Head Veterinary Consultant at Pegasus
Contact: lizzie_erian@ hotmail.com
Head Veterinary Consultant at Pegasus at a glance
37.5 per week
Part time available
Compressed hours available
Can fit hours around life eg school pick up
Work from home available
Depending on company, great opportunity for flexibility
Connect with people in similar roles - get in touch and ask questions
Shadow someone / a few people if you can
Subscribe to newsletters in the industry (e.g. our Pegasus Pulse monthly newsletter
A fair bit of travel for meetings, conferences and events both nationally and internationally.
Good written and oral communication skills, previous media relations / communications experience useful
creativity, autonomy, analytical mindset, growth, team working
What were your first career steps and how did that work out?
My first foray into non-clinical work was when I began working for the RVC, working with clinicians and the e-Media team creating resources for students. I found I loved the variety, applying my knowledge in a different way and opportunity for creativity. I got to meet and talk to lots of different people about their careers and picked up some great mentors - along the way someone suggested I'd be ideally suited for a role in communications where I could blend my 'people skills', veterinary knowledge and creativity. At the time i had no idea what that might actually involve but it certainly sparked my interest to find out more.
So how did you decide you wanted to work in marketing and communications?
I didn't ever really 'decide' to enter the world of marketing and communications - after talking to many different people and putting the feelers out there, a role came up at a small veterinary marketing agency and I thought i'd give it a go. I'd become much more aware of the sorts of things I really enjoyed doing and what I was good at and this seemed to tick the right boxes. Just so happened that I did in fact love it, and haven't looked back since.
What did you need to do to get into this career path?
I was lucky in my first role that the agency was specifically looking for a recently graduated vet - no prior communications experience needed. Just an MRCVS, a willingness to learn, good written and oral communications and the right 'can do' attitude.
I've found it always pays off to put yourself out there and trying different things - even if you can't see where they might lead. Follow your interests and don't do things because you or others think you 'should'. Just because your path might be different, it doesn't mean that you're lost!
Were there any barriers to entry and how did you overcome them?
The only barriers were other people's perceptions - wasn't it waste of all my veterinary training? Why didn't i want to be a 'real' vet anymore? etc etc. Back in those days, diversification was not commonplace and certainly not talked about in the same way!
What are the best bits about your current role and are there any downsides?
I love the variety - literally every half an hour can be different! It's fast paced, intellectually stimulating but also extremely creative. I definitely get to use my vet degree to its full, applying knowledge from across the species. I love working in team and appreciate the opportunities to continually develop non-vetty transferable skills like leadership and management. Downsides include the classic admin, email overload and being largely desk-based some days. Hours aren't necessarily any shorter than a day in practice sometime but the stress is easier to handle as is less 'life and death' - the saying 'it's PR, not ER' sometimes helps!
Could you give us an overview of a typical day/tasks?
I know often people say this, but there really is no typical day! This is why i have a hard job explaining to people what I do (I don't think my family even really have a clue!) But here's a recent day from my diary..
8am - check and answer emails from the previous day
8.45am - check in with colleagues if they need any 'vet help' this week on anything not currently on my agenda
9.15am - media monitoring (catching up on this week's veterinary media and reporting any relevant or interesting stories)
10am - begin draft for technical document for a new product
12pm - brainstorm with colleagues ideas for a product launch
2pm - interview some vets to gather insights on a product
3.15pm - deliver some internal team training
5pm - review some social media posts
What sort of person would thrive in this career path?
Someone with good communication skills, who likes to work with people, problem solve and apply creative thinking. Someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment and is happy to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and try new things / approaches. An enjoyment of writing is a definite plus!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in your line of work?
Really identify your transferable skills, have confidence in them and think about how you can best apply them to your new role. Don't be intimated by corporate jargon - ask lots of questions, get stuck in and have a go. Vet training really does gear us up well for so many things other than clinical practice.
Interested in gaining some first hand experience? Joining our Pegasus Insights panel can be a great way to bolster your CV (and potentially earn some extra cash!) - https://bit.ly/2l8RgfM