Liz Benzschawel, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Liz Benzschawel, private account manager, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most rewarding aspects of my job are the relationships I’ve built and teaming up with health care providers to make a difference in patient care, as well as knowing the work I’m doing is protecting more patients from vaccine-preventable diseases. The most challenging aspects of my job are the bureaucracy that sometimes exists in large health systems and overcoming preconceived notions about pharmaceutical companies.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I look up to/admire a friend named Mandy McAllister. I met her through a women’s investment group she started out of Chicago. She has created an impressive network of entrepreneurial women and challenged me on my mindset and internal dialogue when I started getting into real estate investing more seriously. She’s someone who has a lot of grit, tenacity, and is always taking action to move herself and others forward.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

The high points of my career thus far have been recognition I’ve received for my efforts, leadership opportunities within our state and the Midwest, and the things my job has allowed me to do when I take time away from work — travel and experiences with the most important people in my personal life.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

The things you think are big deals right now will not matter in a five to 10 years. Keep your nose down, keep putting in the work, and it all pays off. Last, and perhaps most importantly, buy more real estate now.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

The best things about living and working in Dane County are the lakes, especially in the summer, the people and relationships I’ve been fortunate enough to build here, living downtown, and being able to walk to just about anything. And Kwik Trip’s vanilla long johns with sprinkles.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I’m a pretty open book so I don’t have a lot of secret talents that people would be surprised by, but I can make it look like I have a lazy eye, I love playing just about any sport, and I’ve gotten pretty good at wakeboarding and surfing in the last couple years.

What are your guilty pleasures?

My guilty pleasures would include documentaries or docuseries (currently watching Winning Time), gangsta rap, and cookie cakes (as well as sprinkled donuts, see question 5). There was a time I was indulging in one of these (rap) in high school and my mom unexpectedly had to drive my car. When she turned on the car it still had a mixed CD I had been listening to, which she immediately ejected out the window after hearing a few choice words.

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