Real World: i-Pharm Edition - With Aisling LaneWhat's it like to join i-Pharm as a Graduate and work your way up? Listen to what Aisling Lane has to say about her journey at i-Pharm.
When did you start working at i-Pharm?
I started in April 2017 and recently celebrated my two-year Pharmiversary – any excuse!
What initially attracted you to recruitment?
Upon completing University with a BA in South West Ireland, I was unsure about what route I wanted to take (a graduate without a plan after University? SHOCKING!).
I was certain of just two things:
1) I need to live in a big city
2) I need money, and lots of it. I relocated to London in search of a career in which graduates can earn a decent salary – Impossible right?
Throughout Uni, I worked in a call centre where I got a taste for a fast paced and goal driven role. I like the idea of a job where what you put into it is (usually) what you get back from it. Recruitment is one of these positions and it offers great variety, new challenges as well as anonymity. I know that if I put in the hours, meet my targets and give it my all, then ultimately, I am going to be at the receiving end of a BIG reward. Money of course, but also the weekly/monthly/quarterly incentives were very attractive to me!
What advice would you give a graduate considering a career in recruitment?
My Uni experience summarised: Hard work. Good Friends. Spontaneous adventures. Constantly Broke. Hard work.
Honestly, if you manage your time correctly, recruitment has very similar aspects – except you actually have money and your adventures are often funded by the business! You meet so many young, like-minded individuals that turn out to be great friends and there are often team nights out, trips away or lunch clubs that provide you with incredible memories.
It’s well-known that recruitment can be a highly lucrative industry to work in, but not unlike other business-to-business environments, it demands determination, persistence and focus. You want to be in an environment that nurtures these aspects of your development but also know how to truly reward your accomplishments.
I interviewed many places when I first started out, and I have to say, no other company embodied this supportive atmosphere more so than i-Pharm.
So, now that you mention it, why did you choose to work at i-Pharm?
Famously, recruitment agencies tend to be overly corporate, super strict with KPIs and have a “one-size-fits-all” approach to Learning & Development, but after meeting with i-Pharm I was relieved to find a company that offers tailored career paths, flexible targets and a more relaxed environment.
Within minutes of meeting our CEO, I was put at ease with his “no smoke and mirrors” interview process. He was very clear as to what a future with i-Pharm Consulting would involve, what would be expected of me as a Trainee Consultant and in return what investment i-Pharm would put into my development. The office itself, with its open plan created a collaborative and productive atmosphere that I was eager to be a part of.
What really sealed the deal though? My then-manager Aoife Cronin, now VP of our USA office in NYC, offered me Barry’s Tea during my interview (if you know, then you know).
"I’m lucky to be a part of a supportive team where we truly celebrate one another’s wins and pull together during the lows."
What training has i-Pharm offered you to support your personal growth to date?
I started off as a Trainee/Delivery Consultant, focussing solely on candidate generation for our larger clients.
Once I felt I had learnt as much as I could it was time to start handling clients and bringing on my own business. I-Pharm has a 12 week Client Skills Program headed up by Leah Naffah which is focused purely on Business Development from start to finish. In this program, we had a mix of seasoned BD leaders as well as consultants like me who were new to the client facing role, so it was a great opportunity for me to learn from the best. The program was a mixture of classroom-based learning, follow up action points, desk-side call coaching and ended with a role play with the CEO and AD – no pressure!
I was beaming to go from having had no previous Business Development experience to receiving an award for being best in class (this blog allows for shameless self-promotion, right?).
I am now a 360 consultant, and a regular recipient of BD focussed incentives - Result!
Recruitment has its challenges – how do you stay motivated?
People are unpredictable! No matter how well you coach someone, how much prep you do or how close to the finish line you are, ultimately, it’s this unpredictability that can throw a spanner in the work from time to time.
Once you accept that this is human nature and you are satisfied with yourself that you have done the absolute best that you can do then there is really no point in dwelling. We need to look at these challenges as learning opportunities and take from it what we can, in two years of working in recruitment, I don’t think there has been a day yet when I haven’t picked up a new trick!
I’m lucky to be a part of a supportive team where we truly celebrate one another’s wins and pull together during the lows. We talk it through (possibly over a drink or two), take from it what we can and dive right back in again! It’s a challenge no doubt but when it’s good, it’s exceptionally good and probably the most rewarding career out there for twenty-something-year olds!
Favourite thing about working at i-Pharm?
At risk of sounding repetitive, it is the people that constantly remind me why i-Pharm is the place to be!
You spend so much time with these guys you want to make sure you’re surrounded by the right people. My friends always get shocked when they see I’m in a group chat with my Manager where we share silly memes, or the fact that I have done shots with the AD or that I actually want to stay late today because we’re all gonna go for a nice dinner as a reward to ourselves for sticking it out.
My journey at i-Pharm has been an adventure with the “highs” outweighing the “lows” by a landslide, and I look forward to seeing what else my journey here has in store for the future!
Thanks for chatting with us, Ais! Can we just say how beaut you looked in that dress...absolutely smashing, darling.
If you're interested in working with Ais or hearing more about her experience at i-Pharm to decide if you want to work with us, get in touch with him: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on LinkedIn by clicking here.