Just graduated and interested in working in Pharma?

Here are some career paths to consider.

Finishing university and finding your first job in Pharma as a graduate is a challenging period for most. With so many options available to you, how do you choose which roles to apply for?

To help you make that all-important decision, we have asked real life pharma experts to give us a bit of insight into their job roles and explain how they got there.

A Research Scientist

We recently interviewed Harpal, a research scientist Graduate working for a global biopharmaceutical company.

His job involves performing and optimising biochemical assays for analysing compounds. He chose a career in research as he wanted to be involved in discovering new concepts.

Although the job is very technical, planning and executing experiments, analysing data and writing reports, there is also an element of team work. Harpal liaises on a daily basis with his team and line manager to discuss progress.

Are you also interested in pursuing a career as a Research Scientist?

Prior to becoming a Research Scientist, Harpal completed a PhD and then found relevant industry experience in his field of research. He adds that if you are interested in performing biochemical assays, it’s important to understand FRET biochemical assays and data interpretation.

A starting point for becoming a Research Scientist might be to look at PhDs in the subjects that interest you the most. By doing a PhD, you would gain that valuable lab experience.

A Stability Analyst

Katie works for a pharmaceutical company as a stability analyst, measuring the stability of different products manufactured at the facility. She tests different batches at different time points and conditions, to assess whether there are any changes in the content.

The role is fast paced and involves a lot of focus, so is ideal for someone who enjoys working under pressure and has a keen eye for detail.

Interested in becoming a stability analyst? Recruitment managers would typically look for someone with a chemistry degree or pharmaceutical sciences as well as prior experience in an analytical pharma laboratory.

A Laboratory Analyst

Anthony is a laboratory analyst, working for a company who develops vaccines and healthcare products.

He is responsible for conducting all quality testing on products, writing up data and reporting the results. These results are then used to determine the quality of the product, and make decisions on whether the product is deemed safe to be used by patients.

Anthony finds his job particularly satisfying, knowing that he is contributing to helping people’s quality of life.

Interested in this role?

To apply to this type of job, you would be expected to have a chemistry qualification or pharmaceutical sciences and specific experience in the use and maintenance of HPLC systems. Anthony gained his qualification and relevant experience through an Apprenticeship scheme, proving that the typical university route is not the only way to a successful job in chemistry.

An Associate Scientist

Sarah works as an associate scientist for a company that researches and develops pharmaceutical products.

Her role involves collating information to create knowledge transfer packages for clients. She uses a variety of systems to search for product information, to compile comprehensive reports.

She chose this role as she enjoys the challenge of piecing together information as well as the customer interaction.

Sarah explains that this type of role is ideal for someone analytical, who wishes to work in science but also be customer facing.

Interested in this role?

To get to this position, Sarah did a degree in chemistry and additional training in project management. She then gained experience in product delivery within a contract manufacturing organisation.

A Regulatory Affairs Associate

Alaa is a contractor currently working for a science-led global healthcare company. As a Regulatory Affairs Associate, he ensures Over the Counter Medicines (OTC) are maintained, renewed on time and regulated by Health Authorities in different countries globally.

His day-to-day involves liaising with affiliates from different markets globally to meet deadlines, as well as working with internal stakeholders to improve processes for the company.

According to Alaa, a Regulatory Affairs Associate role would suit someone who is target driven, enjoys helping people but doesn’t need to be micro-managed.

Prior to this job, Alaa graduated with a degree in Forensic Biology and has a variety of experience from lab work to project management roles.  He also worked abroad, which helps him stand out from the crowd.

A life science or pharmaceutical science degree would also be considered for a career in regulatory affairs.

Feeling inspired? Why not read the interviews in full, as well as many others on our careers section. You can also have a look at available jobs or create a CK+ account, to find jobs tailored to your experience.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Candidates, News

How to find a graduate job in Science after University

Congratulations, you are about to graduate from university.

But what now?

Leaving university and finding your first graduate role in Science is a daunting process. With so many opportunities out there, where do you start looking?

Moreover, once friends start receiving job offers and family start questioning you about your own future, the pressure really builds up.

A job might no longer be for life, but your first job is the first stepping stone for your career path, and not a decision to take lightly. After all, you do spend a third of your life at work, so choosing something that interests you and leads to your dream job is vital.

As a starting point, we suggest creating a simple 4-step job-finding strategy. This will help you stay focused and engaged, and give you the necessary space to make that all-important decision.

Step 1: Do your research
We know, this is easier said than done!

This initial step is all about research and finding out what options are available to you.

Popular dilemmas for graduating scientists are firstly whether to work in research or not, and secondly whether to work in academia or industry.

Additionally, apart from the obvious decisions regarding what role to choose, there are other factors to consider such as ‘where’ you wish to work – for example, would you consider a role abroad? And what kind of environment do you work best in – somewhere fast-paced or somewhere where you can take your time?

If you have done internships while working and have some working experience, answers to these questions might be clearer. If not, there are other ways to carry out research, such as:

A. Getting in touch with a recruiter
A good place to start is to speak to a specialist recruiter. Not only will they give you a better feel for the different jobs available to graduates, they will also take the time to mentor you.

Our recruitment consultants at CK have years of experience matching graduates to roles in the science industry, and therefore are best placed to give you credible advice. They will act as your guiding hand during the whole recruitment process, from looking for jobs to applying, and are here to answer all your questions during this daunting time.

B. Reaching out to your network
When searching for a job, you will most probably have been reminded of the old proverb “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”. We would always recommend proactively engaging with your contacts to ask for advice, whether that be to better understand different roles or to ask if they know of any job openings. Most people are willing to discuss their careers, give advice and answer any questions.

C. Attending career fairs
Many universities will organise career fairs for their students. This is a brilliant opportunity to talk to experts in the industry, to get a feel for the different types of companies and roles available to you, and more importantly, to ask questions!

For more information read how to make the most of careers fairs.

Step 2: Start your applications
After your initial research, you should have a good understanding of the different roles available to graduates, and which of those roles interest you. And now it’s time to start applying.

The science job market is a very competitive job market, especially for recent graduates with little experience.

At this early stage in your career, the aim is to gain as much experience as possible, to build up to your dream role. With that in mind, we would suggest applying to as many opportunities as possible in the field that interests you. To avoid disappointment, remember to apply to jobs suitable to your level of experience and field of expertise.

To increase your chances of finding that ideal first job, our advice would be to not just look at opportunities close to home, but to also look further afield.

If you struggle to find job opportunities, get in touch with CK and we can help find those opportunities for you. This will help you from feeling overwhelmed.

Step 3: Tailor your application
So many people start their job search by updating their CV and resume. But without knowing which jobs you are applying for, this makes little sense.

Hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of applications for every graduate job, leaving them only a few seconds to scan each CV and resume. In this competitive job market, make yours count by tailoring it and keeping it succinct.

As well as thinking about your individual skills and experience, this means finding out more about the company and demonstrating an understanding of their business, their challenges and the broader sector in which they operate.

Step 4: Don’t give up
Rejections happen, especially when you are applying for a lot of jobs at the same time. Try not to get disheartened but instead think about why you might have been rejected, and how you can improve your application for the next job.

If you have made it past the first stages of the application, ask the hiring manager for feedback.

Applying for your first job is not easy, but remember, once you have found that dream graduate role, all that job-finding stress will be long forgotten about.

Search for jobs on CK Science

Visit our Careers Zone

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, General, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Candidates, News

7 Alternative Career Paths for Scientists

What happens when you have worked so hard to get a science degree and even a Ph.D., only to realise that you don’t want to follow the expected research trajectory, and instead you want to try something new?

The good news is scientists are not confined to the lab anymore. In fact, candidates with a science degree and a science background are becoming increasingly desirable in other fields.

We’ve compiled a list of seven popular alternative career paths for scientists looking for a change.

 

  1. A career in scientific writing

Writing requires many of the same skills you learn whilst studying a science degree; analysing a lot of information and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.

The best writers are the ones who know first-hand about the topics they discuss in their writing. Consequently, writers with a science background are always in high demand for scientific writing.

Writing opens up a world of opportunities including journalism and writing about science and science novelties for the general public, or technical writing and presenting science findings for patents and authority bodies.

Alternatively, if you love reading and writing, a science degree can help you get a job for a specialist publisher such as Bloomsbury Sigma or IOP, whether that be in production, editing or proof reading.

 

  1. Working in intellectual property law

If you are interested in the legal side of science, becoming a patent attorney could be an interesting option. Patent law is already a well-established career path for scientists, as companies recruiting trainee patent attorneys usually ask for a degree in science or another STEM subject. This is because to draft a patent, you need to understand the research and technology behind it.

 

  1. Turning to consultancy

Moving into consulting is another popular move for scientists looking for a more client-facing role.

Big consultancies such as BCG, Accenture and Deloitte will have a dedicated science department recruiting analytical candidates with science backgrounds, to head projects for clients in the science and clinical space. Alternatively, there are also opportunities at a number of specialist scientific consultancies like IQVIA and Alacrita.

 

  1. Working for a funding body

If working in an office seems more appealing than working in a lab, but you still want to stay up-to-date with the latest science news, then working in funding could be a great option. You might want to look at organisations such as Research Councils UK (for example, the BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and the STFC) and major funding bodies like the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.

 

  1. Sales and marketing for Pharmaceutical companies

Why not explore different areas of the value chain, and look at jobs selling and promoting products, rather than creating them?

Being knowledgeable on the product you are selling is particularly useful when presenting products and answering client needs and questions. These jobs tend to be less about pure selling and more about becoming a product expert.

 

  1. Recruitment

If you enjoy using your people skills, then specialist recruitment companies like CK Science are always looking for recruitment consultants with science backgrounds.

Good knowledge of the science world helps recruitment consultants not only understand the jobs they are recruiting for, but also understand which skills are needed and which types of candidates would be better placed in each role.

 

  1. Teaching

Science teachers at all levels are in high demand right now in the UK, as great initiatives are being taken to close the current STEM skill gap. So, if you have a passion for science and sharing your knowledge, teaching might be something to consider.

Thinking of trying out something new? At CK we offer a range of different jobs for experts with a science background. Why not have a look at our jobs here or get in touch for recommendations.

Posted in Articles, Careers Advice, Homepage Candidates, News

The benefits of using a specialised recruitment agency when applying for jobs

Finding the right job can be arduous for any one, and even more so when you work in a specialised industry or sector.

If you are searching for a job in the science and clinical industry, working with a specialised recruitment agency such as CK Group could be the solution to your job-hunting challenges. Here are some of the main benefits of using a specialised recruitment agency when applying for a new job.

 

Access to jobs and companies that are not always advertised

Surprisingly, only 30% of all new jobs are advertised.

However, recruiters working on behalf of multiple businesses at once are the first to know who will be hiring, even if the position isn’t advertised yet. Working with a recruitment agency can provide you with that insider information, giving you a head start.

By using CK Group as your recruitment specialist you will have access to a large array of job opportunities in the scientific, clinical and technical industries, from the top life science companies to the latest start-ups.

 

Recruiters can assist and advise you on your resume and application

Did you know that 59% of applications will be rejected based on poor grammar or spelling errors, and a further 50% of candidates will be rejected if their resume is full of clichés? If you want to get noticed it is highly important to get your resume spot on.

Recruitment agencies are experts at helping candidates with resumes and application forms. They understand exactly what hiring managers are looking for, and how to make you stand out from the crowd. They will provide you with constructive feedback, giving you the best possible chance of success.

 

Recruiters can help with your interview preparation

In a recent survey, 33% of hiring managers said they know whether they would hire someone in the first 90 seconds and 47% stated that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company. It goes without saying that interview preparation is essential for successfully securing a role.

Recruitment agencies give you a great advantage in preparing for your interview.  Not only will they have more knowledge of the hiring companies’ cultures and job specifications than available to you online, they can also give you more of an understanding of what the companies expect when it comes to your application, interview and the hiring process.

 

A recruiter can save you time and energy

Searching and applying for jobs is a very time consuming and tedious process, especially if you are working full-time. With there being hundreds of jobs listed online, it can be a struggle knowing where to start. In a competitive job market, you may find yourself applying to jobs for a while before the right one comes around. According to the Department of Labour, the average job search takes an astonishing 10 months.

By having a large network of staffing consultants with hundreds of job openings on file, recruitment agencies can save you a huge amount of time; you will have only the most suitable jobs selected for your skill set, with interviews, inductions, reference checks and all other additional time-consuming tasks being arranged by the agency.

 

What happens once I get the job?

CK Group will be on hand throughout your job-hunting experience – and once you have successfully secured your job our support will continue. If you feel you need to negotiate your salary, CK will know what the company can or cannot afford and will be able to give you an idea of what other companies in the space are paying their employees, ensuring you get the highest salary possible. Paperwork and documentation will also be handled by your recruiter, guaranteeing everything is in place for your first day.

CK Group has built strong relationships with a client base that includes 26 of the world’s top 30 leading blue-chip organisations, as well as a multitude of SMEs and everything in between. We strive to be the best provider of staffing and outsourcing services for the science and technology community by providing an excellent experience for our candidates.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you in your job search, why not take a look at our website and register for CK+?

Posted in Articles, Candidates, General, Homepage Candidates, News

New Year, New Job

The New Year often signals a sign for change, a new challenge or an exciting opportunity. It therefore isn’t a surprising that January is the most popular month to make a career move.

A survey by Gallup showed that 85% of workers worldwide admitted to not enjoying their jobs, with ‘lack of job satisfaction’ being cited as the number one reason for wanting to change roles.

If you are feeling the January blues and are particularly interested in a fulfilling career within the scientific and clinical industry, as with any goal the first step to success is organization and planning.

Here are our top five things you should consider whilst looking for your new job:

 

  1. Know what you are looking for

First and foremost, to ensure you find a job that satisfies you, you need to do a bit of introspection and understand what exactly you want to achieve from it. For example:

  • Are you wanting a change of career/industry or just a different position?
  • What interests you?
  • What skills and experience do you have to offer?
  • Would you be willing to re-train or go back to study to get the position you want?
  • How much responsibility are you willing to take on?

 

  1. Find a job which you will find rewarding, even when times are not so rosy

We spend a substantial portion of our life at work, a third of our lives to be exact. It is therefore important that you find your job enjoyable and rewarding.

However, chances are you will never love every aspect of your work – whether it’s the admin side of the job, the long hours or the people you work with. People who tend to focus on those negative areas rather than being grateful for the positives are more likely to feel depressed and discouraged. It is important you find a role that is professionally and personally rewarding, but it’s also important to remember to focus on the areas you like and not just those you don’t.

 

  1. Find a job that adds balance to your life

Your job and career are an important part of your life, they give you a sense of purpose and money to pay your bills and do things you enjoy. However, when looking for a new job it is important to consider the balance between work and play. For example, if you are currently very overwhelmed and stressed in your workplace, think about looking for a job with less responsibility, or flexible hours. Although this may result in a pay cut, it will improve your overall work-life balance.

 

  1. Find a job that offers the opportunity to learn and grow

A study by Quantum Workplace showed employees listed growth opportunity as one of their highest drivers of engagement. This could take the form of:

  1. Financial growth – increased income related to performance, or promotional opportunities
  2. Career growth – moving up the ranks in the organization, more significant duties, increased job titles
  3. Professional knowledge growth – ensuring you can increase your knowledge in your field

If these are important to you, when applying for a job remember to ask what the opportunities are for progression and training.

 

  1. Does the company culture fit your personality?

Company culture defines the environment in which employees work; some companies have a relaxed team-based culture, and some a strict corporate management style.

It is important to do your research about a company’s culture when job searching. This can be done by looking on sites such as Glassdoor for reviews.

You are much more likely to enjoy time in your workplace and have high job satisfaction if the company culture is one that you enjoy and can relate to.

 

  1. The company’s values align with yours

Many people these days favour a more meaningful career over the option of climbing the corporate ladder. To increase your job satisfaction, it is important that your personal values are in line with the company’s values. The best way to define this is to:

Step 1– Take time to identify your personal core values; what do you place importance on, what values do you dislike etc.

Step 2– Familiarize yourself with your organization’s values; what matters most to the firm, how do they treat employers, what area of the company do they invest most in.

Step 3– Create a plan; if there are certain attributes or values that are extremely important to you, ensure your workplace places importance on them too.

By following these steps, you will hopefully find a company with the same values as yourself, making life at work much more rewarding.

Many organizations start their recruitment process at this time of year, so it’s a great time to take stock and re-evaluate what you really want. By following our tips and advice, you can make sure you’re clear on what you want and be prepared to grab the opportunity when the right one comes around.

If you are aiming for a fresh start in your career in 2019 keep an eye on our job listings here . We can help you to kick-start your job search in the right way.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, General, Home Page, Homepage Candidates, News

Candidates

CK Science will help you successfully search and apply for jobs in science.

Find out more >

Posted in Homepage CandidatesTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,