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Official: How to break into industry?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Sparda29, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Just creating a thread that hopefully can be stickied that would have information on how Average Joe, PharmD (only retail and hospital experience) can break into industry jobs.
     
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  3. giga

    Pharmacist U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    Depends on what you want to do in industry. But in general, there is nothing magical about getting a job in industry. As with most jobs, you have to have some combination of personality, connections, and skill/knowledge:
    1. You know people on the inside who like you enough to connect you with a job
    2. You train in a reputable residency or fellowship program and develop a desireable skillset that makes you an attractive job applicant
    3. You have the charisma and know-how to market yourself and build an effective professional network

    One specific pathway that seems fairly accessible to most retail pharmacists is becoming a project manager at FDA, and then trying to transition over to a project manager in industry. As long as youre willing to move to Silver Spring, MD and have the patience to deal with the fed government's job application process (requires lots of persistence and patience), a PharmD with hospital/retail experience only has a decent chance at successfully applying for PM jobs at FDA.
     
  4. spacecowgirl

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    Do you mean field based (MSL) or more like HQ jobs?
     
  5. DOOM N GLOOM

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    While we’re at it, I’d also appreciate some tips on how I, an average blue-collar citizen, can become a millionaire. Please help.
     
  6. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Just in general, jobs at pharmaceutical companies. Example: I went to Pfizer's job board and there are thousands of jobs but unless you're going to sit there and click on each single one, there is no way to know what you are actually qualified for. What is the usual starting job title for someone who only has a PharmD no-fellowship?
     
  7. JamesL1585

    JamesL1585 TheAntiSavior?
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    Serious proposition: Anyone interested in starting their own “industry" company? Shoot me a message!
     
  8. JamesL1585

    JamesL1585 TheAntiSavior?
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    Sales, unless you know someone, or had 1-3 residencies (from my prior knowledge) this could have changed.

    I did the whole fellowship route, at ASHP, what a crazy circus. Woke up at 4am to stand in line to be interviewed, was #5 in line even though I came at 4am. haha. It was intense, and fun though. I ended up making it to the final round for 2 companies, but didnt ultimately get the fellowship. I never wanted something so bad, that I didn't get, but boy, I'm happy I didn't get it! But, great route for any phamacy student to take who's interested, or some recent graduating pharmacist 1-3 years I believe.
     
  9. Jbrl

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    The typical roles for PharmD no fellowship are Medical Information or Drug Safety/Pharmacovigilance, usually at Manager or a step below (e.g. Sr Specialist).
     
  10. samven582

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    Been trying for 3 years and no luck. I recently had a conversation with a manager with GADIS who said I was unqualified. Most pharmacists I see on LinkedIn who work at the FDA have done a rotation there or PGY-1 residency
     
  11. giga

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    Yes, there are many pharmacist jobs in FDA where they wont look at you if you dont have residency training or extensive clinical experience under your belt, but those are mostly reviewer-type jobs, and doens't apply to project manager jobs. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 5 PharmDs who work as project managers who were hired as new grads or from retail pharmacy.
     
  12. DOOM N GLOOM

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    This right here is a good example why folks should not be so short-sighted in school to not do a residency or fellowship afterwards— it’s almost a no brainer as a necessary credential these days.

    Please stop using excuses like “I don’t learn anything that I can’t already do from my schooling” or “residency is a scam” (the concept is, but the credential isn’t) and just do a residency/fellowship so you don’t find yourself in a pickle. The ship has sailed for most that are already out in practice... but if you’re still in school you can still turn the course...
     
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  13. giga

    Pharmacist U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    I will say that if you are applying just by submitting apps to usajobs.gov and not through a special hiring initiative, and you dont have any good connections with someone who already works at FDA, it will be more of a challenge to land any job, PM or otherwise.
     
  14. spacecowgirl

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    For someone new to industry, probably looking at MSL. But these jobs aren't new grad, no experience jobs. As giga said, there are a few pathways and all of them have to do with experience which thus brings you a network. I know there is occasional debate on here about whether pharmacy is a small world or not; I am on the side that it is a very small world. My network, coupled with the fact that I'm resourceful and curious has brought me the unicorn positions I have had. I'm an introvert and not particularly good at schmoozing or small talk but I network like crazy and it has paid off. And don't forget connecting people with other people that have mutual interests (that might be outside of mine) - that is part of networking. If I lost my job tomorrow, I can think of at least 2 jobs I could have thanks to my network.
     
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  15. samven582

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    MSL? I doubt it. You need to be an expert in a specific therapeutic area to get one of those jobs.
     
  16. spacecowgirl

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    I'm an MSL.
     
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  17. Klueril

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    You are an MSL but also introverted? How does that work? I thought MSLs have to be somewhat social when presenting/ talking to providers/ presentations/ ect?
     
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  18. bacillus1

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    I know a guy who is an MSL now and does not have residency/fellowship. He started with retail, then took a big pay cut for a bit to work for a pharm marketing company. Then he worked for a hospice consulting company, followed by a position with a company that contracts for industry, then a PBM. The sum of these experiences (and switching jobs every year or so) qualified him for an industry job.
     
  19. croquemonsieur

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    Either do a fellowship or...make friends with people who did fellowships/have the job you want. I know two new grads who were hired as MSLs. They didn't have specialized knowledge about anything and they hadn't worked a day as a pharmacist in their lives--what they did have were friends who got them jobs.

    And being blonde seems to help
     
    #18 croquemonsieur, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  20. DOOM N GLOOM

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    If she’s introverted then she’s probably really hot.
     
  21. samven582

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    Interesting, because I had applied for a regulatory health project manager position this past spring with hospital experience and got an instant rejection. I think it's my CV
     
    #20 samven582, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  22. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    That's not how introvert/extrovert works.

    I'm an introvert. At work I have no problem talking to people but I don't find it enjoying to talk to them. The more people I talk to, the more I feel drained of energy by the end of the day. I'd rather verify 500 scripts and talk to no one than verify no scripts and talk to 500 people. I "recharge" via isolation.

    The only time I enjoy talking to people is when talking to women who I'm interested in.


    Extroverts on the other hand, they love talking to people, more than that they NEED it. Being alone bothers them.
     
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  23. samven582

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    Yea I really regret not aiming for a fellowship/residency while in school. Residency may be possible but a Pharma fellowship may be out of reach for me at this point.
     
  24. giga

    Pharmacist U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    There really are a lot of unknowns - could be they just had a lot of qualified applicants with veterans preference apply to the position. It could also be something is amiss with your CV and/or how you answer the assessment questionnaires (I'm assuming you applied via usajobs.gov).

    ETA:
    It might be worth checking out some of the resources FDA has on the hiring process if you haven't already: Jobs and Training at FDA
     
    #23 giga, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  25. spacecowgirl

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    I'm not blonde. Very few people on my team are.

    This part is def true.

    Exactly this (wow, I'm agreeing with Sparda). I'm outgoing, very comfortable presenting, networking... Feedback is that I'm in fact pretty good at it. But it exhausts the hell out of me. Give me wine and a book over going to a party, or God forbid a crowded place like a concert, any day of the week.
     
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  26. spacecowgirl

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    Back to the original question, transferable skills are huge. Some people have post grad experience, board certification, some don't. I don't know that there is a magic formula but business acumen, problem solving, good people skills, networking skills, independence and transferable skills seem to be common amongst the MSLs I know.
     
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  27. DOOM N GLOOM

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    One key transferrable skill you missed is looks, because sex sells. A doc will still be more willing to listen/excuse a young, hot chick who doesn’t know what she is talking about than someone average to below-average looking.

    Whether people explicitly say it or not, this is what fellowship programs are looking for too... candidates with a certain kind of image (in the way they look, dress, etc.).
     
  28. Sabril

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    Can you share some of your tips in networking? Do you have special networking events that you have access to because of your job? Are there certain kinds of meetings that are more productive than others? Thanks. I don't think there are a lot of networking opportunities for people with just retail backgrounds but I'm probably wrong.
     
  29. Klueril

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    What was your path after school?
     
  30. samven582

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    without a fellowship? That's rare
     
  31. spacecowgirl

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    I'm not a troll, but I'm certainly no beauty. Sales is a different world than medical, although most of the salespeople I see are average folks.

    I'm not active in organizations but I attend meetings and talk to the same people and am involved with several COPs. I did a ton of projects that were outside my job description but involved a lot of collaboration across departments, across facilities, etc. And as I mentioned connect people with other people - then they will do the same for you. My memory is pretty crappy but I try to remember who is working on what, where and when I hear about a similar concept, I connect those people.
    PGY1, then into a clinical role. Not an "everyone is clinical" role (not saying that isn't true, but I was definitely considered clinical), board certified. Very much a self-starter, which you need in this role because it is highly independent.
    On my team, I think there are 2 who completed a fellowship. Most have a residency, but not all. there are skills sets but there is also luck. And once you get in, you get recruited constantly. But it's not a job for everyone - there are sacrifices to be sure.
     
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  32. Rouelle

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  33. Jbrl

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    How often do you see young MSLs without fellowships or residencies? It seems to be the norm instead of the exception nowadays.

    Just my 2c, but if you don’t have the opportunities that spacecowgirl does (which is still possible but more of a long game for you at this point), you can try a few methods:

    Social media: LinkedIn, MSL Reddit, etc
    Orgs: DIA, etc
    Proximity: NJ, MA, CA, NC, IL

    For example I’ve had a couple people message me on LinkedIn about my job and I was happy to pay back the favor that was afforded to me back when I was looking to branch out.

    Just start and learn as you go.
     
    #32 Jbrl, Sep 13, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  34. wazoodog

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    I would have to say the majority of pharmacists I see in the industry got in without a fellowship or residency. With newer incoming pharmacists that is slowly changing (more that did industry fellowships), but we still see PharmDs get industry jobs with only an industry rotation under their belt. Aside from the said networking and personality fit, other factors that greatly increase your chances are location (industry hotbeds) and willingness to take a 6 month to 1 year contract position. A lot of retail pharmacists face a tough decision if they get an offer for an industry job that's 1 year contract because they're worried about the uncertainty after the contract is over. Frankly, the difference between a 1 year contract experience (or even 6 months) versus having no experience is night and day in terms of getting an industry job. A 1 year contract experience is a legitimate foot in the door, and I would say the chances of landing your next industry job is way easier than going from floater to full-time store at CVS.
     
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  35. samven582

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    what a depressing thread
     
  36. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt
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    If anybody can make this transition, I have faith that it will be you, Sparda. You have an uncanny ability to job-hop in one of the most saturated cities in the country.
     
  37. Sabril

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    If what he posted earlier was true, he insulted his boss straight up and is still breathing and kicking. If that is not invincibility, I don't know what is. Some guys are just born to survive and thrive.
     
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  38. CynicalIntern

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    This is quite possibly the most insulting, internet neckbeard thing I've ever read on these forums - and I graduated with SHC.
     
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  39. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    I'd rather be debt free and have a job as a travelling bartender though.
     
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  40. msweph

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    What does a project manager do?
    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  41. giga

    Pharmacist U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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