Shanna Clark

Senior Director Finance, US Generics, Teva Pharmaceuticals 

2021 Teva Rising Star

Shanna Clark

How did you get your start in your career?

I started my career in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  I spent 9 years there starting as an intern and leaving as a senior manager in their industrial products assurance group.  From the network I built there, I landed an opportunity at Cephalon Pharmaceuticals (which later became Teva) providing technical accounting expertise on matters such as deals, alliances, and adoption of new accounting guidance.

What is one risk that you have taken during your career journey thus far?

Making the decision to relocate my family to New Jersey as part of Teva’s site consolidation and move to the Company’s new headquarters in Parsippany was a risk layered with many personal and professional considerations.  This chapter is just beginning for me, but already that decision has afforded me an opportunity in a new functional area of the finance team in a direction that I have wanted to pivot my career for some time.   On a personal note, while it has been difficult to move away from our already small support system in Pennsylvania, the move has allowed for my family to have some additional flexibility to better support some of our children’s needs.    

What are some factors that you attribute to your success in pharma?

Being authentic and accountable and building trusting relationships vertically within my team and also with key players in other functions are factors in my success.  Leading with an optimistic vision and helping others believe that vision is possible and they can drive it has been invaluable. 

What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced in your career and how did you overcome that challenge?

My greatest challenges have centered on leading teams during difficult periods of change and transition.  In early 2019 I was asked to take over leading an area where I lacked the technical expertise and would be managing individuals who were currently my peers.  Although initially this was not well received, I was able to earn the respect and trust of those team members by actively listening and learning from them.  I would offer new perspectives without overshadowing their voices and always represented the best interests of the team even when it was hard. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of women starting their career in the pharmaceutical industry?

Stay true to yourself.  Find your own way and build your success on those things that are meaningful to you.  Find multiple mentors and advocates who understand and appreciate those unique attributes.  You will need them many times in your career.  Be willing to listen.