Workplace Politics

Posted in Career Advice

Many years ago when I first started BioJobBlog I wrote a few posts about workplace politics warning job seekers to beware.  While workplace politics are still with us, they have been amplified by the growth of social media and willingness of employees to express their personal opinions all over the Internet.

In the old days before electronic communication it took a while for office politics, comments and the like to bubble their way to the top and cause problems. And,if you were astute at playing the so-called game, it was easy to talk privately and be reasonably assured that your “friends” and colleagues who heard you would likely keep the things you said under wraps and not share them with others; particularly those who may have some control over whether or not you are gainfully employed. Today, you not only have to know how to strategically play the game, you also need to keep your opinions to yourself– if you don’t want them immediately posted to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube etc.

I think Alexandra Levit a well known workplace author, consultant and speaker offered some great advice about office politics when she suggested:

 ”… to generally steer clear of talking about anything you wouldn’t discuss with your religious officiant or grandmother – namely, sex, drugs, and politics. Unless you have a very specific type of job, these subjects shouldn’t be relevant, and by bringing them up you have a better chance of hurting your reputation than helping it.”

I also recommend not publicly criticizing your boss, colleagues or even politicians. Finally, do not say anything critical, negative or pejorative about anybody you work with in e-mail or text conversations.because these things are immortal and will outlive you and your time at a company or organization!

Until next time…

Good luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!


Even Generics Companies Are Not Immune: Teva to Slash 5,000 Jobs!

Posted in BioBusiness, BioJobBuzz

Despite the fact that over 80% of the drugs sold in the US are now generic, Teva, the world’s largest generic drug manufacture (based in Israel) announced yesterday that it will eliminate 5,000 jobs (about 10% of its global workforce) by the end of 2014. According to the company, this action is part of Teva’s worldwide restructuring plan which was introduced in December 2012.

While Teva is generally known as a generic drug manufacturer, it does generate a substantial part of its sales revenue for a branded injectable multiple sclerosis drug called Copaxone lost patent protection.  According to a post at the Pharmalot Blog

The move comes less than three months after a US court invalidated the 2015 patent on its Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug. The decision means patent protection for the drug, which generates about half of company earnings and dominates the MS market, may prevent rivals from selling lower-cost versions of the injectable drug only until next year.

In recent years, Teva has made major investments into biosimilar drugs and presently has two approved product –( Lonquex (XM22 lipegfilgrastim) and Tevagrastim (filigrastim)–on the market.  At present, while Congress passed legislation to allow biosimilars to be approved and sold in the US, the Food and Drug Administration has been extremely slow in translating the legislation into a functional and understandable legal regulatory pathway for approval of biosimilars.

Look for job cuts in the pharmaceutical industry (Lilly ?) in the next few months as we are entering prime layoff announcement season.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!


The Impact of Consolidation on Pharmaceutical R&D

Posted in BioBusiness

Over the past 10 years or so there has been an enormous amount of consolidation in the life science industry. While this activity has been very good for shareholders, it has had a devastating effort on pharmaceutical R&D says John  LaMattina PhD, a chemist, blogger, author and former President of Pfizer Global R&D.

In his article “The Impact of Merger on Pharmaceutical R&D," LaMattina asserts:

“Mergers and acquisitions of pharmaceutical companies over the past 15 years have had a major consequence on the internal research and development productivity of these organizations. Industry consolidation has eliminated a high degree of competition and resulted in the downsizing of internal research efforts. The execution of these mergers has caused a loss of momentum in the development pipelines of these companies along with loss of scientific talent.”

In addition, he believes that M&A and outsourcing of R&D operations has resulted in the loss of scientific talent required for innovation and development of novel new medicines. “Sadly, this loss of innovation comes at a time when we are trying to find treatments for challenging and difficult-to-treat diseases like Alzheimers and many cancers” says LaMattina.

While most life sciences executives believe that consolidation is good for business, LaMattina, along with John Lechleiter, the outspoken CEO of Eli Lilly& Co (who is also a PhD-trained chemist) believe that continued consolidation in the industry will have devastating consequences. “We are still very much opposed to a large-scale combination. We don’t think size is necessarily supportive of innovation.” says Lechleiter. 

LaMattina added “Downsizing R&D hinders the ability of companies to develop new drugs because they lack the scientific expertise required to make critical decision as a drug candidate makes it way through the pipeline.”

Unfortunately, most current pharmaceutical and life sciences executives don’t think like LaMattina. Since 2001, over 300,000 pharmaceutical employees, mostly R&D scientists and sales representatives have lost their jobs.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!


Reputable Online Master's Degree Programs in Science, Engineering and IT

Posted in BioEducation

Online degree programs have exploded in the past 10 years or so and are now considered to be a legitimate way to earn a second or third degree to enhance the chances of finding a job in a tough economy. Further, an article that recently appeared in the NY Times “The Masters as the New Bachelor’s” suggested that Master’s Degrees were supplanting bachelor degrees as the minimum requirement for employment in the US. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to enroll in a traditional bricks and mortar Master’s Degree program. This has forced many would-be students to enroll in online programs to earn a Master’s Degree.

Like it or not, the reputation of the online institution that confers the degree will make a difference for jobseekers. In other words, an online Master’s Degree from Penn State University will likely impress a hiring manager more than one from the University of Phoenix. With this in mind, my colleagues over at recently sent me an article entitled “The 15 Most Prestigious Online Master’s Programs” Most of the programs included on the list (see below) are relevant for those jobseekers interested in broadening their knowledge in the life sciences and healthcare, engineering and information technology (IT).

Auburn University: Electronically Delivered Graduate Education (EDGE) courses are offered online at the student’s convenience. Engineering programs include: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Business programs include Accounting, Business Administration, and Management Information Systems. A combination MBA/MISE degree also is available.

Boston University: Boston University Distance Education offers master’s degrees in art education, criminal justice, music, computer information systems, health communication, management, manufacturing engineering, and social work. These programs provide students with an in-depth theoretical foundation as well as practical strategies for meeting demands of the marketplace. Many students have gone on to shape the future of their professions through their knowledge and leadership.

Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College offers distance learning programs for Master of Science in Computer Science & IT (ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report), Master of Medical Management (some onsite sessions required), and Master of Public Management (part-time and full-time tracks; work experience is required rather than GRE and GMAT).

DePaul University: Developing and providing degree programs for working adults for over 100 years, DePaul has been able to expand its reach by offering fully online master’s degree programs in various disciplines within the College of Computing and Digital Media, College of Education, and School of Public Service.

Duke University: By utilizing Duke’s resources in environmental science, engineering, policy, and business, the Nicholas School of the Environment’s Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management program gives students insight into the many aspects of environmental issues. The faculty includes recognized experts in the field whose research and publications affect important environmental and natural resource challenges.

Georgia Institute of Technology: Online master’s degrees are offered in aerospace engineering, computational science and engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, information security, mechanical engineering, medical physics, and operations research, in addition to a Professional Master in Applied Systems Engineering. Students study at their convenience, accessing a wealth of technological and industry knowledge while building a network of Georgia Tech faculty and industry professionals.

Indiana University: Kelley School of Business, through Kelly Direct, offers fully online MBA program, along with Master of Science degrees in finance, global supply chain management, and strategic management. There are also MBA dual-degree programs (mostly, but not fully, online) with Thunderbird (Master’s in Global Management) and Purdue (MSE and MS in Food and Agribusiness Management).

Johns Hopkins University: Here you’ll find master’s degree programs in bioinformatics, computer science, environmental engineering and science, environmental planning and management, and systems engineering — all can be completed fully online.

Michigan State University: In the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, students may choose to follow the general requirements for the Master’s in Criminal Justice, specialize in security management, or follow an international focus. Courses are offered entirely online, and are taught by the same faculty members that are involved in the on-campus program.

Pennsylvania State University: Over 100 years ago, Penn State founded one of the nation’s first correspondence courses. Now through their World Campus, they offer online master’s degrees in a wide range of areas including (to name a few) education, business administration, homeland security, nuclear engineering, and supply chain management. The online courses are flexible, yet the same academically challenging courses as on campus.

Stanford University: Students whose employers are members of the Stanford Center for Professional Development can earn Master of Science degrees while attending classes online on a part-time basis. Courses of study include aeronautics and astronautics, biomedical informatics, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and mathematical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, management science and engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and statistics.

University of Florida: Most distance degrees may be taken on a part-time basis through this university. However, all degree programs require formal admission to the school. Master’s degrees are offered in various disciplines within the Colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Business Administration; Design, Construction, and Planning; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Liberal Arts & Sciences; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health and Health Professions; and Veterinary Medicine.

University of Illinois: The Department of Computer Science offers a fully online Master’s in Computer Science program, which is restricted to off-campus professionals and is not intended for those who have access to on-campus courses and programs; although, all students receive the same lectures, class assignments, exams, and projects as on-campus students. The degree can be completed in as little as three years (at one course per semester), but must be completed within five years.

University of Southern California: USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Distance Education Network (DEN) students view online the same lecture as on-campus students either live or at their convenience. Students interact by calling a toll-free phone number to ask the professor questions. Lectures are archived for the entire semester and can be downloaded.

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing Health System Management. A Health Systems Manager is a registered nurse whose focus is on the management of health care delivery in various organizations. Graduates have the breadth of management knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively and assume leadership positions in health care delivery organizations.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Studying!!!!!!


US Graduate School Enrollment Dips for the First Time Since 2003

Posted in BioEducation

Conventional wisdom has it that when economic times are tough enrollment in graduate schools tends to increase. After all, there are no jobs to be had so jobseekers go back to skill to increase their knowledge or improve their skills to be more competitive on the job market. However, according to a new report issues by the Council of Graduate Schools, enrollment of American students in US graduate programs dropped 1.2% percent from 2009to 2010 despite a 8.4% increase in applications.  This is the first drop in graduate school enrollment since 2003 and the decrease came after a 5.5% increase the previous year. 

The decrease in new graduate students was most noticeable in business (MBA) and public administration programs. Interestingly, enrollment by Hispanic student grew by roughly 5.0% while black enrollment declined by more than 8.0%. A startlingly finding of the report is that the number of new international graduate students studying in the US increased 4.7% percent since 2009 to 2010; a trend that has been taking place mainly in the sciences and engineering for the past two decades which has now crossed over into non-science fields. Finally, another troubling statistic is that while enrollment in certificate and Masters Degree programs is beginning to wane, doctoral programs are growing at a faster rate than ever before.

The reasons for the decline in domestic enrollment are tied to the poor economy. Graduate school costs are rising and employers are no longer willing to pay for graduate education of their employees. Dr. Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools issued this warning:

“The decline in domestic students is very bad news for the nation’s economic future. “Higher education and, increasingly, graduate education are what drives prosperity, and if we get to the point where only people with significant bank accounts can afford graduate education, the country is doomed.”

Some other interesting tidbits found in the report included the statistic that more than 60 percent of the 445,000 first-time graduate students were enrolled at public institutions, and about 58 percent of them were women and women earned about two-thirds of the graduate certificates awarded in 2009-10; 60 percent of the master’s degrees; and 52 percent of the doctorates.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!


US Global Competitiveness Continues Its Downward Slide

Posted in BioBusiness

The US is slipping and emerging markets are growing in competitiveness according to an annual list compiled by the World Economic Forum. Perhaps even more troubling is that the same group found that the US is lagging in the adoption of internet, computing and mobile communication technologies. After all, adopting of new technologies has been widely viewed as a means to improve competitiveness.

According to the report, the US, which topped the list in 2008, slid from number 4 last year to number 5. Surprisingly, for the third year in a row, Switzerland ranked first. The list is compiled by assessing 12 categories that include innovation, infrastructure and the world economy. The fact that many EU countries continue to improve in their ability to compete on a global scale, suggests that socialist-leaning governments may not be as bad as many free market US zealots would have you believe!

Singapore replaced Sweden for the number 2 position in this year’s list. Behind Sweden (no. 3), Finland was ranked fourth, and Germany was ranked sixth. Germany was followed by the Netherlands and Denmark. The UK was 10, France was 18th and China moved up one place to 26 this year. Among other major Asian economies, Japan ranked ninth and Hong Kong 11th

Among other major emerging economies, South Africa was 50th, Brazil 53rd, India 56th and Russia 66th.

The weaker performance of the US was attributed to economic vulnerabilities and low public trust in politicians and concerns about government inefficiency. The loss of US competitive coupled with fewer students opting for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and poorer adoption rates of new technologies suggests that the US decline will continue.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!


Combining Business and Biology to Increase Career Options

Posted in Career Advice

If you received your bachelors degree in biology or a related field, there is a good chance that you are having difficulty finding a job. The lack of an advanced degree in the life sciences can  hurt your chances of securing a job mainly because most life sciences jobs demand more education and experience Choosing to pursue a business degree can be a step in the right direction to advance your career.

Receiving an advanced degree from traditional or online MBA programs can vastly improve the likelihood of  securing the career (or salary ) that you always wanted. UOP and other campus-based universities have great mba programs designed to give you the education needed to be successful. More importantly  most of these programs allow you to take classes on your own time. No need to fight campus traffic or beg your current employer to work around your class schedule. With online classes, you can complete your coursework where and when you want.

Many persons a background in biology and an MBA are able to secure positions as business analysts, managers, and market analysts for biotechnology companies. Increasingly, they also becoming integral parts of new product development teams that are looking for new medicines and treatments.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biotechnology will only increase in need and thousands of jobs will continue to be added each year. To that end, some of the world’s largest life sciences companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Bayer Corporation are already seeking MBA students with biological backgrounds.

So if you are looking for a boost in your career, consider getting a MBA or related business degree. While a MBA may not seem like the first choice of a most undergraduate biology student,s it can actually provide the skills and tools needed to succeed in some of the most competitive biological markets today.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!


The Inside "Poop" On the Life Sciences Industry

Posted in BioBusiness

I attend this year’s BIO meeting in DC and ran into an old friend, Stan Yakatan of Katan Associates.  For those of you who do not know Stan, he has been associated in a variety of capacities within the Life Sciences industry for the past 35 years.

The job titles that he has accrued over his career include CEO, Chairman, Managing Director, Board Member, Investor, Entrepreneur and Mensch!  Hanging out with Stan at life sciences meetings is always interesting, exciting, unpredictable and most often fun!  That said, Stan is a wealth of information about the life sciences industry and I was surprised to learn that he has an invterview video on YouTube!

To that end, I thought it would be interesting to post the interview @BioJobBlog.  Stan’s historical and current perspective on the US life sciences industry is interesting to say the least!



If you want to contact Stan please click here!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!

The Workplace: Pointing Fingers and Giving Credit When Credit Is Due

Posted in Career Advice

A positive workplace environment can make or break a company.  Companies with low employee morale often suffer from cultures of blame—pointing a finger at a team member (other than you) when things go awry —and not giving credit to deserving employees when credit may be due. 

Seemingly it should be relatively easy to fix these problems. Unfortunately, unless management is aware of the problem it won’t take steps to fix it. Further, the problem may not be company wide and may only exist in certain department or groups. To that end, Eilene Zimmerman who writes the NY Times CAREER COUCH column offers some very practical tips to employees and managers who want to fix these problems in an article entitled “The Problem With Pointing Fingers.”

Unlike other articles that I have read on this topic, the suggestions that see offers are incisive, fresh and bound to work for those who decide to implement them!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!


Networking and BioJob Searching: How to Harness the Power of LinkedIn

Posted in Social Media

Despite what you may have been told, managing a career and finding new job opportunities is all about networking. Yes, I know that scientists and many other bioprofessionals loathe networking, but that is the way the game is played and if you want to win you have to play by the rules (written or otherwise).


Thankfully, the advent of professional social networking sites like LinkedIn and BioCrowd helps to take some of imagined or real discomfort associated with “in real life” networking where face-to-face communication is required. Despite the growing popularity of professional networking sites, many scientists and other bioprofessional have little idea about what they are and how they ought to be used! Because of this, Laura Hales, PhD, put together a mini-primer on how to use LinkedIn to maximize exposure to promote a business, find a job or advance a career.


Laura is the Founder and President of The Isis Group, a scientific communications company. She regularly blogs on tips for writing scientific manuscripts and grants at Mention BioCrowd and receive a 10% discount on an overhaul of your CV or LinkedIn profile!


Five Strategies To Advance Your Career Using LinkedIn

By Laura Hales

OK, so you posted your profile on LinkedIn, connected with some colleagues, got a few recommendations … now what?


Tip 1: It’s your profile; here’s how to make it feel that way in five easy steps.

  • Upload a good headshot. Crop out the background so that your face survives the shrinkage in quality and size required by LinkedIn.
  • Accurately define yourself in your professional headline — along with your headshot, these shows up in LinkedIn whenever you do.
  • Update your status frequently with a tweet, a new blog post, an interesting article you read, or a seminar you’re thinking of attending. This will keep you appearing in the digest of network activity that is sent to your connections every week.
  • Fill your “Specialties” section with industry-related keywords so that people can find you in a targeted search.
  • Customize your profile’s URL. This makes it easy for people to find you quickly (hit the “Edit” button next to “Public Profile” on your homepage and choose your own URL. Mine is: Add it to your email signature.

Tip 2: You can join up to 50 groups. Max yourself out!


Use keywords to search for groups to join that can help you accomplish your goals, whether that’s finding a job or your next client. To avoid looking like a LinkedIn Groups “Junkie” (or to keep that job search under wraps), you can choose to hide a group on your profile. You can either do this when you join the group (by unclicking “Display the Group Logo on My Profile”) or at a later date (go to your Edit Profile page, hit “Change Visibility” next to the group’s name). If you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, you could even start your own group! Spam all your connections and see who joins.


Tip 3: Now that you’ve joined these groups, participate


There are so many ways to do this. Here are a few I’ve tried that really work:

  • Start a new discussion asking for thoughts on a current trend in your field.
  • Post interesting articles and include your opinion, or a thought-provoking question to the group about the article.
  • Publish a link to your latest blog post, including an attention-grabbing headline about it (use to shorten the blog post’s URL, and go back to later to get analytics and see how many people clicked on your link).
  • Subscribe to a digest of the activity in your groups and post comments on others’ discussions. This is a great way to gain exposure in your field and showcase your knowledge about various topics.

A related tip: To share a network update such as a blog post or article with multiple groups at once, hit the “Share” button after the update appears on your profile, then check the “Post to Groups” box. This allows you to enter in multiple group names to post your update.


Tip 4: Add applications to your profile (found under the “More” tab on your profile page)


LinkedIn users can incorporate a multitude of add-ons into their profile, with more being added all the time. These applications include:

  • Reading List by Amazon: Not so much for the book you’re reading about potty training your two-year-old, but more about books relevant to your field or profession. Include your opinion about the book in a few sentences.
  • WordPress/BlogLink: This automatically posts the title and the first few sentences of your latest blog entries.
  • Tweets: Get on Twitter!
  • Events: Let your network know what seminars, conferences and other events you’re planning to attend.
  • This application lets you share files such as your résumé or a recent presentation you gave. 

Tip 5: Use LinkedIn Answers (also under the “More” tab)


Subscribe to an RSS feed of the discussion groups you want to follow. Post answers to questions in your field of expertise, and if the asker of the question indicates your answer is the “best,” you’re on your way to gaining “expert” status in the community.


LinkedIn boasts that a new member joins every second of every day, making it a powerful networking tool. Good luck using these tips to help advance your career using LinkedIn!


This blog post originally appeared on the HiredPens Blog

 Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!