I felt like I was in a bit of a bubble, and I wanted to apply all the knowledge I had gained to something really interesting outside of that. BI at VISFO felt like the perfect opportunity.
4. What’s an interesting task or project you’ve been a part of recently?
I recently worked on a project focused on Alzheimer’s, looking at the current epidemiology and trying to forecast future numbers by using available data and predicted modelling. Epidemiology is such a cornerstone of pharmacy business models, but in this case -it was a really challenging aspect of the project and that made it all the more interesting.
5. What’s the best part of your work at VISFO?
This might sound cliché, but I love the collaborative atmosphere at VISFO. There are so many brilliant, individual opinions on how to approach things, it’s a really nice environment to be a part of.
6. Tell us what you enjoy about working within the healthcare/pharmaceutical space.
I find it exciting to work with the people that are leading business decisions in this space. For example, if we work on a project that contributes to a drug actually going to market, we can go on to truly impact patients’ lives for the better.
7. Sum up VISFO in 3 words
Collaborative, fun, creative.
8. Do you get to take part in any exciting work that lets you grow outside or learn new skills outside of your role?
I‘m learning some new data query techniques, and also delving further into the business development side of things… I’m genuinely interested in that aspect of the business and it’s exciting to be involved!
9. What do you enjoy when you’re not working– any hobbies, favourite TV shows, music?
I really enjoy cycling, which can be a bit tough in Manchester, but I’ve managed to scope out the good cycle lanes! I have a young dog and cat, and I love them (when they’re not being annoying!). I’m also really into films, and particularly enjoy a 24-hour film festival!
10. Biggest personal success to date – what are you most proud of accomplishing that’s not work related?
Completing my PhD at an older age than most people is a big achievement for me. I had a goal to complete it before I turned 30, and I achieved it! Another major one is having my partner move in with me, which has been even more amazing than I thought it would be.