ELITE Mentor Emil C. Andrusko of Benchworks

Emil C. Andrusko, RPh

Sr. VP Pharmaceutical Strategy and Principal



Prioritizing the Individual

Many people mistakenly believe significant work experience is all it takes to be a good mentor. Extraordinary mentors, like Emil Andrusko, know this isn’t true. As a mentor, Emil adheres to three core tenets: Value the individual over the employee, never stop learning, and give honest feedback.

A pharmacist by training, Emil started his career as a sales representative at Wyeth (now Pfizer), progressed into sales leadership, and then leapt into marketing. Emil finished his career at Pfizer as VP of Sales and Marketing for the Rare Disease Franchise. He joined Benchworks in 2014 after 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry. As the director of the Pfizer account team at Benchworks, Emil meets regularly (weekly or monthly) with each account executive and project manager on the team for a non-account related conversation.

Each individual sets the agenda for the meeting—topics range from family to career aspirations, from advice on a current project challenge to whether the Giants will make the Super Bowl. These one-to-one meetings make it clear that his relationship with each person is the focus of that time, rather than their performance. But helping with their career growth is also important to Emil. He meets with people regularly in a mentor capacity and has guided them through major career transitions. The relationships Emil has built have transcended job titles and geographies.

“Emil was instrumental in not only hiring me, but in providing the guidance I needed to be successful at Pfizer,” says Bonnie Ben-Shmuel, Director, Vaccines at Pfizer Innovative Health. “Even after he moved on from Pfizer to Benchworks, Emil continued to provide guidance around my professional development, encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone, providing critical insight based on his many years of experience in the industry and at Pfizer, and helping facilitate connections with others within the industry who could help advance my career.”

Emil’s mentorship has also produced business results. His relationships, along with the trust they engender, drive additional work from clients. For example, since Emil joined Benchworks in 2014, the Pfizer account team’s annual revenue has grown 116% and from 2015-2016 it grew 72%.


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