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Careers in pharma and biomed are poised for growth and innovation.
Growth and innovation in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry are helping people live fuller, longer lives, and this industry is showing no signs of slowing down, especially in the U.S.
For instance, the U.S. is the largest market for biopharmaceuticals, accounting for around a third of the global market, and is the world leader in biopharmaceutical research and development.
This growth and innovation will be driven by professionals across a wide array of career fields. Here four professionals working in various roles in this growth industry share their experiences and what makes their companies great places to work, and provide advice for career growth and success in a sector whose heartbeat remains strong.
Robinson Expands Mallinckrodt’s Story as the Company Evolves
While Brandi Robinson is new to Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, she isn’t new to the field. Robinson is Mallinckrodt’s senior vice president and chief communications officer, responsible for the global communications function at the company.
“I have 25 years of experience in internal and external stakeholder communications, reputation management, corporate brand management and public affairs,” says Robinson, who started with the company in May.
“On a daily basis I could be involved in anything from talking strategy with the CEO to writing and reviewing communications materials.”
Robinson started her career on the agency side of the public relations business, and was drawn to healthcare because she wanted a career where she could help people.
“It was important to me, both personally and professionally, to give back in my life and help educate diverse communities about health disparities,” she shares.
What drew her to Mallinckrodt was a strong sense that the company would allow her to create a voice for the company and tell the story of the positive impact the company can have on society.
“Being able to impact patients and their families each and every day is important to me,” she notes.
She adds that after having been at both big pharma and small biotech companies, “Mallinckrodt is the right size for me to be able to apply my skills and feel like I’m having a true impact on the lives of patients.”
Both the culture at Mallinckrodt - which has global headquarters in the U.K. and specialty brand headquarters in Bedminster, NJ and Hazelwood, MO - and the important work it’s doing make the company a desirable place to work.
The company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) via multiple avenues is another draw. The company was recently named as one of the Best Places to Work for LBGTQ Equality in 2019 by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. In addition, Mallinckrodt is committed to rare diseases and underserved patient populations.
“Mallinckrodt is a true rare disease company that invests in areas where others don’t, and that’s something we’re all very proud of,” points out Robinson.
To succeed in your career, Robinson shares advice she received herself: “Someone once told me not to sweat the small stuff - or the big stuff. If you approach any challenge one step at a time, then you can eventually make your way through it. Reminding myself that ‘you can’t eat an elephant all at once’ helps me to maintain perspective and focus.”
She also believes in staying true to your values and sticking to what you know is right.
Finding a mentor, formal or informal, is also critical, and can help you form a network and be a resource that can be invaluable as you grow in your career.
Finally, Robinson advises, don’t take failure as a failure.
“Think about what you learn from each and every experience, and find the positive in every interaction. There’s always one there; you just have to make sure you’re looking for it,” she elaborates.
Find career opportunities with Mallinckrodt at mallinckrodt.com/careers. Connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Moss Helps Create Comprehensive Solutions for Stryker’s Customers
Tristan Moss is motivated to help Stryker sales professionals better serve their customers.
“Our team is responsible for creating the contracting strategy for our business, which helps our sales professionals work with our customers more efficiently and effectively,” says Moss, the U.S. director of strategic sales for Stryker’s endoscopy division.
In addition to contracting, Moss’ team also works with counterparts from other Stryker divisions to create comprehensive solutions for customers.
“One of the most exciting parts of my role is to collaborate with our customers and create custom solutions for them. I really enjoy bringing people together and creating mutual goals for the group to accomplish,” Moss notes.
He adds: “I know the people I work with are all motivated to help our customers every day. We’re on a constant journey to make our teams more diverse and create an environment where those employees are comfortable being themselves. We want our people to be at their best and know they perform better when this happens.”
In fact, it’s the people and their commitment to performance that make Stryker a great place to work, he contends.
“Some of the best teams that I played on were filled with people that were all motivated to accomplish the goal. Regardless if the goal is winning a championship or working to create solutions for customers, special things happen when everyone is focused on it. Everyone at Stryker is committed and focused on earning our customers’ trust. We constantly challenge ourselves and each other to achieve more.”
Moss is also the president of the Stryker African-American Network at the company’s Kalamazoo, MI headquarters. It’s focused on making Stryker an inclusive environment and allowing talented employees to be their best at work.
With the company for 17 years, Moss shares that he wasn’t aware of the medical devices field while in college or while playing football after college. Instead it was a mentor that introduced him to the field and Stryker.
“I researched the company, [and] I got excited thinking I could work in a field that helped people and patients every day. When I heard how patients’ lives are impacted from our customers and products, I was motivated to want to help,” he remembers.
In addition to helping impact patients’ lives, Moss was attracted to Stryker for its performance-based culture: “If you work hard and perform, then you’ll be rewarded with opportunities for growth. That reminded me of the performance-based culture that exists in sports, and I wanted to be a part of something like that.”
To be successful in your career, Moss recommends identifying advocates and building a personal board of directors: “Your advocates are people that know you and want to help you succeed in your career. Your board of directors is a group of people that will challenge you, and help you grow as a person and in your professional career. They provide guidance and help make sure you remain on track to accomplish your goals.”
For young professionals, he also advises having “a humble, hungry and grateful attitude,” and that “knowing how to interact and connect with people is just as important as what you know.”
Find career opportunities with Stryker at careers.stryker.com. Connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Glassdoor.
Dawson’s Team Serves on the Frontline of Customer Service for MilliporeSigma
Adrienne Dawson’s team helps keep orders in order for MilliporeSigma. Dawson is the head of customer care for MilliporeSigma’s research and applied organization in North America. In this role she oversees a team of 90 that provides frontline support for direct customers via order management, order status and assisting with back-order management and escalations.
This team manages 1.7 million orders, 633,000 calls and 456,000 emails from customers throughout the U.S. annually.
To succeed in this field of work, Dawson points out that some of the most important skills include the ability to communicate to multiple audiences, the ability to network and collaborate, and professionalism.
Dawson recently worked on the implementation of a new workforce management tool for the team. This tool, she says, “will help us more effectively forecast labor requirements, and develop and manage staff schedules to ensure optimum service levels for our customers.”
Celebrating 25 years with the company that’s based in Burlington, MA in August 2019, Dawson has held a number of roles within the organization, starting in distribution, and moving to human resources and then customer care. She was originally drawn to the company because she was seeking a chance to join an organization that would provide stability and career growth. People and talent development are what she enjoys the most about her job today.
“I work with great people who are passionate about helping our customers solve the problems. I have the ability to work on varied work, and we offer great career opportunities and the ability to grow,” she reports.
“In addition, I’m fortunate to be able to work with different functional groups in the company on ways we can improve the customer experience.”
Welcome challenges to her role are learning to navigate through a large organization to get problems addressed, as well as thinking about the future of her organization and how it has to evolve to meet customer expectations.
In terms of career success, Dawson advises to not be afraid to go after a position even if you don’t fully meet all of the qualifications.
“You may be surprised by what happens. In addition, you learn a lot from the feedback related to positions you didn’t get. This feedback can be used to help you be better prepared for next opportunity,” she adds.
Find career opportunities with MilliporeSigma, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, at emdgroup.com/en/careers. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
McCright Helps Genentech Build Relationships & Support Diverse Suppliers
If Genentech needs something, then Veronica McCright’s team works to provide it.
“At a high level my team is responsible for sourcing anything the business needs to operate - from research equipment and lab supplies to professional-service consultants,” says McCright, Genentech’s vice president of procurement for North and South America.
“My team’s charter is to help the organization make smart decisions about how we spend our money and manage our supply base. We support the business by identifying savings that can then be invested back into core business operations like research and development.”
McCright is particularly proud of the company’s supplier diversity program, which focuses on increasing opportunities for smaller, diverse suppliers who might not ordinarily have the chance to work with a large client like Genentech.
“We focus on a variety of supplier categories, for example, women-owned and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses, minority business enterprises, etc.,” she says.
With the company for 15 years, McCright was drawn to Genentech for two core reasons: its mission and its culture.
“I’ve lost family members to cancer, and I’ve always admired the company and the work it’s doing to address some of the toughest medical challenges,” McCright says of the company’s mission.
“The second was hearing about the company culture and how the organization treats its employees. Genentech is truly a special place that inspires me to do my best work and be the best leader I can be.”
McCright appreciates that her job is multidimensional, allowing her to build relationships across the organization and across diverse cultures.
“I have the opportunity to look at the company through a broad lens [while] at the same time exploring and understanding the different cultural nuances that drive the business forward. Additionally, because I’m working directly with our suppliers, I get to learn about what’s happening outside of the company, as well. I love that every day is different,” she elaborates.
She also appreciates that she gets to work with “brilliant, hardworking individuals” who “are deeply committed to the work we do.”
While McCright notes that she’s received plenty of good advice, the best is that you don’t need to have all the answers, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
“I used to try and do everything perfectly, and that was stressful. But I’ve learned to recognize that nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes we can learn from. It’s so important to take smart risks, and failures are a natural part of this process. I learned that even if I ‘failed,’ then I can get back up, course-correct and try it again.”
According to McCright, Genentech believes an organization that encourages diversity of background, thought, and experience is more likely to uncover new insights and unique approaches to addressing a challenge.
“This is particularly critical for us as we work to discover and develop medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases,” says McCright, who serves as an executive sponsor for the African Americans in the biotech employee resource group at Genentech, one of more than 30 such groups across the company.
To support diversity, the South San Francisco, CA-based company invests in its current employees to ensure they’re being developed and promoted based on competencies that reflect what’s needed today, as well as what will be important in the future.
Genentech also enriches its hiring pools for diversity “so we’re getting the right candidates in front of hiring managers and doing everything we can to ensure the availability of a diverse talent pool in the future,” notes McCright.
Find available opportunities with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, at gene.com/careers. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Glassdoor, Google+ and LinkedIn.
https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/biotech-brief-optimistic-outlook-growing-for-multi-billion-dollar-medical-device-industry-2019-04-23-8183450, https://www.genengnews.com/topics/drug-discovery/outlook-for-biopharma-ma-remains-bullish-into-2019/, https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/global-life-sciences-sector-outlook.html
The Heart of Life Sciences Is Strong
Strategic transformation is at the heart of companies in the life sciences as they build new business models for the future. Future focus will be on developing innovative and relationship-driven partnerships and creating real value for patients to accelerate change.
Data now drives life sciences, and disseminating detailed data throughout the enterprise, transforming work, and using technology symbiotically will all be essential to advancing digital transformation.
The medical device industry should see a stand-out year in 2019, too, and the outlook for medical device companies appears positive. The medical device industry is set for steady growth, with global annual sales forecast to rise by more than 5% a year and reach nearly $800 billion by 2030. These projections reflect increasing demand for innovative new devices (like wearables) and services (like health data).
Biotech is also awash in capital right now. Plus, there’s a sense the science has really matured, and that the market is seeing a lot of innovation, especially around things like gene therapy, immuno-onlocolgy and curative therapies.
However, despite the easy flow of capital, biopharm didn’t see more of an uptick in deals in early 2019, since all of the money flowing into the industry drove valuations higher.
Companies, overall, need to aim to strengthen their R&D pipeline via mergers and acquisitions, licensing, and strategic partnerships. However, this year, the transactions are likely to be more complex with innovative structuring, as opposed to those with conventional framework.
While companies may be rearranging portfolios based on pricing controls, acquisitions are projected to be very strategic with a focus on core therapies or specialties. As a result, a lot of activity is also expected in divestitures.
Sources: MarketWatch, MedTech Dive, Moody’s, IbisWorld.com, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, and EY and Deloitte’s 2019 Global Life Sciences Outlook
Pharma Fast Fact
Forty years ago, the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (TCSDD) conducted its first cost assessment of new drug development, and the price tag averaged out at $54 million. In 2014 TCSDD conducted a reassessment, and concluded pharmaceutical companies now cough up an average $2.6 billion for each new medication.
Source: Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (TCSDD)
Biopharm & Biomed Marketshare
• The U.S. is the largest market for biopharmaceuticals, accounting for around a third of the global market, and is the world leader in biopharm R&D.
• U.S. firms conduct more than half of the world’s R&D in pharmaceuticals ($75 billion) and hold the intellectual property rights on most new medicines.
• Biopharm accounted for more than $1.3 trillion in economic output, representing 4% of total U.S. output in 2015, including $558 billion in revenue from biopharmaceutical businesses and $659 billion from suppliers and worker spending.
Sources: SelectUSA.com and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA)
Biopharm Career Cache
• More than 800,000 people work in the biopharmaceutical industry in the U.S. across a broad range of occupations, including scientific research, technical support and manufacturing.
• Directly and indirectly, the industry supports more than 4.7 million jobs across the U.S.
• The industry requires a highly skilled and educated workforce from the administrative level up to and including Ph.D. scientists.
• A third of the jobs in the sector are in key STEM occupations.
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