News & Events

Alumnae spotlight: Sophie Jones

January 29, 2024

Sophie Jones(Eynon), Class of 2000

Sophie is a behaviour change expert who, after leaving Croydon High, studied psychology and sociology at the University of Surrey. She then gained a bachelor’s degree at Kings College London in Geography (Human Behaviour specialism) and, more recently, a course in Digital Marketing at London Business School.

Sophie’s first position after leaving Kings College was on a Graduate Marketing Scheme at AstraZeneca (the Anglo-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company), where she held a series of positions including Scientific Publications, Brand Management and finally Global Insight. After completing her graduate training programme, she decided to move into the agency world, where things were a little more fast-paced. She started at a global medical communications agency (Adelphi Communications) and worked her way up to Business Development Manager, where she learned the skills needed to sell communications services to the healthcare industry. After several years, she joined Spirit Medical Communications (as employee number 7!), where she built the business development department and marketing (including a new website). The company increased dramatically in size, and after five years, she started looking for a new challenge. This led her to an Italian agency (Infomedica), then finally settled at Alpharmaxim in her current role as Director of Strategic Development.

Alpharmaxim is a healthcare communications agency on a mission to disrupt habitual approaches to medical marketing, enabling biopharma companies to better communicate with healthcare professionals to challenge and change behaviours and improve clinical practice. They use the principles of behavioural science to build strategic narratives and medical marketing communications that educate key stakeholders and ultimately shift physician mindsets to improve patient outcomes. They want to make a real difference to patients, families, and professionals by helping biopharmaceutical companies fulfil their promises through great narratives that will challenge and change behaviours. (Bio-pharma is the application of living organisms or extractions, by-products, or components of living organisms to prevent, relieve, or treat diseases.)

What aspects of Croydon High School did you enjoy and find most rewarding?

I was part of the swimming team, hockey team, choir, and orchestra. I loved being part of a competitive sports team, supported hugely by the amazing staff who nurtured each and every one of us to help us fulfil our potential. The drama and music department was like a second home to me, leading me to achieve Grade 8 in both flute and piano (whilst working towards my A-Levels!) I loved being part of drama performances where I made lifelong friends, particularly my role as Mercedes (Carmen’s best friend) in the production of Bizet’s Carmen with the boys from Whitgift!

What did you aspire to whilst at school?

Whilst I didn’t really know what career I wanted to pursue, I knew I wanted to do something that enabled me to maximise my creative abilities. For a while, I wanted to focus on a music career, but having achieved great A-Level results, I took myself off to University to study psychology and sociology. I then transferred to Kings College in London to read Human Geography (for no other reason than I excelled at Geography in school – thanks, Mrs Parker!), but during my 3-year degree, I rediscovered my interest in psychology and behaviour, which led me to explore a career in marketing.

How did Croydon High School empower you for your future?

Croydon High allowed me to grow in all aspects of life. They supported my education, pushing me to achieve more than I ever thought I was capable of whilst continuing to nurture my love and flair for music and drama. I swam competitively for Croydon High for most of my time in Senior School, winning meet after meet. I learnt how to strive for better, to believe in myself, to push myself. I learned to be competitive. I learnt to win. And I am now leading all the sales and marketing efforts for a fantastic global company.

What has been your proudest moment?

Proudest? Well, there have been many. But a real highlight was achieving Grade 8 flute (distinction) and Grade 8 piano (Merit) in the same year as achieving ABB at A level. My parents would say their proudest moment was when I was the narrator at a school play in the Junior school…

What are your hopes for the future?

I now have two sons, Samuel and Frederic, and if I can give them half the motivation and aspiration that Croydon High gave me, I feel I will have succeeded as a mum! Career-wise, I’m building up my understanding of strategic marketing and trying to build a sales and marketing team that will vault Alpharmaxim to new heights of success.

What would you say to your younger self?

Enjoy every minute. Don’t overthink. Believe in yourself. You are stronger than you feel and capable of more than you think.

Mrs Karen Roe
Alumnae Relations Manager