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Jonas Pedersén- the former academic who made a career in consulting

Passion for the work, honesty with oneself, and focusing on the value of people are three elements which resonate through the different stages of Jonas Pedersén’s career. Though he is now one of the owners of Deallus, a competitive intelligence consulting agency for the pharmaceutical industry, his path there was “not so deliberate”.

The Academic

As a very young man, Jonas dedicated himself to the social sciences, and especially anthropology, after becoming interested in the Aboriginal culture while backpacking through Australia. His bachelor’s coursework led him into psychology and eventually neurophysiology, where he was ultimately groomed into a PhD student.

Nearing the end of his doctoral studies, Jonas considered different career options. One such opportunity was a post-doctoral appointment in Italy. As romantic as the prospect was, Jonas knew that he was more eager to take his analytical skills to another setting. While considering his options, a friend informed him about an interesting opening in one of Sweden’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

The Frequent Flyer

Other applicants to the “Research Intelligence” position offered by AstraZeneca highlighted their scientific prowess. Jonas, on the other hand, emphasized that his interpersonal skills were the best asset for the role. AstraZeneca hired Jonas for these qualities, and Amgen later recruited him away from AstraZeneca for the same skillset, although not before AstraZeneca helped him earn his MBA.

Living in LA while working for Amgen fulfilled a dream of Jonas, but he and his wife knew they wanted to raise their children in Sweden. When he was again headhunted to become a part owner of London-based Deallus, he moved his family back to Sweden knowing that his work would include a lot of travel. After several years of building the company and working with international clients in various locales, Jonas eventually negotiated so that he could travel only every second week.

The Established Entrepreneur

Approximately one decade after joining Deallus, Jonas’ proudest professional achievement is growing this team with his co-owners. He still becomes visibly enthusiastic about balancing his detail-oriented academic background with his pragmatic business acumen into competitive intelligence. Jonas still has several decades of professional achievement ahead of him, but he is starting to shift more into advisory roles. All along the way, he has been honest with himself and potential colleagues about his dedication to projects and his people-centered method of approaching problems. Insofar as these echoes reverberate, his next steps are likely to be as fruitful.

Career portrait written by David Lassiter, PhD student and participant in Career Skills for Scientists -16