Professional Development

Paths to Industry

douekJonathan Douek, PharmD

Company and Department: Amgen, Regulatory Promotion Compliance

Current Role: Senior Associate Reviewer

Alma Mater: Temple University, Class of 2017

I have heard countless times how important networking is, but I did not truly understand its value until it helped me land my first job in industry.

Like many student pharmacists, my interest in the pharmaceutical industry as an alternative to traditional pharmacist roles was strong, but my knowledge of what one can do in industry was lacking. Therefore, in my first year at Temple University School of Pharmacy, I co-founded our chapter of IPhO. This was in an effort to increase my classmates, and my own, understanding of the avenues that were available to us in industry upon graduation. We gained valuable insight from each speaker that came in, and we learned some of the nuances of each position, from regulatory to medical affairs, to marketing and much more.

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I put on my jacket and immediately my shoulders went back and I stood up straight.

I think I need to practice in my suit. I feel more “on” when I do.

These comments, from participants in a recent class on presentation skills, demonstrate that your clothing choices can help you to project confidence and to come across as a credible person – one your audience wants to listen to. Yet attire is one of those little things that presenters often don’t think about, or plan.

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Fellows Feature

IMG_5699Featured Fellow: Keely Dahl, PharmD

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Novo Nordisk

Function/Discipline: Medical Affairs and Strategy

Fellowship Years: 2016-2017

Alma Mater: University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Pharma has a funny way of drawing people in, including those who did not necessarily ever intend to move in that direction. One of the best traits a PharmD student/grad can acquire is to always, even if you know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life, always bring an inquisitive mindset to every encounter and be bold by initiating conversation, whether it is with a CEO or a junior level person. You never know where it might lead, and for me, it led me to completely redirecting my career.

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Fellows Feature

ABowling (2)Featured Fellow: Alyssa Bowling, PharmD

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals

Function/Discipline: Medical Information/Medical Affairs

Fellowship Years: 2016-2018

PharmD Alma Mater: University of Michigan, Class of 2016

I’ve always had a passion for the mind - a passion to understand the intricacies of its neuronal pathways, of how these pathways shape our movements and our thoughts, and of the inevitable irregularities in functioning that can so greatly impact an individual’s life. As an undergraduate, the more I learned about the disorders that so often plague the mind, the more curious I became. I discovered what many healthcare professionals, including my pharmacy colleagues, know today: fundamentally new treatments for psychiatric conditions have not been discovered in the recent past, and existing treatments are not always effective. After uncovering this disheartening fact, I knew that I wanted to contribute to the advancement of treatment options for those with mental illness.

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Paths to Industry

Hyun Ik Kim, PharmD

Author: Hyun Ik Kim, PharmD

Company and Department: Taro Pharmaceuticals, Clinical Research

Current Role: Manager, Clinical Research

Alma Mater: Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University 2013

If you are interested in entering the pharmaceutical industry, you may want to consider contract employment. I never imagined I would contract my way to a career in industry.

In the winter of 2012, during my last year of pharmacy school, I arrived at the Midyear meeting in Las Vegas, full of youthful optimism and hope for one goal: a fellowship. As an intern at an agency that provided medical writing services for pharmaceutical companies, I felt industry was the natural progression to pursue my interest in researching and applying scientific information to understand and develop drugs. However, despite great effort, my aspirations at the Midyear Clinical Meeting did not come to fruition.

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IPhO Announces Registration Open for the Comprehensive Industry Certificate Course: Commercialization of Pharmaceuticals From A to Z and the Role of Industry Pharmacists.

Learn more and/or register today:

To meet the growing demand in preparing student pharmacists, recent graduates, and young professionals interested in an industry career, IPhO is continuing to offer an Industry Certificate Course. If you don’t have access to an industry elective at your school or are a recent graduate or younger professional interested in transitioning to an industry career, including applying for industry fellowships or full time roles, then this certificate course is for you!

After a very successful first year in 2016 and high interest from many student pharmacists, recent graduates, and younger professionals from all regions of the country, IPhO has expanded and enhanced the program for the summer of 2017!

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Fellows Feature

AGabarda_PortraitFeatured Fellow: Arielle Gabarda, PharmD

Fellowship Sponsor Company: ECIR Medical Communications

Function/Discipline: Medical Strategy & Communications

Fellowship Years: 2016-2017

Alma Mater: University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My interests to provide patient care on a global scale formed during my first year in pharmacy school. I discovered my passion for population-based healthcare through my local and national involvement in AMCP, including the P&T Competition. Drawn to exciting nontraditional pharmacy routes, I became eager to explore unique ways that pharmacists provide value in the healthcare system and had the privilege of completing a rotation at the FDA. This experience allowed me to interact with policy leaders, introduced me to policy on clinical trial design, sharpened my holistic view of drug evaluation, and ultimately led to my decision to pursue a challenging and rewarding career in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Fellows Feature

Andong Nkobena
Featured Fellow: Andong Nkobena, PharmD

Fellowship Sponsor Company: MedImmune/AstraZeneca

Function/Discipline: Clinical Development

Fellowship Years: 2016-2018

Alma Mater: University of Maryland, Class of 2016

As the middle child and daughter of a career diplomat who has five children, born and raised in Cameroon, Switzerland, China, Saudi Arabia and France, I am always eager to explore opportunities, discover new things and distinguish myself.

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Paths to Industry


Rajvir Amin, PharmD

Company and Department: Janssen, Medical Communications/Medical Affairs

Current Role: Medical Communication Specialist/Medical Writer: Hematology-Oncology

Alma Mater: Long Island University, Class of 2016

In recent times, career choices for pharmacists have evolved significantly. There are now many different areas in the healthcare system that pharmacists can work in. However, most students are not exposed to all the available opportunities during pharmacy school. After very detailed research on all types of different roles pharmacists can hold in the pharmaceutical industry, I knew that is where I wanted to pursue my career. To gain more exposure, I joined an organization related to pharmaceutical industry at my school. This organization helped me understand the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist working in the industry. I later became a vice president of the organization, which allowed me to develop my leadership skills and use my knowledge to educate other students about industry career opportunities.

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Fellows Feature

IMG_6984Featured Fellow: Saba Emami, PharmD

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Merck

Function/Discipline: Clinical Development (Late-Stage) - Oncology

Fellowship Years: 2016-2018

Alma Mater: Temple University, Class of 2016

My passion to pursue pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry was the result of a very sad and life-changing experience. I was volunteering in a small town in Iran called “Bam” after a large earthquake struck the city. Many were left without adequate medical assistance, while facing a shortage of medical supplies and medications. I was studying Engineering at the time and never thought I’d change gears, but I did!

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