We are AH - Meet Jenifer Sheehy
Hi Jenifer, what is your job and what does your job mean?
My home job is a Field Technical Services Veterinarian. Essentially, I am the interface between Bayer Animal Health, its sales people and its costumers – veterinarians and pet owners. Through veterinarians we reach the end users of our products. It is our challenge to see what their needs are and find out which products are best for them. That is my job: help practitioners understand what they need in order to prevent animals becoming sick or treat them in their practices. I also educate owners on our products.
Please describe a typical day!
A typical day I start in my home office in Philadelphia with making a plan. Usually, I drive or take the train to meet my sales people and we spend the day visiting practices and educating practitioners. It is a travelling job. The territory group that I support stretches from Connecticut over all of Manhattan, Staten Island, New York, to all of New Jersey and the eastern half of Pennsylvania. The distance for travelling might not be very big, but the geography varies a lot and there are about 20 million people in the region. That means we have costumers with very diverse needs. Some practices are only for companion animals, but some in rural areas they are mixed. One of our favorite veterinarians, for example, has a camel. It is very interesting to see the variety.
How did you get to Animal Health?
I was a practicing veterinarian in South Texas for ten years, 7 of those in an Emergency Specialty practice. As Chief of Staff I was working in a hospital where we trained other doctors for the region in medicine and surgery. The way practices are changing in the US is very interesting. Through necessity, we more and more focused on the business. Managing the training hospital, I had an opportunity to get insight into finance and learned a lot about costs. I think this is what led me into industry. I’m also happy that I touch more animals’ lives now, even though I am no longer working in a practice.
What do you like most about your job?
The people; in our job you get to meet a lot of people. And, you also get to see practices from all across the spectrum, everything from a single doctor practice all the way to a practice with forty doctors. It is very diverse and they all have different needs. In our industry we want to develop a strategy that brings them all together but it is hard to do that because they are so different. Even every town and doctor is different. So it is interesting to find ways to help them. It is a bit of an art because there is not one approach that suits everyone. For example the parasite exposure is very different in the regions. In downtown Philadelphia we have a huge problem with Whipworms, but their tick pressure is much less than it would be in rural Connecticut. So you always have to find out what special needs exist in the different regions and practices. And I agree that the work we do at Bayer Animal Health can help the average veterinarian to be more successful in doing their business and reach more animals.
At Bayer, our mission is “Science For a Better Life” - how do you contribute to this?
A lot of what I do is to interpret the science and put it into a form that a very busy practitioner can use. For example, we look at advocacy or safety or disease transmission times. Those things are important in the studies that we do, but practitioners only have five minutes when we see them. They don’t have the time to read all journal articles and go to a lot of conferences. And so it is our job to translate all the information into something very digestible and useful to provide them with everything they need to know in an efficient way. I believe that this science is valued by our customers, this is what we do and what we are known for.
Do you have pets?
Oh yes. I have a little black cat and she is here in Cologne in Germany with me. Her birthday was just a few weeks ago: She is eleven now. She loves the giant German pigeons and always sits at the window watching the pigeons across the street. Her name is Elvira. She is named after Elvira the Mistress of the Dark, who was a television movie show hostess in the late 1980’s. The name was given to her by the nurses in the emergency practice where I worked and we found her one day.