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During the recent Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas, IPhO and its National Fellows Council hosted an exciting event for Fellows of all Fellowship Programs in the US to network, and to learn more about how to get a full time position post-fellowship. Moderated by IPhO Executive Director Jim Alexander, the program featured as series of roundtable discussions with successful fellowship alumni and other industry executives who shared their insights and guidance on how to pursue a full-time position within industry.
IPhO would like to thank Gilead Sciences for their support of the event. The following Gilead employees participated in the event:
- John O'Brien, Associate Manager, Associate Manager, Clinical Supply Management, Gilead Sciences, 2015 alumnus, Pfizer/MCPHS Fellowship
- Toni-Joy Burke, Associate Manager, Associate Manager, Clinical Supply Management, Gilead Sciences
- Winnie Young, Manager, Associate Manager, Clinical Supply Management, Gilead Sciences
The IPhO National Fellows Council would like to thank the following panelists for volunteering their time and sharing their key insights:
- Adrienne Aiello, Medical Communications Manager at Sanofi Genzyme, 2010 alumna, Bayer/Rutgers Fellowship
- Kevin Kerr, Manager, Clinical Development at Allergan, 2012 alumnus, Allergan/USC Fellowship
- Kimberly Lehman, Associate Director, Immuno-Oncology Medical Scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, 2014 alumna, BMS/Rutgers Fellowship
- Shane McGann, Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Agios Pharmaceuticals, 2015 alumnus, Genzyme/MCPHS Fellowship
- Alex Schepart, Senior Manager, Medical Affair, Pfizer Consumer, 2016 alumnus, Pfizer/Rutgers Fellowship
- Elvis Osei Tutu, Manager, Regulatory Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline, 2016 alumnus, GSK/UNC Fellowship
IPhO would also like to recognize and thank the MCPHS Fellowship Network (MFN) for sponsoring a networking event that followed the IPhO event.
We are also grateful to the following members of our National Fellows Council Professional Programming Committee for their outstanding efforts in organizing the event: Vatche Demirjian (Chair), Bridget Cloonan (Co-Chair), Ana Marija Djordjevic, Gedas Pliura, and Shiv Patel.
Stay tuned for more IPhO events in the near future!
Featured Fellow: Krystal Sing, PharmD
Fellowship Sponsor Company: Regeneron
Function/Discipline: Clinical Operations, Clinical Science, Regulatory Affairs
Fellowship Years: 2016-2018
Alma Mater: University of Michigan, Class of 2016
When I first stepped foot into pharmacy school, I did not realize that the pharmaceutical industry is a viable career option for pharmacists. Then, I completed a summer internship in Clinical Science at Takeda Pharmaceuticals after my P2 year. I owe much of my current success to my mentor at Takeda, who opened my eyes to the world of clinical research and helped me solidify my plans upon graduation. At Takeda, I connected with PharmDs across different departments and learned about their function and roles. What I learned is that there is no right or one linear way to go into the pharmaceutical industry.
Sonia Talwar, PharmD
Company and Department: The Medicines Company, Global Health Science Center
Current Role: Director, Global Health Science
Alma Mater: Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University 2009
The PharmD degree can lead to a variety of professional opportunities. While this can allow someone to be creative with their career, it can also be overwhelming as one approaches graduation. Before I had entered pharmacy school, I worked at a local pharmacy. While I enjoyed the patient interaction, I was also curious about the companies that developed the drugs used by patients. After entering pharmacy school, I earned different internships for companies such as Ranbaxy, Wyeth (now Pfizer), and Schering-Plough (now Merck) and networked with pharmacists in those companies to learn about their career paths and how they got there.
As I approached graduation, I knew that I would pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry. I attended Midyear and interviewed for an industry fellowship. While the program was very selective, I too was selective with who I would entrust my career with. I applied for two positions, but was unable to secure a fellowship. I stayed positive and knew that there were other ways of getting a position in the industry as demonstrated by other pharmacists that I had networked with. I used the extensive preparation for interviewing for Midyear and applied for positions, including contract positions. While contract positions ranged from 6 months to 2 years, I saw this as an opportunity to experience a position with the flexibility to potentially change my path (e.g. work in drug safety for six months, then maybe medical information for 6 months).
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