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Julie Willecomme

Science Communication and Engagement Lead

Stevenage SG1 2NY, UK

Français Anglais

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Julie Willecomme

Science Communication and Engagement Lead
Chez AstraZeneca

Français Anglais

Stevenage SG1 2NY, UK


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Présentation de Julie


Before wanting to be a scientist, I wanted to be an interpreter and I feel I have partially achieved that aspiration by working in a foreign country! (I am French...) I couldn’t find a job in France quick enough (my patience is legendary...) so I ‘exported’ myself to the UK in 2002 and never looked back!

I worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry as an analytical scientist for 13 years (at Evotec OAI, Pfizer and GSK) before I realised I needed a change! In 2014, I went on a Pulse assignment with Project HOPE UK (Pulse is a GSK programme that sends motivated employees to work with charities for 3-6 months) and developed a Young Entrepreneur Curriculum for young adults in the township of Munsieville (near Johannesburg in South Africa). These life-changing 6 months taught me 2 things: 1) You are a lot more resourceful than you think! 2) I needed a change [another one!]

On my return to GSK in 2015, I started a new job (secondment) in communications and change management to support the analytical business plan. At the end of 2016 I was made permanent in a job that I created [YAY!!!] as Engagement & Change Management Manager. After just over 3 years in this role, I wanted a new challenge. I joined the Making it Easier team in the Office of the CEO on a 9-month secondment as a communication and change enabler for the new GSK content strategy. This shows that, as you mature and develop knowledge & ‘transferable skills’ you may evolve into something you never considered!

In January 2019, I joined Mundipharma IT Services in Cambridge as an IT Business Change Lead. I hadn't planned to leave GSK but I was approached via LinkedIn, liked the job description and decided to 'go for it'! My line manager was the reason I decided to join and I had fun there. I lead the communications, change, training and adoption activities for a global Finance transformation - that was quite an experience!

In November 2021, I joined Johnson Matthey in Royston as a Change Manager, involved in their ongoing Digital Transformation and that turned out not to be the right place for me. If you want to know more, let's talk about it when we meet!

In August 2022, I joined AstraZeneca as Science Communication & Engagement Lead - I got a really good feeling about my line manager during the interview process and it's super nice to be back in the familiar environment of big pharma, supporting scientists and our leadership team with their communications.

Have I found my ideal work environment? - too early to tell but I'm excited at the possibilities that a big company can offer. Equally, I'm not afraid to move on if/when needed. I know some will look at my career path and think that it looks messy but it's been an adventure and it is not over yet.

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up and that is part of the fun! If you are reading this, don't forget to enjoy the journey and remember that whatever the outcome, every experience is a learning. There is 'the right environment' out there for each and everyone of us - you just have to find it and when you do, your 'inner awesomeness' will be unleashed!

To be continued..

Sharing is caring so here are a few recommendations for podcasts & TED Talk, if you like that sort of things. I found these really inspiring or thought provoking or both and think you might like them.

Podcasts -

Dare to Lead with Brené Brown

A Bit of Optimism - An inspiring podcast with Simon Sinek

TED Talks -

How great leaders inspire action - Simon Sinek

The best career path isn't always a straight line - Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper

Dare to Disagree - Margaret Heffernan

Forget the pecking order at work - Margaret Heffernan

The puzzle of motivation - Dan Pink

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator - Tim Urban

You are not alone in your loneliness - Jonny Sun