Tim Gilbert, alumni of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program.

Alumni Spotlight: Tim Gilbert, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business '11

May 19, 2016

  • “MCPHS is where I discovered my passion for the biopharmaceutical industry,” says Tim Gilbert ’11.

    As a forward-thinking Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business student, Tim set up his five-year plan while he was still a student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). Upon graduating, Gilbert took advantage of the MCPHS/Umass alliance to earn his MBA. He also helped establish the Pharmaceutical Business & Science Society in order to help broaden undergraduate understanding of the healthcare industry.

    During a recent alumni panel on our Boston campus, Tim gave more advice on how to stay ahead.

    “Always be looking. Because with things like buyouts and mergers, you never know what’s going to happen in the industry,” he said. “It’s a great industry but very dynamic.”

    Curious to know more, we asked Tim questions about his experience and how an MCPHS education can give students a running start upon graduation.

    Why did you choose MCPHS?

    I always knew I wanted to be in healthcare in one form or the other since I was in high school. I also really wanted to go to college in a big city. Being from Maine, Boston seemed like the perfect spot. I quickly understood that being in the Pharmaceutical Industry side of things was where I wanted to be and MCPHS had many program opportunities.

    Can you describe Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program?

    It starts out with the basic sciences to ensure students have a foundation in the important science component of pharmaceuticals. It then shifts its focus to all aspects of business, specifically for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Simply put, is perfect for a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

    What type of student would thrive in your program?

    Students that enjoy a dynamic and challenging environment will thrive. It is not a program where you can be half-in. One must be all-in.

    What was your favorite course you took at MCPHS?

    Pharmaceutical Healthcare Marketing, because that’s what I do every day!

    How did MCPHS help you prepare for your career?

    My degree allowed me to get involved with aspects of pharmaceutical business earlier than usual, having lacked many years of work experience. I owe it all to my program and the professors who prepared me to work at this high level at a young age – right out of college.

    What is your job now?

    I am currently a product manager in the marketing department at Shire within the newly established Ophthalmics Business Unit. I am working on a potential blockbuster product launch for the Ophthalmology and Optometry markets. Specifically, I have been doing a combination of brand planning and commercial operations infrastructure building in preparation for our drug launch.

    What is your favorite part of your career?

    My favorite part is the ability to constantly be working on different things in a very fast paced and dynamic environment. Every day is different but the end game remains the same: to ensure a multi-million or multi-billion dollar annual revenue product is marketed as effectively and efficiently as possible.

    The ability to influence patient care in a positive way is why I do this every day.

    As an alumni working in the industry, what are some advantages to an MCPHS education that you see?

    Interviewers early on remarked that they had never seen a degree so specific, and were impressed with my ability to competently discuss complex components of the pharmaceutical industry.

    I have also seen companies making a concerted effort to seek out students in various programs at MCPHS for internships. This is happening because the students are specifically learning about this field, not simply earning generic degrees like biology or business. It’s a huge competitive advantage for MCPHS students.

    Do you have any advice for MCPHS students?

    Take your degree seriously. I had plenty of fun and enjoyed a great social experience during my time at MCPHS, but I always put my degree first. At the end of the day, it was on me to ensure a successful start to my career. College can be four to six years of your life, but your career is forever.

    Also, companies don’t only look at grade performance anymore. They look at the whole package. Being on the other side of the table and seeing the interview process, the ability to fit into a company’s culture is becoming one of the most important aspects of interview candidates. Do well in school, get involved, actively pursue relevant internships, and be socially active to ensure you have the full package.

    The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) prepares students for exciting careers in healthcare management, pharmaceutical sales and marketing, industry regulation, and more.