How to find something to say in an informational interview

Slate magazine has had a number of really interesting commentary about the pharmaceutical industry lately, which is the inspiration for today’s post. If you are looking for clinical research jobs, or other jobs in pharma, it’s important to follow news and commentary about the industry. General interest publications and the business section of the newspaper are one source; industry trade magazines are another. Being informed and aware of current trends and issues can be a huge advantage in a number of ways:
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Posted: March 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Informational interviews, Interviewing | No Comments »

Why careers in biotechnology are #1 for job satisfaction

A recent survey has ranked careers in biotechnology #1 for job satisfaction.

Careers in biotechnology ranked as the No. 1 happiest job in America, according to CareerBliss. “In biotech, the people that they work with, and more specifically the person that they work for, tends to rank higher in terms of importance, and employees are overwhelmingly happy with those conditions,” says Golledge. Biotechnology employees were also among the most happy with their daily tasks and the level of control they feel they have over that work. She adds that biotechnology is a growth industry, which makes growth opportunities in the field another key ingredient to its workers overall happiness.

Read the full story at Forbes.com here.


Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Tools for Success: Transitioning to Pharmaceutical Careers

This is an interesting article.  Whether you’re a physician, or a PhD, or just trying to make a transition into a clinical research career from another path, I think there is some interesting advice to take away.

Many physicians have successfully navigated their way from clinical practice to the pharmaceutical sector, serving in positions ranging from entry-level medical director to CEO. But others have stumbled while making the transition from clinical caregiver to leader in the corporate realm.

Most would agree that physicians are, by and large, smart people with good work habits. But the behaviors that are sought after and rewarded in clinical or academic environments are not exactly the same behaviors one looks for in the realm of drug development.

Transforming Clinicians into Industry Leaders – Pharmaceutical Executive.


Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Clinical research, Training | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

How to escape the job hunt black hole

The Wall Street Journal explains the “job hunt black hole”, wherein you submit a resume to an online posting or corporate website and never hear about it again.

The article explains that when you send in your information,  automated “Applicant Tracking Systems” (ATS) swallow and dissect your resume.  It will only be seen by a live human being if it matches with specific keywords and skill categories determined by the software. If you’re lucky, you’ll get an automated email reply telling you that you’re in the system.
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Posted: March 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

How to take transferable skills out of the lab and into a job

Science has a new article on their careers site about developing skills during your education that can transfer into a career outside of academia.  Communication, leadership, and management skills are highly valued in industry and public sector jobs but tend to get minimal attention during the average graduate or post-doctoral program.

“The quality that is hardest to find in the science policy world is the ability to write clearly and quickly,” says John Marburger, Washington, D.C.-based science adviser to President George W. Bush. “Communicating technical material in technical journals does not give you the skills to communicate to nontechnical audiences,” he says.

The article suggests some resources, such as the National Postdoctoral Association, that students and postdocs can turn to for help in understanding and developing these skillsets.  Some of the suggestions in the article will be familiar to readers of this blog — joining Toastmasters or relevant campus clubs, for example.  The suggestion to take charge of a lab responsibility, like radiation safety, as a way of demonstrating leadership is also a good one.

You may have noticed that there’s been a bit of a gap in posting lately.  I’ve actually just started a new job myself, so things might be a little uneven until I get settled.  Thanks for your patience!


Posted: March 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »