Imagine you spend 4 years graduating in your B.Sc, another 2 years in your Master and you decide to go an extra mile and you join a 4 years PhD program.
After 10 years of hard work, sweat and stress you think you will have glamorous entry in the market and what happened? You can’t find the job that is the right fit for you. Here 5 hints to avoid this:
1. Decide since the beginning the roadmap to follow
The earlier you define your roadmap, the better prepared you are. Start with a broad brainstorming and narrow the options with the time. Ask yourself fundamental questions based on your key skills and aptitude: are you more a technical and detailed oriented person? Or more communicative who enjoys inter-personal relationships? Do you see yourself working with R&D, operations or business development? Once you have defined a broad overview of your roadmap you can start ‘experimenting’ which path to follow.
2. Focus on skill-based learning
Current educational models are overweighed focus on academic learning and generation of knowledge instead of skills needed for your industry career. You need to start focusing on your developing skills where most life science students tend to struggle. As example, student associations and groups are great exposure to develop leadership and communication skills. You can also join non-profit organizations and become part of fund raising programs to develop further soft skills. Internships are also great way to knowledge. The main challenge the students face is balancing time between studies and extracurricular activities.
3. Expand your network with industry connections
At the beginning, most of the student will have their network within the academia. While this may have helped you in your student career you should work to expand your network within the industry. Talk to people within the industry whenever you get an opportunity; connect with them on LinkedIn and other networks. During my university time I met extremely smart people with incredible potential. However, many of them weren’t able to get the right industry placement due to the poor network connections. This articles presents the most recommended strategies to network within the industry: 5 Effective Networking Strategies in Life Sciences
4. Complement your education
If you or your family have funds to finance additional studies, an MBA is always a good option to shift your profile toward a more business oriented education. However, if you are not in the financial position to pay for an MBA, there are several inexpensive ways to complement your education. While I was doing my PhD, I took the chance to enroll to some marketing classes at the university I was at. The classes were free and all classes were in German so I could not only learn about marketing but also improve my German language skills. While some universities might charge you tuition fees for classes, there are always inexpensive seminars and plenty of free download materials in several learning platforms.
5. Stay updated
Modern world of business has picked up pace in terms of transition. Be it technology or the business process everything around you is slated to change in the next few years. You need to stay updated with the latest technological innovations in your field and the new opportunities that are emerging when you go for a job interview.
If you want to learn more how to transition to the pharma industry, feel free to access our free resources at Free Downloads