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Developing an Industry CV to Optimize your
Experiences for Employers
May 3, 2020

IPhO is hosting two national live online seminars during the month of May entitled,

Developing an Industry CV to Optimize your Experiences for Employers. Join Jerry Silverman, Senior VP Professional Development and Coaching, for this complimentary opportunity to learn about the methods he has utilized to conduct over 400 one-one-one coaching sessions during the past 6 years. Each of two seminars will be 90 minutes to allow for ample Q and A. See registration infomation below.

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Irina Katz, PharmD
April 28, 2020


Fellowship Sponsor Company: IPhO / BioNJ

Function/Discipline: Rotational: Business Development, Medical Affairs, Clinical Operations, Regulatory Affairs, Marketing

Fellowship Years: 2018—2020

Alma Mater: University of the Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Class of 2018

I went to pharmacy school to become a clinical oncology pharmacist so I could help those who needed it most—specifically, people without current treatment options. Fortunately for me, my school offered many round table events for students to get acquainted with a variety of different positions available to pharmacists. I was consistently drawn to the “industry” tables and found myself fascinated with everything industry had to offer someone like me. Not only did I learn that industry provides an opportunity to work on delivering medication to those in need, but I also learned that I wouldn’t have to limit my versatility to be able to get the job done.

I desired a career that would accommodate my two conflicting interests—creativity and concrete facts—making it a challenge to find a place where I belonged. It didn’t take long for me to realize that as a pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry I could appease both sides of my character: I could contribute creative ideas in order to market a company’s medication, but also be able to back it up with the science involved, honing in on safety and efficacy. Working in industry means that no single day is the same as the last. The possibility of constant change and challenges coupled with the ability to better the lives of many by contributing to a team that is bringing new medications to the market is truly captivating to me.

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Thank You to Our 2019-2020 Student Officers!
April 24, 2020

The 2019-20 term has been incredibly productive and exciting for our IPhO National Student Officers (NSOs) and Regional Student Officers (RSOs). We want to take a moment to thank them for their numerous accomplishments. Notably, during their tenure, the number of IPhO student chapters grew to 85! These leaders worked tirelessly to ensure that all IPhO student pharmacists were well informed about the resources and tools available to them and expertly navigated challenging remote circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during the spring semester.

During the 2019-20 term, IPhO NSOs and RSOs:

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IPhO Student Chapter Network grows by two!
April 23, 2020

Chapter Map

IPhO is pleased to announce the addition of two new student chapters to our growing national network!

Congratulations to student pharmacists at:

  • Western University
  • University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM)

IPhO now connects them to a national network of nearly 85 chapters and more than 5,000 student pharmacists with similar interests, as well as a national network of hundreds of industry fellows and thousands of industry pharmacists.

Several more schools are in the late stages of filing their chapter applications and will soon join the growing national network.

To start a chapter at your school, click here.

For the student benefits of joining IPhO, view the National Student Brochure here!

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Mahwish Khan, PharmD, RPh
April 19, 2020

Mahwish Khan

Company: Eisai Inc., Scientific Communications, EGNBU

Current Role: Medical Information Specialist

Alma Mater: Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy, Class of 2019

Since the beginning of pharmacy school, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career path far from the norm. I did not know what it was until I hosted my very first event on campus, which highlighted the unconventional roles of pharmacists. This event showcased careers in public health, managed care and pharmaceutical industry. I was utterly in awe of the accomplishments made by industry pharmacists and aspired to be a leader in this field someday.

Like many of my peers, I worked in the retail setting for the majority of my professional career. Although there were many aspects which I appreciated about this field; this was not how I wanted to utilize my degree. During my final year of pharmacy school, I began to do intensive research on specific departments within the pharmaceutical industry. I found that functions within medical affairs intrigued me the most.

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Mary Li, PharmD
April 19, 2020

Mary Li

Company: AstraZeneca

Current Role: Medical Scientist in Late Phase Immuno-Oncology

Alma Mater: University of Maryland Baltimore, Class of 2016

Four years ago, I was in your very shoes, approaching graduation and wondering what I was going to do with my life. For those of you reading this, I hope my story provides you with some inspiration, as I poured over these IPhO spotlights myself in those days of praying for a job in industry, and it truly gave me hope as to what I could achieve.

I was a late starter in my interest of industry. I thought industry was all intense research and benchwork in labs, working by myself, and as I was a people person, I thought it wouldn’t be a place for me. Then, as I attended AMCP roundtables hosted by my school and read over the Rutgers Fellowship Brochure, I was excited to find that there were many opportunities besides lab work in industry, and they sounded interesting and innovative.

I was lucky enough to get into an FDA rotation before Midyear and my school placed my Eli Lilly rotation afterward. Midyear, as many of you know, is a grueling process, and I completed 36 interviews in 4 days (which looking back, may have been a bit excessive). I waited and waited until late January, when I realized I wouldn’t get an onsite interview, as some of my friends had already received offers. I thought it was nearly impossible to get a job in industry without a fellowship, so I decided to try for a residency, thinking that additional clinical skills could only help me to get an industry job later. I ended up interviewing onsite at multiple hospitals, but ultimately didn’t match, the first or second time.

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VIP Case Competition:
Best Practices Seminar Series
April 15, 2020

Webinar Photo

Now in its 5th year, the annual VIP Case Competition has become a highly recognizable, signature IPhO program that provides participating chapters with an opportunity to develop a cohesive plan to bring a theoretical new molecular entity from ‘bench to bedside’.

Each and every year, chapter participation and submissions grow more competitive and knowledge of key industry functional areas for new product commercialization are critical for a competitive submission.

To support the continued success of this signature IPhO program, we are pleased to announce the launch of live online professional development seminars during April 2020, focusing on VIP Case Competition best practices from the 2019-20 award-winning chapters.

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Gina Kim, PharmD
April 14, 2020

Gina Kim

Company: Medpace

Current Role: Clinical Research Associate

Alma Mater: Regis University

My curiosity to explore and discover, as well as my desire to build knowledge, naturally drew me to industry. Prior to entering pharmacy school, I had worked in a research lab and gained experience as a pharmacy technician in the community retail setting. In pharmacy school, the integrated curriculum focused on Team-Based Learning at Regis was a good fit and allowed me to hone my teamwork skills by committing to my team’s success. In my first year, I had the wonderful opportunity to be a pharmacy intern at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

At the time, my career plans were focused on residency and becoming a clinical pharmacist. Eager to encounter new ideas, people and activities, I became a student leader in professional organizations, volunteered in community outreach programs, and took on extracurricular projects. My journey through pharmacy school was steady going, with the occasional setback and sacrifice that occur on one’s path to success. I learned a lot about myself through this experience including recognizing my resiliency and perseverance. By my fourth year in pharmacy school, I had grown ambivalent of my initial pursuit of residency. I was torn between what I thought I should do versus what I actually wanted to do.

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Phillip Litmanovich, PharmD, RPh
April 11, 2020

Phillip Litmanovich, PharmD, RPh

Company: Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Current Role: Medical Information Specialist, Global Medical Information

Alma Mater: MCPHS University, Boston

There is always more than one path to a goal. To those whose goal is working in the pharmaceutical industry, I would beckon you to first define what it is you would be passionate about doing. For myself, defining this was the first and most crucial step in beginning my path to a fulfilling career in industry.

Throughout my time in pharmacy school I did not put much thought into what career track would provide me with the type of job I found satisfying. Like many of my peers I began working as a pharmacist in the retail setting. Quickly realizing that for myself, this was not how I wanted to use my degree, I took time to investigate the different career opportunities for a pharmacist. I reached out to colleagues who worked in the industry in various roles, trying to understand what it is they did and whether I could see myself in a similar role. I found myself intrigued by the function that pharmacists had in medical information; a focus on understanding and educating others about therapeutic areas and medications, distilling down a wealth of information and using it to support physicians.

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Syed Zafar, PharmD
April 6, 2020

Syed Zafar

Company: Greenwich Biosciences

Current Role: Pharmacovigilance Scientist

Alma Mater: MCPHS University, Boston

If you focus on the finish line and reverse engineer the steps to get there, you'll be able to reach the end.

My interest in the pharmaceutical industry began during my first professional year of pharmacy school. It was at this point in my academic career that I started to learn about the opportunities for a pharmacist within the healthcare system. The concept of the pharmaceutical industry appealed to me for many reasons, but one of the main reasons was to have a global patient impact.

As I learned where I wanted to be after my education, I began to delve into more of the roles within the pharmaceutical industry. I joined organizations at my school, such as IPhO, to gain more insight. During my second professional year, I helped start the first chapter of ISPE (International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering) at my university. These opportunities not only provided me with immense knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry but helped me connect with like-minded individuals and respected industry professionals.

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Subhan Mian, PharmD
April 3, 2020

Subhan Mian

Company: Celgene

Current Role: Global Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Alma Mater: UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

The road to a career in research and development is as long and tough as it is rewarding. To be honest, I’d never pictured myself being able to get my foot in the door for a major company, but life had other plans—and my journey to a position at Celgene was very nontraditional. After my second year of pharmacy school I was selected to participate in a short-term contract position with the Small Business and Technology Development Center in Durham. The application was provided through the university and my resumé stood out, probably due to my involvement in extracurricular activities, more so than academics alone. Through this, I was matched to two start-up pharmaceutical companies, and served as an Associate Clinical Consultant. I realized that this was an opportunity to truly understand the research and development side of pharmaceuticals, and I immediately became immersed in FDA guidance, regulatory affairs, grant proposal writing, and giving presentations to key opinion leaders. I learned more about the regulatory and medical affairs side of drug development, and over time, better recognized the importance of pharmacists in the industry.

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Frank Son, PharmD
April 1, 2020

Frank Son

Company: VeganMed, Inc

Current Role: Medical Scientist

Alma Mater: University of the Pacific: Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Entering pharmacy school, I envisioned myself as a retail pharmacist impacting patients’ lives on the frontlines post-graduation. However, my curiosity for nontraditional pharmacist roles grew as I progressed through school and accumulated exposure to various aspects of healthcare where pharmacists played an integral role. Persistence in seeking out varying career paths ultimately led me to discover my passion for industry.

During my final years of pharmacy school, I sought out every opportunity to build my industry-relevant skills. I engaged in a startup environment as a Clinical Research Associate with a physician looking to develop his own nutraceutical, managed cardiovascular research trials as a Primary Investigator at the David Grant USAF Medical Center, and completed a medical affairs internship focused in multiple myeloma at Amgen with the Intercontinental Scientific Affairs team.

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Agency Life During COVID-19
March 31, 2020

Working from home as a marketing fellow at the agency RevHealth can be very challenging given the amount of collaboration necessary to design, develop, and gain approval for client medical and/or marketing materials. Whether it’s initial art concepts, copywriting, editorial, or account management; clear and direct communication among colleagues and clients is more essential than ever before during this stressful period in order to meet quality, timing, and financial expectations.

While live medical congresses and other prescriber live symposia have been postponed/cancelled, there has been an aggressive pivot toward the creation of virtual/digital media to engage with KOLs during the COVID-19 era. If there is one thing that life at an agency requires it’s being flexible to change and quickly adapt on the fly to support our clients’ needs. It’s during periods of significant change that an agency has the opportunity to separate itself from the competition! These days, there are plenty of opportunities to “rise to the occasion”!

Adam E Headshot

Adam Elessawi, PharmD
RevHealth, Second-year Marketing Fellow
IPhO Fellowship Program
National Fellows Council
Professional Programming Committee

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Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy Joins IPhO National Network!
March 30, 2020

Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy

IPhO is pleased to announce the addition of another new student chapter to our growing national network!

Congratulations to student pharmacists at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy. IPhO now connects them to a national network of 81 chapters and more than 4,000 student pharmacists with similar interests, as well as a national network of hundreds of industry fellows and thousands of industry pharmacists.

Several more schools are in the late stages of filing their chapter applications and will soon join the growing national network.

To start a chapter at your school, click here.

For the student benefits of joining IPhO, view the National Student Brochure here!

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Nicholas Gast, PharmD
March 30, 2020

Nick Gast Headshot

Company: ApotheCom

Current Role: Senior Medical Writer

Alma Mater: Northeastern University

Do I want to wear a suit or a white coat, maybe both? Going into pharmacy school I had a strong inclination of pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry. I was working as a pharmacy technician at a retail chain when I applied to pharmacy school and knew I wanted to explore different roles. However, at the time I really did not know how pharmacists could get involved in the industry. I am originally from the Boston area so after being accepted to Northeastern University I decided it would be a good idea to stick around this booming biotech area.

During my time at Northeastern University I took advantage of being involved in the IPhO organization as much as possible. The organization through partnerships with MCPHS was able to host presentations from several pharmacists in various roles throughout the industry. The value of networking and interacting with industry pharmacists while you are in pharmacy school cannot be understated! Hearing from those involved in the industry first-hand gave me major insight into the types of roles I wanted to pursue.

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Romy Bury, PharmD, MBA
March 25, 2020

Romy Bury Headshot

Company: Bristol Myers Squibb, US Commercial

Current Role: Project Manager

Alma Mater: Rutgers University, Class of 2010

In all honesty, I didn’t picture myself working in industry and my journey to BMS was a little non-traditional. I started working at Walgreens during my first year in pharmacy school and absolutely loved retail. Retail can be tough, but patient interaction was incredibly important to me.

I continued to work for Walgreens after graduation and soon became a Pharmacy Manager. I got the chance to work on various special projects such as leading Immunization CEs and working on the recruiting team, but after 12 years in retail, I knew I was ready for a new challenge. I started looking into getting an MBA with the intention of moving up the ranks at Walgreens or finding a job on their corporate team. Life had a different plan.

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Congratulations to the 2019-2020 IPhO VIP Case Competition Award Winners!
March 17, 2020

Congratulations to the winners of the 4th Annual Value of Industry Pharmacists (VIP) Case Competition. This year, 59 IPhO student chapters registered to participate in the competition—the most impressive turnout to-date!

The annual IPhO VIP Case Competition enables students to delve into multiple disciplines within the pharmaceutical industry as they develop their hypothetical drug, including, but not limited to: Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, and Commercial Functions. Each phase of the drug's development lifecycle presents a unique challenge that encourages students to think strategically and apply both their clinical and pharmaceutical industry knowledge.

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Upcoming Regional Student Meetings Cancelled
March 16, 2020

Considering the rapidly changing guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) pandemic, the difficult decision was made to cancel the following two regional meetings. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we hope to see you at future IPhO events.

[CANCELLED] Southwest Regional Conference
April 4, 2020
The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
Austin, Texas
Please note that due to COVID-19 precautions, the Southwest Regional Conference has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

[CANCELLED] 5th Annual Midwest Region Industry Pharmacist Symposium
April 18, 2020
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
Please note that due to COVID-19 precautions, the Midwest Region Symposium has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

IPhO Regional Meetings Supported By:

RevHealth Transparent

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Why I Attended the National Student Meeting
March 12, 2020


Adam Hussain
Howard University College of Pharmacy
PharmD Candidate, Class of 2020

I obtained a fellowship in Global Regulatory Affairs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals with Northeastern University. My path to obtaining a fellowship started during my first year at Howard University. Howard University provided a unique opportunity for students to complete a Drug Development Certificate Course with Eli Lilly, which was my first introduction to the regulatory field.

Our IPhO advisor helped me obtain an internship at the United States Pharmacopeia, where I was able to work on a variety of projects related to drug regulations. Howard University also provided me the opportunity to complete an international research rotation in South Korea, as well as a Clinical Pharmacology rotation in San Francisco. These experiences pushed me to develop a plan to obtain a fellowship.

Attending the IPhO National Student Meeting (NSM) in 2019 was instrumental in my success. The sponsor exhibits and networking opportunities allowed me to really understand the roles of a fellow at their respective companies and confirmed my interest in Regulatory Affairs. My local chapter had previously provided me with resources to help prepare me for the fellowship application process, and attending the National Student Meeting prior to Midyear served to strengthen my application even further.

In addition to meeting with current fellows and employers at the NSM, I learned about the fellowship preparation IPhO offered members. I signed up for IPhO's Coaching Program, where I received one-on-one mentoring from an experienced professional, including CV review and interview practice. These programs helped me prepare effectively prior to PPS positions opening, and allowed me to be successful during ASHP Midyear.

Interested in attending the 2020 National Student Meeting? Register today!

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ACPHS Chapter Hosts Northeast Regional Meeting
March 8, 2020

Final Albany

The second-annual IPhO Northeast Regional meeting was held at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) in late February. Nearly 70 students from across the northeast attended, with significant representation from Long Island University, University of Buffalo, and ACPHS.

Meeting attendees had the opportunity to network with a number of industry professionals, key opinion leaders, and current fellows, among others. Jerry Silverman, SVP, Professional Development and Coaching for IPhO, kicked off the day by exciting the audience about the convergence of driving forces resulting in significant opportunities for students to enter industry.

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