Fellow Feature

Jacob Tebbe, PharmD

August 18, 2019

Jacob Tebbe Fellowship Picture

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Novartis/Rutgers

Function/Discipline: Commercial Launch Excellence

Fellowship Years: 2019—2021

Alma Mater: Purdue University, Class of 2019

I originally chose to pursue my PharmD because of the versatility of the degree. The training in the science and practice of pharmacy prepares you for many different career paths, as I still had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished pharmacy school. I discovered the industry career path through my local IPhO chapter and several students and alumni who had raved about this non-traditional pharmacy path. The beauty of industry is that you still don’t have to decide what you “want to be when you grow up,” because there is so much flexibility in job functions across the industry. Regardless of the career path you choose, the PharmD background provides the framework and base knowledge to succeed in any functional area.

For me, I chose to pursue a fellowship in commercial because of the unique opportunity to utilize both my creative skills and pharmacy knowledge. In order to successfully market a drug, a deep therapeutic understanding of the disease, doctors, and patients is vitally important, and this is where a PharmD can excel. I have a passion for advanced problem solving and strategic thinking and found that marketing roles help flex this skill with a fun, creative twist.

Specifically, in my current role, I am working on products in phase II/III development across therapeutic areas in a new department at Novartis titled Launch Excellence. I am responsible for developing the commercial strategy and activities prior to drug approval to ensure the drug is successful at launch. The unique structure of this new department allows for teams to move with the drug as opposed to the drug moving to different commercial teams as it moves to different phases of development. This would potentially allow me to work on a product from phase III strategy onward to post-approval marketing and gain a wealth of different experiences within the commercial realm.

Overall, the great part about industry is that you don’t have to know exactly what you want to do. I work on something different every day and the career path opportunities following my fellowship are endless. If you are like me and enjoy the challenge of variety and new opportunities, seek out this aspect in your potential future fellowship. I was specifically looking for ambiguity and the ability to move around to work on a variety of projects and I feel that I found this in my current fellowship. Know yourself and your passions, lean on your mentors for support, and the rest will fall into place. Pursuing a fellowship has already proven to be a rewarding professional experience and I’m excited to see what comes next.

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