GET TO KNOW: Allan Julian
"We find in life exactly what we put into it" - Ralph Waldo Emerson This is the motto of Harper Global's Vice President for Business Development, Allan Julian, who has been with the company for nearly 20 years.
As the child of hard-working immigrant parents, Allan was drawn to Harper Global as a place who could put his entrepreneurial spirit to work and help the business grow. He says, "The opportunity to exercise my entrepreneurial spirit in a supportive environment appealed to me. I wanted to be able to control my own destiny and thought that a small business environment would be a great opportunity to do so. It was very appealing to come up with an idea and implement it without having to go through lots of red tape." As the individual responsible for overseeing the Harper Global consultant group his focus is on driving revenue through both problem-solving and relationship-building.
Allan started his career in pharmaceutical sales at Eli Lilly and then moved into marketing research at that company. "My manager believed that my analytical skills and business acumen might lend itself to market research. At that time, I had no idea what that entailed or what market research even was. I envisioned market research as sitting in front of a computer screen, reviewing Excel documents, and looking at numbers. Once I accepted the market research role, I learned about qualitative research and fell in love with it.” Allan hired Harper Global as his supplier and worked with David and Tonya Harper as their client before they asked him if he was interested in pursuing an opportunity growing a small business. "I joined in August 2001, and four years later, I accepted a role at Harris Interactive to lead their Healthcare Qualitative Market Research Practice. I returned to Harper Global in 2008, and the rest, as they say, is history."
Allan loves interacting with the smart people at Harper Global and their pharma clients and being part of a team that solves problems to enrich patients' lives. In addition to work with patients, one of his favorite methodologies is Encounter. Allan finds Encounter projects very rewarding and satisfying. Surprisingly, however, since Encounter is an intensely in-person methodology, Allan considers himself an introvert. "I need my alone time to recharge and gather my thoughts. As researchers, you feel like you have to be 'on' quite a bit, which can take a toll mentally and emotionally. My quiet time is valuable, and I look forward to those opportunities. Over the last several years, I have learned to meditate, which helps me stay mindful and be where my feet are."
Allan's advice to anyone interested in getting into pharmaceutical market research is to be humble and to prepare for a steep learning curve. "There is a significant amount to learn about the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, there is a significant amount to learn about market research. Put those two things together, and that makes for quite a bit of information to digest, process, and assimilate." He advises that pharma researchers must ask questions, admit when they don't know something, and ask even more questions. Even with his extensive pharmaceutical market research background, Allan says he is constantly seeking to learn information to stay up-to-date.
Allan's perfect day is any day spent with friends and family enjoying each other. He enjoys learning about food and cooking, spending time on the water, and snowboarding. Surprisingly, Allan shoots 12-gauge shotguns competitively through the National Sporting Claying Association and is in Class AA. He shoots a variety of shotgun games, including sporting clays, 5-stand, and FITASC (an acronym for the international version of American sporting clays). He has competed in the United States Open for Sporting Clays and the World English Sporting Clays Championship. His shooting skill notwithstanding, the accomplishment Allan is most proud of is his two beautiful daughters.