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Maisie Borrows

Maisie Borrows

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Title: Strategic Growth Lead 

  • Company: LCP Health Analytics 

  • Sector: Life Sciences 

  • University degree: BSc Psychology from UCL and MBA from IMD Switzerland

How does your usual day look like?

I am a morning person and normally wake up around 6am. I start my day with a cup of coffee and writing in my Gratitude Journal. I try to fit in a workout in the morning, typically a run or Reformer Pilates. I am lucky enough that I can walk in to work (~30 minutes) and try to get to the office by 8.30am so I have time to catch up on emails and Teams messages before the day properly begins.

I work in Business Development and my days can be incredibly varied (which I love!). If I have tasks that require a lot of focus, for example drafting a proposal or writing some marketing communication, I get those done in the morning as that is my most productive time. I will often have coffees or lunches with prospects and my afternoon could include internal team meetings, pitch prep or market research.

I try to leave the office by 6pm and normally spend my evenings either attending networking events, catching up with friends over dinner or cooking for me and my partner at home. I need time to switch off my ’work brain’ before bed, so I try not to look at my phone an hour before bed and unwind with a Netflix show, a good book or a sleepy tea. I try to get in bed by 10pm but am often not successful!

What are the things you like the most about your job?

The people I work with – they are passionate and smart, and I feel a learn something new from them everyday! I also love working for a company with a clear mission to improve health outcomes and tackle health inequalities, I find it very motivating knowing that our work can make an impact.

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

So much of business development I feel is about building relationships so you can truly understand the problems your clients face and support them in solving them. So, I think listening and understanding the priorities and challenges of the clients we work with is key in my role as well as problem solving and communicating clearly how best we can help them.

What was one of your happiest days in your career and why?

I previously worked for a political think tank and was asked to appear on the news to comment on challenges in the NHS during a winter crisis. My boss had the confidence in me that I could do it which meant a lot. I was inexperienced and terrified about my first media appearance but felt so proud and happy after I had done it – I have normally found that doing things that terrify you the most, can often be the most rewarding.

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

Leaving the very well-established firm PwC, where I started my career as a management consultant, to join a tiny political think tank. It was a big risk (job wise and financially) and so many people at the time couldn’t understand my decision but it genuinely was one of the best things I did for my career to date. My career in general is a bit of squiggle rather than a linear progression – I am a believer in grasping opportunities and seeing where they take you when the timing is right.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

Setting boundaries (though still work in progress!). I am a people pleaser and like to say yes to people but as my time has become busier, I know I have to say no to some things to ensure it is spent in the best possible way for me and for the impact I can have on our work.

How did you get to become a Strategic Growth Lead?

I was put in touch with the head of my team at LCP by a mutual connection from my think tank days. When we first met, the team was growing with not necessarily the right role for my skillset at the time. I had also just taken on a new job at Novartis. We decided to keep in touch as I was really excited by how LCP were supporting life science clients with applied analytics and after a few years ultimately found the serendipitous role and moment for me to join!

What's the one piece of career advice you have for anyone interested in following your footsteps?

Sector wise, don’t be put off by working in life sciences if you don’t have a science background – there are plenty of roles for those from either a commercial or arts background e.g. strategy, market access and policy and lots of people in leadership positions who didn’t come from R&D or clinical practice. In business development, being willing to invest time in understanding and getting to know people is key, as well as resilience. You have to be ready for the highs as well as the lows and try not to take losses personally.

What's your number one productivity hack / when or how are you most effective?

I live by the saying ‘Eat the Frog’ – if I have something I am putting of doing, I will make myself get up early and get it done first thing when there is nothing else distracting me.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

My curiosity and kindness – whenever I meet a new person, I like to make them feel comfortable and see what I can learn from them by asking them about themselves and truly listening.

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

After living in Switzerland for 3 years, I got in the habit of getting out in the nature at weekends. I still try to do this in London, either going for a walk around Hampstead or a hike further afield e.g. Box Hill or the South Downs Way. Apart from that, I will see friends, play tennis with my partner, go for a run, and practice my German (I am still trying to get fluent after over 15 years learning!).

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

There is nothing better than a run for clearing the head and suddenly helping a problem seem surmountable. I am strong believer in manifesting positive emotions for yourself – when I am feeling daunted or worried about something, I will remember a time when I successfully did something much scarier, and it helps me put things in perspective. Having friends and family who you can speak to about worries without judgement also really helps.

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

I would have become a Psychologist – I still find understanding the roots of human behaviour so interesting and also love that I can apply that science to helping people.

Who is a female professional that inspired you along your career journey? What did she do / say / or what are the character traits and professional skills she uses.

My fantastic ex-colleague from Novartis Jo Broomfield. A constant support and mentor, we don’t work together anymore but I know I can call her at any time of the day to talk through a problem, which is really special. Jo is an amazing listener and has a great way of breaking down a problem into manageable chunks. Jo is also not afraid of having difficult conversations at work, something I struggled with in the past and I learnt from her that constructive clarity is sometimes the kindest thing. Jo is also not afraid of being open with her emotions and authentically herself at work, something I find inspiring particularly when as women we can still often feel like we shouldn’t be ‘too assertive’ or ‘too emotional’ at work.

What's the last thing you learnt?

As said, I am always learning new things from my team. Last week, a wonderful woman I work with gave a fantastic presentation on Epigenetics – the study of how your behaviours and environment can change the way your genes express themselves.

If you could time-travel and meet any leader, who/where would that be?

No time travel required – Serena Williams! One of the best athletes of our time and someone who has had to overcome a lot of adversity. I would love to understand her mindset!

The one question we didn't ask you but you'd like to answer?

Question: What would you do if you were not afraid?

Answer: Scuba diving! I am terrified of deep water but love swimming (if that even makes sense?!).

The previous interviewee left a question for you: “You step outside of your office and find a winning lottery ticket with a jackpot of £10 million. What do you do?”

I would give most of it to the charity that I have supported since I worked for them between school and university – Footsteps International (link here), based in Kenya. It could make a huge difference to many of the children it supports. A small part of it I would use to then follow some of my other passions, such as becoming a qualified coach, taking time out of work to write a novel or train to be a Pilates instructor.

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: My memory

  • Favourite restaurant: The Lacustre, Lausanne

  • Favourite fashion brand: Me & Em

  • Favourite beauty product: Charlotte Tilbury - Beauty Light Wand

  • Favourite perfume: Poppy and Barley by Jo Malone

  • Book recommendation: 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver

  • Next holiday destination: Switzerland for skiing

  • Your hobby: Singing – wish I could do it more!

  • What’s your mantra? "She believed she could so she did!"

  • Who inspires you: My Granny- 90 years old and still has so much joy for life as well as wisdom

  • Tea or Coffee: Coffee

  • Red wine or White wine: White wine

  • Morning bird or Night owl: Morning bird

  • Cat person or Dog person: Dog person – my partner is a cat person so who knows if we will ever get a pet given our current debate.

Thank you Maisie for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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