Paths to Industry

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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