Interview with Beate from our English for Pharmaceutical Industry Course
We are very grateful to the lovely Beate for giving us this interview about her course here at LSI/IH Portsmouth about the Pharmaceutical Industry. Beate stayed with us during the autumn and involved herself in every aspect of her course. She made extraordinary progress in a really short time, we very much enjoyed having her stay with us.
LSI/IH Portsmouth: Thank you Beate for offering to do this interview for us, can you tell us where you come from and what you do?
Beate: Hello, I’m from Germany and I have recently been promoted to the head of Research and Development for a large German pharmaceutical company. I’ve worked for them, I think it must be about 10 years now.
LSI/IH Portsmouth: Beate, how did you get into this area of work, what training did you do to get into this?
Beate: So Jeremy, I always liked science subjects at school, so focussed more on those areas as I got older and then later I studied and gained a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. I started working for a small German pharmaceutical company before this company but I wanted to move into a company which had more international connections. To be honest, I hoped to be able to travel with my job, and now I am able to sometimes, so that is good.
LSI/IH Portsmouth: Can you tell me a little about your job? And why English is important
Beate: Well in our department, we find new substances to make new drug formulations or change existing dosage forms, for example from tablets to capsules. My job, I basically coordinate and manage the team to successfully launch and develop the drug. So, a lot of my work revolves around people management and the day to day running of the department, to make sure that we follow the ‘SOPs’; the standard operating procedures. I also liaise with our subsidiaries in other parts of the world by email or teleconference to share best practice and discuss problems and so on. On some occasions, I need to go and meet them in person in their countries to look at procedures or to present information to their teams to show new procedures or research.
LSI/IH Portsmouth: Can you tell us about your course here at LSI/IH Portsmouth?
Beate: Well, this is a new promotion for me, so my course has focussed on the vocabulary I need for the job in the international field. Of course, I knew it all in German, but now I need the words in English so I can discuss with colleagues and our subsidiaries in other countries. Also in the course, I learned and practised the language for teleconferences and meetings. That was really important for me and will be very useful. Before I came here, in my head my English was ok, and I could read and write well enough, but I am always afraid to speak to other colleagues or people in English, I always worry that I am using the wrong word or grammar. I had very little confidence in my ability in English.
This course has helped me so much because it has allowed me specifically to improve my communication skills. My teachers gave me lots of opportunities to speak about all sorts of topics, not just about work. I also spoke to lots of other students from all around the world, in English and we spoke about business subjects and general subjects and socialised as well. I did a presentation in English and it was videoed and it was ok, I was actually quite happy with it, and so I feel much more confident now to use English in my job. Now I don’t feel afraid of speaking in English.
LSI/IH Portsmouth: So Beate – tell me, would you recommend this course to someone else in your company?
Beate: To be honest Jeremy, I have already recommended it to a member of my team, my deputy, that he should come and do this course as well, I spoke to him last night on the phone and told him. I would also like to come back next year, as I think I will need to maintain my level now and it will be good to refresh again.
LSI/IH Portsmouth: Beate, thank you so much for answering these questions, and it has been a great pleasure working with you.
Beate: It is my pleasure.
(**Please note we have changed the students’ names due to their companies’ privacy policies.**)
See here for more information on our English Courses in Portsmouth for the Pharmaceutical Industry
See here for more information on all our Specialist English Courses.