Case Study: Helena Beer - European Medical Journal

Case Study: Helena Beer


1. Tell us about your role at EMJ and what your main responsibilities involve?

As the Editor of GOLD, our magazine for pharma executives, I’m responsible for the content strategy and execution across our bi-monthly publication, website, newsletters, podcasts and more.

2. What does a typical workday look like for you?

There is no typical day in my role, and that’s part of its joy. Every day is different, and I can go from brainstorming content ideas to editing an article, giving design feedback to writing news stories, catching up with my team on their projects to interviewing thought leaders for the podcast – the list is seemingly endless. There’s so much variety throughout the production cycle of the magazine, which makes it always busy but never boring!

3. Can you tell us about what you did before coming to EMJ? How has it helped you with your current role?

I’ve always worked in magazine journalism, starting out at one of the big international publishers on interiors and lifestyle magazines before moving gradually into healthcare to focus on something where my journalism could really make a difference to people’s lives. My previous role was Editor of a magazine for community pharmacy teams, and it was here that my understanding of consumer and public health really developed. While GOLD focuses more on the pharma side of things, there’s a lot of crossover, and much of the knowledge I gained in that role is transferrable to this one. In all of my previous roles I’ve learnt so much about the intricacies of making a magazine, and there are still things I’m discovering to this day.

4. What qualities do you bring to the EMJ team?

Determination is one of my main strengths; once I’ve set my mind to something I’ll always see it through to completion. I also take pride in everything I do and am a stickler for detail, making sure all my work is of high quality and will inspire, challenge and educate. And my life’s motto is ‘why be late when you can be half an hour early’, so punctuality would be up there, too.

5. How is EMJ different to other workplaces?

EMJ is unlike any company I’ve worked for before. There’s so much focus on values, which means you always know where you stand and there’s an extra confidence that everyone around you is a team player and wants the same end goals as you. Everyone is so supportive and will do anything to help whether you’re settling in as a new starter, or facing hurdles further down the line. It’s definitely a company that cares.

6. Describe your proudest moment at EMJ and explain why.

My proudest moment was seeing my first new-and-improved GOLD published earlier in 2022. It was a great magazine but had so much more potential, and with a bit of guidance, plus hard work from the team, we managed to elevate it to another level – and it just keeps getting better!

7. What does a typical weekend look like for you?

Most of my weekends revolve around food and friends, whether that’s cooking dinner party feasts at home or trying out new cafes and restaurants in London and other cities. Wherever we are, there’s always a decent pile of baked goods involved. As a history graduate, I’m also partial to a museum or gallery visit, with the odd stately home thrown in for good measure.

8. How would you spend your last £1?

You can’t get much for a pound! I might spend it on an aforementioned baked good, or pop it in a charity collection so someone else can benefit.

9. Who has had the most impact on your career to date and why?

In journalism, who you know really makes a difference as it’s a tough career to crack. The head of my master’s course worked for a big international publisher and was able to get me a work experience placement on my favourite magazine at the time, which then turned into a 12-month full-time contract and led to so many other opportunities. She was a great support throughout my course, supported me personally when I needed it, and has been a much-appreciated cheerleader throughout my career. Without her getting my foot in the door, I don’t know where I’d be!

10. Finally, do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to share?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something. With the right research, preparation, passion and drive, the possibilities are endless. Take every opportunity that comes your way, and even if you don’t end up on the path you intended, the alternative might be even better.

For more information on working at EMJ, take a look at our careers page