When I started applying to pharmaceutical industry internships, it was like shooting darts in the dark. Knowing how difficult it was to obtain an internship, I attempted to present my best self in my applications by having my school's career center look over my resume and letters of intent. I also applied to internships as soon as I found them.
I faced many rejections before I received even one email to request an interview, and then even more rejections after the interviews I did get. I accepted any interview I could because I knew that any experience was valuable, especially when I was just starting out. In my personal experience, either a recruiter reached out for a preliminary phone call to discuss my resume and get to know me a bit before setting up an interview with the hiring manager, or the hiring manager contacted me directly. The number of interviews for each company varied from one to three.
What I learned from my time interviewing was the importance of practicing the STAR technique (describing the situation, task, action, result), becoming acquainted with your resume, and feeling comfortable talking about the attributes you have that make you the best candidate for the position you're applying for.
After what seemed like a lifetime, I was able to obtain my first internship at Novartis. It was exciting to witness the industry setting firsthand and learn how functional fields are applied in the real-world and how they all work together.
I was able to network with fellows and professionals, as well as gain experience in clinical development. The projects I completed and my responsibilities during my internship contributed to my professional growth and have benefitted me in my current endeavors. I hope to continuously learn from the mentors that shared their expertise with me during my time with Novartis.
Authored by Mursal Noory, PharmD Candidate, St. John's University, Class of 2020