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.