At the end of any job interview it’s the interviewee’s turn to ask the questions, and a recurring theme among these candidate questions is what a typical day at Monocl Strategy & Communication is like. So we decided to do what we do best and provide some insights. As all of us have our own daily routines and schedules, we are going to follow a number of us around in this A day in the life of… series starting with our Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Thornblad.
Tobias, please describe your job, what’s your role in the company?
I’m one of the two founders of Monocl Strategy & Communication (MSC) and have been the CEO since the company started in 2014. In the beginning, we were only two people with a business idea but have since then built a strategy consulting business from an early embryo to the 10 people team that drives it today. Essentially, my job description is to achieve growth and to support our clients in the best possible way. This entitles a lot of things, like hands-on management consulting where I work directly with clients to help them strike strategic partnerships and attract investments, business development for MSC, and supporting my team in their professional growth through finding exciting projects, facilitating knowledge sharing and allocating the right expertise to the right assignments.
What is the best thing about your job?
The absolute best thing is that I on a daily basis get to interact with some of the sharpest minds in the Nordic life science industry. I consider it an honor to be considered a confidant in crafting business strategies and prepare deals alongside these pioneers in medicine.
What is the worst thing?
When short deadlines come in the way of delivering at our best. I hate settling for average.
“Essentially, my job description is to achieve growth and to support our clients in the best possible way.”
A day in the life
Now that we have straightened out who Tobias is and what he does, let’s take a look at a day in the life of the CEO of MSC.
06.35: Diving into the cold water of an Olympic pool in the city center for a morning swim. The swimrun season is almost here.
08.05: Breakfast meeting at a nearby hotel with an international client in the respiratory space who is temporarily Gothenburg. We discuss fundraising and plan for an upcoming project before parting. His next meeting is on the way to our office, so I drop him off on the way back.
09.15: Back at the office I join our COO, Tove, who is in the midst of briefing our newest team member, Paula Salme. Paula Salme is joining us from Berlin as a Business Analyst (BA), and I make sure that she has everything that she needs to get started.
10.15: After excusing myself I leave Tove and Paula Salme to join our Project Director Julia, Senior Business Analyst Paola Jo and Senior Management Consultant Okee for a status update on an ongoing oncology market analysis project. We align tasks and calendars and agree upon the next course of action.
10.35: I spend 25 minutes on catching up with my inbox, responding to urgent client requests and structuring my notes for our weekly MSC meeting.
11.00: Meeting time. For once, 9 out of 10 team members are physically present and the last person join us through Zoom. We spend a full hour going through all the ongoing projects, our pipeline and recruitment processes and, since we have a new team member joining us today, we decide to eat lunch together to get to know each other a little bit better and continue our discussion.
13.00: I run a telephone conference (TC) with the CEO and CFO of a client company. We discuss how we’re going to handle some recent news that shook the industry and agree upon an action plan. To convince the board of directors of the company about the plan the client needs some decision-support material, which I promise that we will deliver before the end of the day.
13.40: I brief Tove and our Communication Account Associate, Elisabeth, on what decision-making material is needed and we coordinate tasks to ensure a swift delivery.
14.00: A client has requested our help in identifying potential therapeutic companies to acquire that fits strategically with their current portfolio and we run a TC with the CEO and the Chairman of the company to discuss our findings. Julia presents each company and we discuss how to select the most important criterions for making a final decision, as well as which candidates the client would like to have more information about.
15.00: After the TC we have an internal briefing on the outcome of the call and allocate resources for the necessary subsequent tasks such as search strategies and database selection.
15.35: Tove and Elisabeth delivers the needed decision-making material for the client from the 13.00 TC. I read through the material one final time and then forward it to the client.
16.05: I coordinate with our Intern Analyst, Robert, about an internal project where we are analyzing launch curves and market uptakes of different drugs. Robert has made some really interesting findings and together we plan the next steps, which we agree is to analyze how revenues decline as patent expiration erode sales.
16.40: Last minute check-in with Tove about tomorrow’s recruitment interviews before I dart out to the daycare to pick up my 4-year old.
20.15: I get back in front of the computer after a few hours spent offline on family dinner, reading about dinosaurs and playing. After having caught up on some non-urgent emails and Slack messages received during the day, I prepare tomorrow’s job interview. I finish off by working on some of slides that will be delivered to a client tomorrow.
23:10: As always, I finish my day by reading. At the moment, I’m reading Principles by Ray Dalio and probably read 10-15 pages before I fall asleep.