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Interested in Pharmaceutical Fellowships?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy Residencies and Fellowships' started by BlueHens66, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. BlueHens66

    BlueHens66 Class of 2012

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    Hello,

    I am a P4 who was just accepted into a Medical Information Fellowship in the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program. I would like to make this thread for students considering an industry fellowship all the way from P1 year through Midyear/PPS interviewing and on-site interviewing. I know that there is a thread dedicated to industry fellowships, but I would like to give the view from a recently accepted student, who interviewed more than 20 times at PPS within and outside the Rutgers program and who had several on-site interviews.

    Please PM me your questions and I will post them here with answers. I am considering writing a survival guide pertaining to PPS and industry fellowships. I would like to see what questions students have in regards to the entire process. Please feel free to ask me anything.
  2. StreetFarmercy

    StreetFarmercy

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    Thanks for the thread; I recently interviewed at Midyear as well and have not heard anything back. Do you know if it is customary for the programs to contact you if you're not selected?

    Also, do you know if BMS has made their decisions yet?
  3. BlueHens66

    BlueHens66 Class of 2012

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    I was contacted by one company stating that they selected a candidate for the position. Another position that I applied for in the same company still has yet to decide. Hang in there. I can tell you that BMS has selected a few candidates based on information I have heard from others but they also have positions still open. Even if they select someone, that candidate can turn them down.
  4. CheerPharmD

    CheerPharmD

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    Have you heard anything about Novartis (marketing) or BMS med strat? I still haven't heard back for an on-site interview, but I was invited to both companies networking receptions.
  5. StreetFarmercy

    StreetFarmercy

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    Thanks for the info!

    Just curious, what kind of credentials (MBA, previous industry rotations/employment, etc) do you have?

    I would like to make myself more competitive in the future.
  6. StreetFarmercy

    StreetFarmercy

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    I'm waiting to hear from Novartis marketing as well. Frustrating to wait this long...
  7. CheerPharmD

    CheerPharmD

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    Did you interview for round 3 with preceptor at Novartis?

    She told me that they schedule in Jan and feb - hopefully nothing has been decided yet.
  8. StreetFarmercy

    StreetFarmercy

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    Yeah, round 3 here. Do you happen to know what percentage of applicants make it to round 3? I wonder if its a good majority or if it's a minority...
  9. CheerPharmD

    CheerPharmD

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    I have no idea! Would love to know. Any insight from any other applicants?
  10. BlueHens66

    BlueHens66 Class of 2012

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    I am not sure how many people make it to the 3rd round of interviews. I made it to almost every 3rd round for positions that I applied for but not everyone gave me an on-site interview.

    When you are invited for an on-site interview, you are a top 5 or top 4 candidate for the position. Some companies will decide to continue on-site interviews if they feel that none of their top candidates had strong interviews or because their top candidate chose another position.

    Many positions will be filled this week, as I know of three people who have accepted positions. I will not be going to BMS but I know that two of their positions have been filled, one in med info/med strat and another in strategic analytics.
  11. BlueHens66

    BlueHens66 Class of 2012

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    I have a 3.75 GPA with a couple leadership positions. I took an industry and drug info rotation and during a month off I worked for a medical writing company (which was a huge talking point at interviews). Also, I took an interviewing prep course at my school, which was a great experience. I know my letters of recommendation were very solid, as the preceptors and professor who wrote them got to know me very well.

    My advice to anyone who is interested in expanding their CV and experience for fellowship:
    1. Do an industry rotation and drug info rotation (if that's what you are going for)
    2. Have multiple UNIQUE experiences that not many candidates take advantage of (like my medical writing experience or an internship in the industry)
    3. Have at least 1 leadership position that you put a lot of effort into (don't just be a "jack of all trades" and have your hand in several organizations without doing anything substantial)
    4. Get interviewing experience!
  12. Argentium

    Argentium

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    From hearsay, rumors, general observations, etc. what positions were the most competitive?
  13. BlueHens66

    BlueHens66 Class of 2012

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    I know that BMS had over 500 applicants for 14 positions. A few of the smaller companies seemed pretty desperate to interview people. I would assume that most people were interviewing for Medical Information or Medical Affairs positions.
  14. IndustryPharmD

    IndustryPharmD Here to Help SDN Advisor

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    There were less than 300 people stopping by the entire Rutgers suite, so that's some interesting math going on there. Did they count each desperate soul who applied to 20-some programs again and again for each position, I wonder?

    I have no idea which positions are more competitive, since there are a lot of positions on the medical side, but that's where majority of people goes anyway. That's what pharmacy school teaches one to be, after all. However, I would say that the number of viable candidates is the same whether you are talking about medical information, regulatory, commercial or research. My experience and that of other people I have talked with, from different programs and companies - doesn't matter whether you have 10 people applying, 20 people or 45 people for each specific position - you only have five or six who are really pretty good or viable candidates, and the rest are just not that good. And I have never yet been in a recruitment situation, be it for a job, a fellowship, or other programs, where there was not a clear leader or two who stood out from the pack. Usually there is very little disagreement among the interviewers as far as who these top one or two people are, too.

    Though because everyone out of the same group of programs (i.e. commercial vs regulatory vs research vs medical/clinical) tends to like the same couple people, most of #3s and #4s will have a chance, just because the clear favorite can only take one position out of however many he/she will be offered.
  15. Argentium

    Argentium

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    As usual, thanks for the insight IndustryPharmD. Why I asked was because I imagined the number of qualified candidates for something like a drug or medical information fellowship would be far higher than a business development or marketing fellowship since the pharmacy curriculum and degree lends itself to drug info more so than the others I have mentioned. Care to throw in your two cents?

    Was also curious if pharmacy students had picked up on some of the new sexy things in industry like market access and HEOR.
  16. IndustryPharmD

    IndustryPharmD Here to Help SDN Advisor

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    I don't think so, having interviewed for both. Good candidates are those who have had a strong interest in their position for a while and have worked towards that end. Plus, it's not necessarily hard experiences, it is a different set of soft skills. When I interview candidates for different positions, I ask a different set and often a different type of questions because I am looking for a different personality and different way of looking at things.

    And the most important thing anyway is the personality fit. Most students get pretty much the same education. While during my first couple years as an interviewer I was dismayed by students' answering that no, their school did not teach that, I have since learned that a) I went to an exceptionally good school, b) some of those students just did not pay attention in class and c) if everything else is there, they can learn whatever they did not learn in school. Also, most of them will have really no relevant experience to speak of. Unlike most real jobs in industry, which tend to seek a specific set of skills, fellowships understand that these are just newly minted pharmacy school grads, they have no real experience. Even if they did three months worth of an internship or a couple rotations - it was only to get them a taste of what industry is like, it is not really an experience that would let them perform a job independently. Therefore, candidates' CVs are judged more from the point of how these reflect their personality. Most good candidates can be taught any job, it's just the matter of selecting the right person, who will learn fast, be pleasant to work with, and won't embarrass you.

    Plus, I can tell you from my personal experience extremes. There was one year when a commercial program had only 15 people express interest in it at Midyear. Two of them were awesome, four were OK, and the rest were not people you wouldn't hire unless you were absolutely desperate for anyone with a pulse. There was one year when a medical affairs program had almost 50 people express interest in it at Midyear. There were two clear front-runners, another five or six OK candidates, and the rest again were not worth hiring even if the top ones turned us down. So while one program had three times as many interested applicants, it had only a couple people more who were worth bringing on site. There is no linear relationship between number of applicants and number of good candidates, in my opinion. I guess it is harder for medical positions to hire people, since there are a lot more programs who could lure away your best candidates... since they probably interviewed the same people and made the same picks!

    I have no idea. I know that there are several managed markets and health outcomes fellowships being offered now, and a few years ago when I was putting a list together after starting on this forum, there were only two, I think. One with Rutgers and one with Thomas Jefferson... Though I remember there was one year when a friend of mine who used to precept at one of these programs told me they decided not to get a fellow that year after they had no suitable candidates. That has happened occasionally in my memory, but not very often, that the program would decide they had no good candidates at all, and would skip a year.
  17. BlueHens66

    BlueHens66 Class of 2012

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    I believe they counted the number of interviews so there was probably a lot of overlap.

    There were only 300 people interviewing? It seemed like a lot more.
  18. Argentium

    Argentium

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    Very interesting - thanks for sharing your personal experiences and perspectives. I am still a while away from applying to fellowships, but I do enjoy seeing what kind of applicants they accept. For example, I noticed for the past two years the Roche business development fellowship accepted 2/3 people who have done a global product strategy internship at Daiichi ... interesting!
  19. IndustryPharmD

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    It always feels like competition is greater than it really is. It's human. But actual number of applicants in proportion to the number of graduating pharmacy students is quite a bit less than it was when I graduated (while pharmacy schools have mushroomed, there was a smaller increase in the number of fellowship seekers). I guess, all the stories about pharma laying people off and all the other stuff really did make us less attractive. :D As far as the number of fellowship positions, I think it has grown slightly (though some big programs went off the map, others have been started in the last few years, but I have not kept a close eye on this particular issue) but probably in proportion to the rise in the number of applicants.
  20. IndustryPharmD

    IndustryPharmD Here to Help SDN Advisor

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    That I have no idea about... I would even be hard pressed to find common traits among my most highly rated candidates! Other than the fact that they actually answered what I was asking rather than giving me a rehearsed answer to a question they thought I had asked! :D

    The most disappointing thing for me as an interviewer is when I ask a question and I get the "professor, you did not tell us it will be on the exam!" expression. :laugh: Followed by some BS that may or may not relate to the question asked, but is something the applicant has studied.

    One would think, drug information class and/or rotation (aren't drug info rotations mandatory?) would have taught them to clarify questions if they don't quite understand what is being asked, rather than plunge into giving a canned response, like a bad tech support rep.

    This interviewing season, less than half the people brought on site (and these are already the better ones of the bunch) have been able to really answer questions thoughtfully. That made me sad.
  21. jerzafgn

    jerzafgn

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    Thank you for the great information.

    Hi I'm a P3 looking into a fellowship.

    Can you provide information regarding the jobs a fellow can obtain after completing the fellowship and how that differs from your typical applicant without a fellowship. For example, are fellows placed in a fast track position towards management? Do they have a better chance of getting certain positions because of their fellowship?

    Also can you provide any insight as far as salaries are concerned post fellowship?
  22. Argentium

    Argentium

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    Positions Post-Fellowship: http://pharmafellows.rutgers.edu/about/outcomes.php

    Pay: 80-120,000+ all in compensation (depending on line function, job title @ completion, meeting performance targets, location .. etc)
  23. crazypharma

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    Very insightful and helpful!!! thanks for posting.
    although I am completely unaware of any process yet. can anyone help me and post a link or something, like which year of pharmacy school I can start applying for fellowship, how many years it is.
    To be specific I am foreign Pharmacist going to Nova in fall for accelerated program I assume they will put me in 2nd or 3rd year. I am finishing MS in NJ right now and from last one year working in resaerch in school, I worked in QC/QA for 1 year. I want to go in reaesrch after getting PharmD. are there any fellowships for research.
  24. patmcd

    patmcd Senior Member

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    Yes. There are fellowships for pharmacists that focus on bench top research (primarily through pharmacy schools) or working on clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry.
  25. crazypharma

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    Thanks. is there any sites that gives info about it?
  26. patmcd

    patmcd Senior Member

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  27. crazypharma

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  28. AMS00

    AMS00

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    Thank you for all the input thus far! This thread has been really insightful - particularly because I attend a very clinically focused (vs. industry) pharmacy school. I'm enrolled in the PharmD/Translational Science PhD program and would like to work in a pharmaceutical company, but am worried that my PhD almost pigeon holes me into a position where I'm writing papers, etc. which is NOT what I want to do - I want to move up in the company, manage projects, work as a liason etc. - from your experience in industry, what is the place of a PharmD/PhD? Does it help you move up and stand apart or is it almost keeping you stuck in the lab?
  29. IndustryPharmD

    IndustryPharmD Here to Help SDN Advisor

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    Nothing can keep you in a lab unless you want to be in the lab. Or literally have no transferable skills (in which case you are highly unlikely to obtain even the lab job). On the other hand, having a PhD makes it easier to succeed in the lab, if that is what you want.
  30. tungsten87

    tungsten87

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    Does anyone here have any knowledge regarding the Drug Development or PD/PK fellowships at UNC/industry?

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