Career and Post-Graduate Development

Lori Olexa Thorell

How did you get your start in the field?

I worked in hospital laboratories for a few years and then started at Covance at an entry level position in operations 17 years ago.  I worked my way up over ten years managing projects and ultimately overseeing our late phase group.  About six years ago, I moved to sales and business development and have worked in a variety of roles. 





Current Position

Sales Director, Clinical Services


Covance, Inc.

Graduate School & Degree

Executive MBA in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management from St. Joseph’s University Haub School of Business


Covance is one of the world’s largest drug development companies.  We offer services from drug discovery through commercialization.  I am responsible for overseeing the team that sells Phase I through Phase IV patient clinical trial services to pharmaceutical companies on the east coast.

Impact of Ursinus

A liberal arts education, overall, inspires a love of learning.  In addition to this, Ursinus provided a substantial foundation for imparting in me the ability to think critically.  I also feel comfortable to continually pursue opportunities out of my comfort zone knowing that I can always draw upon this basic foundation.

Piece of Advice

Take a variety of courses. Take advantage of this time in your life to pursue your interests. From personal experience, as a science major, I wish I took some business courses!  You never know where your career will take you.

Paying It Forward

Happy to discuss the drug development field or answer questions students/alumni may have about the industry.