Two power women currently ‘man’ the Business Development (BD) department at QPS Netherlands, in close collaboration with the Head of BD, Edwin van Vulpen, MBA, Senior Director BD.
Spotlight on Sandra Achterhof
After graduating, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 7 years covering different roles in sales before joining an engineering company, where I coached and trained engineers in communication and sales skills. Although I enjoyed the job, I missed the challenges and the vibrant atmosphere of the pharmaceutical world. Therefore, I joined a CRO where I enrolled as a Recruitment Manager and later as Project Manager (PM). Before joining QPS, I ran a large Heart Failure project in patients at the UMCG, followed by several other cardiology studies.
Joining the BD team last year was a great opportunity to combine my sales experience with operational experience. I have learned a lot so far and I am still learning every day. I enjoy interacting with companies, meeting people, getting involved in their drug development programs and making links with QPS dedicated teams and experts. I like to get a feel of what makes people tick. This year started out great for QPS, as we have been awarded several studies already in the first months.
Spotlight on Zeliha Türktas
After working in an academic setting in the biomedical industry for several years, I decided to make a shift into business development in 2013. In 2014, I joined the CRO business, and in July 2017, I joined QPS’ European Business Development team, where I am responsible for clinical development related services in designated territories in Europe.
What I enjoy most is seeking to understand clients’ needs and brainstorming how we can align these with the QPS offerings. Every territory and drug development process is different, with different people, cultures, type of companies, and compounds. Therefore, each strategy for every individual client needs to be tailor made. This is what makes my role dynamic and a lot of fun!
For a CRO, being active in a global environment brings along certain challenges. These challenges triggered me to understand the complexity of the business, and so I decided to start an Executive MBA program in the beginning of 2018. This program gives me the opportunity to gain international business knowledge and skills to apply in my current working position. In this way, I can participate in the positive development the business for QPS in Europe and even at a global level.