In honor of Veterans Day, we spoke with Rob Caskey, a senior manager in PhRMA’s finance department about his military service, journey to PhRMA and why veterans make great employees for America’s biopharmaceutical companies.
At 17 years old, Rob Caskey met with a recruiter from the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) to discuss what he wanted out of his life and career. His ultimate goal was to help people, and he walked away from the meeting convinced that the USMC was how he would be able to meet that goal.
As a Gunnery Sergeant, Caskey spent 22 years in the USMC working in supply chain, logistics and business management, including serving in Desert Storm and two tours in Iraq. When it came time to retire, Caskey maintained the same goal of helping people and after a few years working for a government contractor, he had the opportunity to apply to a temporary job at PhRMA.
“When I joined PhRMA, I came on as a temp,” said Caskey, “I told the folks who hired me that I would make sure that their decision to keep me on full time would be the easiest one they ever made.”
Two weeks later, Caskey was brought on as a full-time employee in the finance department, where he now oversees contracts and works with many of PhRMA’s members. Although the first position was just temporary, Caskey knew PhRMA was the right fit for him after researching the organization, and the biopharmaceutical industry.
“What struck me about PhRMA was its overarching mission to help bring new medicines to patients,” said Caskey, “I come to work every day to do what I can to make a difference in the world by supporting the mission of PhRMA and the biopharmaceutical industry.”
Caskey noted that he’s encouraged by the veteran hiring initiatives across the biopharmaceutical industry, including Merck, Pfizer and Eli Lilly which represent just some of the many companies that have programs in place aimed at hiring veterans. According to Caskey, veterans make fantastic employees – they are disciplined, accountable and are used to putting on a uniform and making each day their best day.
An unexpected challenge for Marines in corporate culture?
“In the Marines, if you come to a 9:00 am meeting at 9:00 am, you’re late; you’re only on-time if you arrive at 8:45am -- I’m still getting used to not showing up to meetings 15 minutes early,” said Caskey.
PhRMA is proud of Caskey, and all of the veterans working in the biopharmaceutical industry, for their service to our country and now to patients around the world.
Andrew Powaleny Andrew Powaleny is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and later as a communications consultant. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut and proudly sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, runs with the DC Front Runners and serves on the Alumni Council for The Fund for American Studies. He is also a member of the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association.