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Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business Alumni Share Career Advice

  • At Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, students are afforded the opportunity to network with and learn from industry leaders. And who better to share their insight into the industry than our own alumni?

    On March 30, alumni of our Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program met with current students to share insight into their career paths, as well as their advice for students who are about to enter the job market.

    The alumni panel, which was facilitated by Professor Rae Mang, Adjunct Faculty, School of Pharmacy, featured six alumni from a broad range of careers in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Maurizio Patricelli ’11, who works in pharmaceutical sales, shared an insider’s look at the industry, and gave tips for students interested in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical sales. Patricelli explained that his MCPHS education gave him many of the tools required to succeed in sales, including the ability to understand and convey complex scientific information – a skill set he says gives him a leg up in the job market and has enabled him to become a top ten percent sales rep in the country.

    Claudette Bosman ’13 shared her post-MCPHS career path with current students, explaining that after graduation, she took advantage of a healthcare-focused internship program and traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked with orphans with diverse disabilities, including cerebral palsy and autism.

    She shared that this unique experience, which also provided her with a rewarding opportunity to give back, has been a topic of interest at all of the job interviews she has conducted since that time.

    She encouraged current students to take advantage of unique travel and work experiences to enhance their resumes and to use that those experiences to pursue their dream roles. Bosman went on to earn her MBA, intern at GE, and by networking with fellow MCPHS alumni, secured her current role as a Clinical Consultant in inside sales at ViaCord.

    Tim Gilbert ’11 explained to the current students how he set up his five year plan while he was still at MCPHS. Upon graduating from MCPHS, Gilbert took advantage of the MCPHS/Umass alliance to earn his MBA.

    Gilbert recommends considering contract-to-perm positions when entering the field, because they provide entry-level workers the chance to work at prestigious companies, impress, and turn that opportunity into a full-time position.

    Gilbert did just this. He accepted a six month contract position in marketing at Genzyme, where he hit the ground running and worked to impress. It was this contract position that led to a full-time role with the company and the opportunity to thrive.

    When Gilbert was ready to take on a new professional challenge, he used LinkedIn to connect with the head of talent acquisition at Shire, which led to his current role as a Product Manager in the marketing department in the newly established Ophthalmics Business Unit.

    Gilbert recommends that current students and recent graduates take this type of initiative and network as they begin their job search.

    Dan Shirley ’06 shared that one of the best decisions he ever made was transferring into the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program. Having started his career at MCPHS as a PharmD student, he was looking for a way to combine his passion for business with his love of science.

    Through the program, he was able get the hands on experience and knowledge necessary for a successful career at institutions including Massachusetts General Hospital, Hallmark Health System, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and his current position of Procurement Operations Manager at Agios Pharmaceuticals.

    His advice for students is to understand the importance of company culture and discover a workplace that best fits your skill set, personality, and passions.

    Because many of the students in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program take advantage of internship opportunities during their time at MCPHS, they make invaluable connections that can translate into future career opportunities.

    Ashley McShane ’14 shared how she completed a clinical operations internship at Shire during her time at MCPHS. When she was looking to make a transition to Shire a few years later, she was able to reach out to her former manager and submit her resume for consideration internally, leading to a her current role of Clinical Trial Associate.

    McShane recommends that current students maintain relationships with their former managers and team members from their internships by writing personalized thank you notes at the end of the work opportunity, and by connecting on LinkedIn and communicating periodically.

    Eryka Wilson ’14, who now serves as a Business Operations Manager in Marketing at Cutis Pharma,shared how her passion for the industry started in high school. As a member of a program that trained students to become pharmacy techs, she was able to channel a passion for the pharmaceutical industry. And with her natural talents for business, the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program proved to be a perfect fit.

    As a student, Wilson was active in a number of student leadership opportunities on campus, an experience she recommends to current students as a way to gain vital leadership skills.

    Now serving as the president of the Young Alumni Association, Wilson impressed upon current students the importance of maintaining MCPHS connections beyond graduation, as networking is an integral part of career development in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Looking for more about our Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business program? Read our interview with Tim Gilbert, PHCB '11, where he shares more insight into his role as a product manager at Shire.