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View Poll Results: Which method worked for obtaining a pharmaceutical job
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03-06-2018, 19:10   #1
valtaust
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Pharmaceutical QC analyst internships

Hi, I am a recently qualified microbiology biomedical scientist working in a hospital lab in Dublin. I find the job market is difficult to enter the pharmaceuticals industry. I was curious to know if anyone has personal or professional connections to people working within the industry. I need an internship to prove myself. I am very enthusiastic and take a problem solving approach. My current work requires plenty of communciation with nurses, the clinical science staff and the consultants. Additional training in the analytical technologies to expand what I learned in analytical chemistry is what I want to work in 100%. Chemistry is what I would die for. I completed a project in HPLC for 6 months and can learn quickly with desirability to work integratively.
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03-06-2018, 19:21   #2
Augeo
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I'd not give up on getting a job rather than an internship. Have you tried CPL with Pfizer, Grange Castle as the target.

With BMS, alexion and now shire & MSD Swords coming along opportunities shouldn't be too hard to come by.

A production role might not be a bad starting point either TBH.
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03-06-2018, 19:31   #3
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Yes, my Masters is very industry affiliated but was not accredited by the RSC. A production role is not as beneficial as the position I have now which is directly in a GLP environment. You think it is easy but it is tremendously difficult to come by opportunities. I asked for referrals, I cold called people. A production position mostly translates into a quality assurance position with people working there for 5+ years. I might have a Masters but that is a large pay gap for me. An internship gets direct experience.
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03-06-2018, 19:55   #4
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A year in a production role would do alot for you. Your attitude stinks TBH.
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03-06-2018, 20:02   #5
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My attitude is that a production role is more engineering designated. I am only going the direct route. A drop in per hour pay when I use microbial methods is a disadvantage. Thanks but try and help me. Employers come up with perception that I am overqualified for such a production operator role. Honesty here. I keep my head high. Try and make a decision like this after investing so much in your education. An operator position is certainly not beneath me. But it is not what I want to do. Then I will not be able to re-enter a medical scientist position as I will be questioned over my choice. Direct survival choice. Make a bad choice and the tightrope is cut with a pair of garden scissors. I did try and apply for such positions beforre. They use a lot of drilling techniques and not the lab equipment.

In my current position I have encountered slight difficulties in willingness to train me. Hence, taking action must be acceptable. Can one train oneself. Should one have to suffer stress and not be able to transfer skills without training yet doing the bottom activity while a team member is on instagram. I only make choices to go lower if it is a direct requirment. TBH take action and see what happens. TBH motivate yourself to do the work. TBH earn your right to not worry about career progression.
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03-06-2018, 20:24   #6
Augeo
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A company looking to hire someone with your qualifications for the role you desire, do they
- hire you
- hire someone with similar qualifications who has worked there a year in a production role

I'll give you a clue, if they were hiring you, you'd not be wondering how to get your foot in the door.

Operator roles aren't engineering orientated, they are process orientated.

You need another option in your poll too, none of the above.

Last edited by Augeo; 03-06-2018 at 20:27.
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03-06-2018, 20:39   #7
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Ah, Augeo I see your point. Do you work in that sector?

My skillset is:
I like quality assurance so the morale of the story is keep doing interviews even during an accepted offer protocol check.
My list of skills are

Skills profile: GLP, GMP.
MSc course: HPLC (column performance evaluation), Liquid-chromatography mass-spectrometry, Capillary electrophoresis, UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, Infrared spectrophotometer, Molecular fluorescence spectrophotometer, Gas-liquid chromatography, Ion selective electrode analysis, Karl-Fischer titrations, Ion exchange chromatography, Conductometric and potentiometer electrochemical titrations. Graphite-furnace atomic absorption.

Mammalian cell culture, Resazurin cell viability assay, Direct-capture ELISA, Thin-layer chromatography (TLC).

Plasmid purification, heat shock transformation, spectrophotometric DNA purity analysis, Nickel affinity chromatography, Bradford protein quantification assay, SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis, Protein crystallisation by hanging vapour drop diffusion

Projects: Dual-mode Liquid Chromatography of Pyocyanin and Alkyl Quinolone Signalling Biomarkers with Ultraviolet Detection.
Optimisation of expression and purification of Recombinant Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein from Escherichia coli


My contract runs out at start of September so that is 3 months away. Hence, I will go that route.

Yes, I can be stubborn to overlook such an opportunity. I am also trying to move to a lab within my hospital where I can also learn more in DNA extraction. However, everywhere it takes a lot of luck to make it. I can do it brah!. I'll kick that door down if it's the last thing I do. It is an epidemiology lab specialising in PCR and analysis. I also have benefits of staying within the organisation but also a hunger to escape to a path that I want. I mean I can get 2 references right now by working short-term in each lab. Buidling bridges is my desire here. I have a good boss but the training is not continuing due to others getting trained up due to the on-call and saturday staff x2 employees leaving a month between each departure.
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04-06-2018, 09:52   #8
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I can't understand why you would leave a BMS career. The money is far better there than QC and always will be. QC is dull as hell.
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04-06-2018, 10:15   #9
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Get into the best company you can and when there impress in your job to gain a move to the job you want.
There is always seconded roles available in these companies due to projects and pregnancy.
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04-06-2018, 13:12   #10
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Originally Posted by AlphabetCards View Post
I can't understand why you would leave a BMS career. The money is far better there than QC and always will be. QC is dull as hell.
Yes and no. The medical science career is stressful. Having to take phone calls. Waiting for a consultants approval for a CSF cerebrospinal fluid sample to be prioritised is dull. I like HPLC and not microscopy. I liked that type of work. That type of work had a heavier progression into consultancy, sales, scientific editor, technical engineer at Intel, career advisor in pharmaceuticals. Why would you not want to take that chance? You think my career path looks glamorous. It is not one bit borderline research. It certainly stops getting paid above 54000 as in job descriptions. QC analyst allows one to get jobs in every industry.
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04-06-2018, 13:22   #11
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Also, repeatedly the nurses don't put any identifier on a patient swab let's say. You need to phone them. One time they didn't label a blood culture, a prioritised sample. Another time they put 2 stickers on a blood culture identifying that with 2 patient identifiers. Guess what you need to do to resolve the issue. Phone them to put up with their petty nonsense. HPLC, GC, Capillary electrophoresis are the most majestic techniques I have come across. Not boring one bit. You prepare your sample. Load. Run.

Or a microbiology position in the pharma company or in the food industry. It feels like BMS is a forgotten trade. Also the night shift session requires you to cover 2 labs. Not one hour of continuous sleep. E.g. haematology, blood transfusion and microbiology labs in a one nighter. Sending in full blood counts and coagulation analysis for diarrhoea 🀣. Have they gone mad?. That's why escape while you have the chance. Yes most jobs are not what you expect but they should have a career ladder. If there is no ladder then there is less motivation. My workmates only dream of the lottery.

Last edited by valtaust; 04-06-2018 at 13:35.
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04-06-2018, 19:44   #12
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Originally Posted by valtaust View Post
............ I like HPLC and not microscopy. I liked that type of work. That type of work had a heavier progression into consultancy, sales, scientific editor, technical engineer at Intel, career advisor in pharmaceuticals...............
Sales ....... you're as likely to get a sales gig now as after some experience in industry.

HPLC for Intel? What are they separating?
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04-06-2018, 20:53   #13
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Intel gave someone a technical engineer spot to read graphs all day. Sales of equipment or agar media. I think that with my skillset it is a gamble to take a production operator job. It doesn't depend on me either. It depends on my interview performance. Regulatory affairs and clinical trials were other opportunities i thought about.
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07-06-2018, 21:00   #14
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Jesus lad, settle down. You can't look at a lateral move and think "oh this will suit me for science communication, consultancy, sales" etc. You need an actual plan. You're basically looking at QC chemistry as the holy land. You sound like me this time ten years ago! Don't make a move unless you know what you want to do. Aim too broad and no one will take you seriously. It's grand when you're young, but your best years can be squandered so think carefully before jumping from BMS. Career ladders don't exist in chemistry. Your progression can go laterally diagonally or upwards, but no means is there a set path. You wont be devilling like a young barrister and following a well worn route. Don't get your hopes up in that regard.

I'm not trying to slate you here, I did this exact thing myself back in 2009, and it didn't work out. Just excel at what you are doing, until you know what you want and then move. You'll be in a stronger position having proved yourself in one area, and you'll find actual doors open, not just the factory floor at your local generics lab, which is pretty much all you'll get right now. It's the advice I wish I was given back then.
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07-06-2018, 21:16   #15
Augeo
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Originally Posted by valtaust View Post
Intel gave someone a technical engineer spot to read graphs all day. Sales of equipment or agar media. I think that with my skillset it is a gamble to take a production operator job. It doesn't depend on me either. It depends on my interview performance. Regulatory affairs and clinical trials were other opportunities i thought about.
You reckon a production role in a biopharma is a gamble but would consider sales of equipment or agar media?

In a biopharma about 60/70% of production folk are graduates, most progress to other roles more suitable for qualified folk.

What's the progression path for a technical sales engineer?

I've done both btw ..........technical sales and the production role as a graduate. I learned next to nothing in the sales role and in the production role I learned quite a bit but i did have to take the blinkers off and go looking to an extent to see the wood from the trees.

As others have said, you might be as well off staying where you are for another while. You seem to be all over the place. Don't go selling agar media anyway
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