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What is your best advice on transitioning from academia into a medical science liaison position in a biotech/pharma company without industry experience or an internship?

hat is your best advice on transitioning from academia into a medical science liaison position in a biotech/pharma company without industry experience or an internship?

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Kenneth’s Answer

You have asked a question that applicable to anyone changing from one environment to another. First network with any representatives from the companies that have established relationships with your academic program., such as equipment companies or drug suppliers. Work with a good job recruiter. Examine your strengths and weaknesses as it applies to your personality, training , and work experience. If need to, invest in a business course or two to learn the language of sales, business development, and marketing. When you apply for a job, research the company as to product line, current market share, and future company goals. Most importantly realize you know little if anything of the new job expectations and be willing to learn, Also be unashamed to promote your value to the new employer.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Betz
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Grace’s Answer

Hey Betz, I am assuming that you are already in a biotech-related field in Academia. If that is the case, you probably already possess a lot of the skills required! Like Kenneth mentioned, a lot of my advice would also apply to general career switching.
- Network - build relationships with people in your target team/company to learn more about the teams/role/company to understand your fit and be the first to hear about opportunities when they arise. Find the right people who can help you get your dream job - the hiring team, manager, recruiter and build a relationship.
- Use your strengths - There are a lot of transferrable skills between academia and medical liaison so you should highlight those in your resume and cover letter. Understand what are expected of a medical liaison specialist, what is their day-to-day like and how your experiences/skills align with the experience/skills required to succeed as an MSL. Make sure your achievements are quantifiable!
Hope this helps!
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