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International Business Experience

To gain a better understanding of the breadth of experience in the pharmaceutical market we asked whether you had spent time working in European or international markets

To gain a better understanding of the breadth of experience in the pharmaceutical market we asked whether you had spent time working in European (non-UK) or international (other geographical regions such as US, Asia, Australasia) markets. Some 50 per cent of you reported having gained experience in either or both of these two geographical categories, with just under half (44 per cent) having gained European experience only and 30 per cent having gained international experience only.

Women are significantly less likely to have overseas experience, focusing more on the domestic market - 59 per cent compared with just 45 per cent of men.

For most of you (62 per cent), the main focus of your current role is the UK domestic market, while just over one-fifth of you has a European focus (24 per cent of men vs 17 per cent of women), and just 16 per cent focus on other international markets.

According to our figures, directors are spread fairly evenly across the three categories, with nearly two-thirds working in a European or international market, and just over a third (35 per cent) focusing on the UK market. The majority of those working in product teams focus their attention on the UK market (73 per cent) as do those in sales, where almost 8 in every 10 work within the UK market.

Broadening the mind
The importance of gaining experience outside of the UK market was reflected in the results, with four in five people agreeing that it is either `essential' or `important'. Those who are fortunate enough to earn salaries in excess of £60k per year are significantly more likely to insist that it is essential.

Overseas experience is considered to be of vital importance in PR and communications, with 95 per cent of respondents agreeing that it is essential or, at the very least, important. On the flip side, those in sales and training are less likely to consider this an important issue; as their main focus is the UK, this doesn't come as a surprise. Across the market as a whole, there is recognition of the importance that European issues have on the pharma industry.

If you think you are travelling more and more by plane, then you're right; the number of you who fly on business has more than doubled to 86 per cent in the last two years.

European travel is part of the job for 73 per cent of you, while only one in four of you (24 per cent) said you had flown long-haul for work. Generally, men travel more than women.

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Far and away
On average, marketers spend just over three nights a month away on business, with men being almost twice as likely to be away on business overnight than women.

A third of you spend between three to five nights away every month, with one in 10 spending, on average, at least one night a week away (between six and 10 nights per month).

As you get older (and hopefully wiser) and reach the half century mark, the comforts of home are enjoyed increasingly and you're less likely to pack your bags and make a dash for the next flight - this is possibly because you have done it all before.

Travel peaks for the 40 to 44 age group, which averaged 16 to 20 business trips over the last year. Directors earning £80k plus are significantly more likely to fly long-haul and by far and away make business trips most frequently. Some 41 people (12 per cent) made more than 20 overseas business trips in 2005. They are also most likely to be away for more than five nights in every month.

Employees with a European or international focus are away an average of four nights in every month.

Tell me that you'll wait for me
Marketing directors fly more than any other group, having left on a jet plane an average of 17 times in the last year. Next to keep a ready travel bag are PR and communications directors, snapping at their heels with an average of 15 flights last year.

Directors of product teams, marketing, business units and commercial departments are the most likely to travel overseas, while those working in bespoke sales positions are more likely to travel domestically.

If you like overseas travel and want to up your air miles, then you should aim for a career in the commercial division, where they have a business trip at least once a month (mean of 13). However, if you prefer home comforts, then you should look to work in the training department as they are likely to travel abroad for business trips only three times a year.

2nd September 2008

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