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Strategies for Success in the Life Sciences Industry: How to land that first job Henry Haringsma B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, 2005

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Success in the Life Sciences Industry: How to land that first job Henry Haringsma B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, 2005"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Success in the Life Sciences Industry: How to land that first job Henry Haringsma B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, /18/2012

2 Background and experience B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, 2005 July 2006 – November 2007: Research Technician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute February – May 2008: Contract Research Associate at FibroGen May 2008 – March 2011: Staff Biologist at Sirna Therapeutics March 2011 – Present: Research Associate at Clovis Oncology

3 Life after GVSU …begins before you graduate Graduate school – Masters degree/certificate programs – PhD and/or MD – non-CMB advanced degrees Research in academia – DFCI, MD Anderson, MSKCC, etc. Contract positions – Aerotek, Kelly, LabPros, etc. Biotech/pharma

4 Grad schools Masters programs – M.S. considered 2 years of work experience – Non-research programs Business, law, marketing, management, etc. Patent agent, clinical research associate, quality assurance, forensic science, etc. PhD programs – Recommend a gap year – Necessary to shatter glass ceiling for “research” positions Medical School – Flexibility to do research and/or practice medicine

5 Research in academia Focus on institutions with many research labs: INTENSE! – Long hours and low pay, but invaluable and extremely rewarding experience can bolster grad school and job applications

6 Contract positions Kelly Scientific, Aerotek, LabPros Inc. – Easiest way to get an interview in industry – No benefits, hourly pay – Contracts are typically 6-12 months – NOT IN THE MIDWEST! Foot-in-the-door approach to a full-time position

7 Biotech and big pharma jobs Internships at Merck, Eli Lily, Genentech, etc. Without a PhD, you need to be local to interview – using a relative or friend’s address improves likelihood of interview

8 Which research setting is right for me? Academia Less resources/pay Best job security More intellectual freedom Greater opportunity for publications Big Pharma Lots of money and fancy equipment Highly compartmentalized and bureaucratic Poor job security Defined career path Early stage biotech

9 Effective job hunting You need to be around a job to get a job – Biotech hubs = SF Bay, Boston, San Diego Duplex your job search – Register with a contract agency while applying on your own Find jobs: – Indeed.com > Monster.com – Individual company websites Biospace.com lists all biotech/pharma companies within a given state Follow-up one week after applying

10 CVs and cover letters Need to clear the HR hurdle A CV is always better than a resume – Formatting matters! – Be concise on the first page, descriptive on the following pages – Word, PDF, and plain text formats Cover letters – Unless specifically noted, always include – Personalize the first paragraph, but the rest can be templated to make life easier

11 Universal skills Microsoft Excel Basic image editing – Photoshop or Gimp Time and data management – Lab notebooks – Effective multitasking People skills – Vendor relations, data communication – Ability to ask for help when lost

12 How to interview like a champ RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! – Competitors, recent news, staff history, Glassdoor.com Express willingness to learn Interviews are a two-way road Ask tough questions – Status of clinical trials? – Contingency plans for failures? – Opportunities for publications/presentations? – Career advancement track?

13 I got the job! Now what? Confusion is normal, and you’re going to screw up many, many times Research doesn’t follow a 9-5 schedule, but don’t work yourself to death Take advantage of every opportunity to present your work Expose yourself to other facets of the industry Don’t be afraid to leverage the resources offered Network as much as possible

14 Q&A Details on my job at Clovis? The future of cancer therapy? Emerging fields in biotech? Which skills are most valuable? Tips on surviving the CMB curriculum?


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