Alternate Career Options: Working For CROs and Biotech Startups

Posted in Career Advice

In today’s tough economy, one of the more challenging things after graduating college or graduate school is finding a job. Many life sciences graduates are beginning to realize that skills and training that they received in college have not adequately prepared them for jobs in the real world. Furthering, “previous industrial experience” is almost always a requirement for most jobs at pharma and biotechnology companies. As many students ask me “How can we get previous industrial experience if nobody will hire us to get that experience?”

While this may appear to be a typical “Catch 22” situation, it is not an insurmountable one A convenient way to acquire the requisite previous industrial experience is to volunteer or land an internship (paid or otherwise) at a small, local life sciences company. Many of these companies can use the help and will gladly give you an opportunity as long as they don’t have to pay you much. These companies conduct research for their pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients and are frequently willing to hire relatively inexperienced but talented scientists into entry level jobs. This is because the demand for well-trained scientists continues to grow at CROs as more and more pharma and biotechnology companies outsource R&D activities and continue to shed jobs.

Another option is to look for entry-level jobs at local start up companies. Typically, most of these companies are venture-backed and have limited financial resources. Consequently, salaries offered by these companies to employees are generally lower than those at CROs, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Nevertheless, while you may not get paid as much as you expected or like, working as a research scientist at a start up company definitely counts as industry experience and it may help to jump start your career in the life sciences industry.

If you cannot get a job at aCROor a local start up, you can always start your own company! However, while this may sound like an exciting idea, it is probably a good idea get some entrepreneurial training before you take the leap.

Finally, it you cannot land a job at aCRO, a local start up or you are not interested in starting your own company, you can always go back to graduate school (not science related) or professional school. However, if you choose this path, then I highly recommend that you do some research to determine which jobs are likely to be in high demand over the next 5 to 10 years! While going to graduate school may help to defer repaying your undergraduate students loans, you run the risk of incurring more debt and possibly not have a job after you graduate unless you choose your next career option wisely.

Until next time…

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

Alternatives to Pharma Jobs: Working For CROs and Biotech Start Ups

Posted in Career Advice

In today’s tough economy, one of the more challenging things after graduating college or graduate school is finding a job. Many life sciences graduates are beginning to realize that skills and training that they received in college have not adequately prepared them for jobs in the real world. Furthering, “previous industrial experience” is almost always a requirement for most jobs at pharma and biotechnology companies. As many students ask me “How can we get previous industrial experience if nobody will hire us to get that experience?” 

While this may appear to be a typical “Catch 22” situation, it is not an insurmountable one A convenient way to acquire the requisite previous industrial experience is to volunteer or land an internship (paid or otherwise) at a small, local life sciences company. Many of these companies can use the help and will gladly give you an opportunity as long as they don’t have to pay you much. Another strategy is to seek employment contract research organizations (CROs) like Huntingdon Life Sciences. These companies conduct research for their pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients and are frequently willing to hire relatively inexperienced but talented scientists into entry level jobs. This is because the demand for well-trained scientists continues to grow at CROs as more and more pharma and biotechnology companies outsource R&D activities and continue to shed jobs. 

Another option is to look for entry-level jobs at local start up companies. Typically, most of these companies are venture-backed and have limited financial resources. Consequently, salaries offered by these companies to employees are generally lower than those at CROs, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Nevertheless, while you may not get paid as much as you expected or like, working as a research scientist at a start up company definitely counts as industry experience and it may help to jump start your career in the life sciences industry. 

If you cannot get a job at a CRO or a local start up, you can always start your own company! However, while this may sound like an exciting idea, it is probably a good idea get some entrepreneurial training before you take the leap. For example, Washington University offers a program called the BioEntrepreneurship Core, which combines biomedical research methods with business and entrepreneurial skills. The program offers outreach programs that connect would-be entrepreneurs with business and financial leaders in the St Louis, MO area. Also, it frequently hosts networking events and has access to state resources that can be allocated for new ventures and start ups.

According to a recent article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the city of St Louis has many life sciences graduates, but lacks the businesses to employ them all. To that end, BioSTL, a local initiative backed by hospitals, research facilities, and private investors was recently created to build a life sciences industry in St Louis and provide jobs to its talented pool of life sciences graduates and scientists. Ultimately, BioSTL hopes that its efforts will allow the St Louis metro area compete with established biotechnology markets on the East and West Coasts.

Finally, it you cannot land a job at a CRO, a local start up or you are not interested in starting your own company, you can always go back to graduate school. However, if you choose this path, then I highly recommend that you do some research to determine which jobs are likely to be in high demand over the next 5 to 10 years! While going to graduate school may help to defer repaying your undergraduate students loans, you run the risk of incurring more debt and possibly not have a job after you graduate unless you choose your next career option wisely.

Until next time…

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

 

Calling All Life Sciences Startups: Check out LifeScienceFest Americas if Your Company is looking for Investment Capital

Posted in BioBusiness

After a long drought, venture capital and private equity investments into private life sciences companies are beginning to flow again. VCs and fund managers have monies that must be invested into promising new ventures. The best way to find the right investors is to present at life sciences investment fairs like LifeScienceFest Americas. This year BioJobBlog and BioCrowd are cosponsoring the event.  

If you are interested in presenting your company to qualified investors, please read the information presented below and take advantage of discounted rates.

APPLY NOW TO PRESENT AT LIFESCIENCEFEST AMERICAS – JUNE 17, 2011
Investorfest Media is proud to announce call for nominations from promising startups for
LifeScienceFest Americas conference on June 17th.  At the 3rd annual venture conference, we will showcase up to 16 promising innovators seeking funding to active life science angels and investors.

APPLICATION DEADLINE : MAY 14, 2011
If you are a startup (seed, Series-A,B,C or restart) from the medical device, diagnostic or
healthcare technology space and you are seeking new investment to start or grow to the
next level, this is THE conference for you. You must be seeking funding from $250K to
under $20M. Learn more on the application process, segments of interest and deadlines.

CONNECT WITH LEADING INVESTORS AT LIFESCIENCEFEST
General Partners & angels from 20+ leading firms including Sand Hill Angels, Band of Angels, Keiretsu Forum, Claremont Creek Ventures, Bay City Capital,Physic Ventures, Psilos Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures,  Lumira Capital and many others will be at the event. Learn more..

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Investors from Founders of promising innovative companies seeking capital to industry executives, investors and M&A professionals will be in attendance at this exclusive, limited seating event. Non-presenting entrepreneurs can also attend, and must register early to reserve their spot. Register Now to reserve your spot

BIOJOBBLOG BIOCROWD MEMBER DISCOUNT
A limited number of discounted tickets are available for Biocrowd members who will receive $50 off early bird registration and pay just $299. Apply code BIOCR50. Discounts are offered to qualified non-service provider professionals from the life science and med device industry and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register Now at the discounted rate.

ABOUT INVESTORFEST MEDIA
Investorfest Media is the leading VC funding accelerator working in the life science and medical device space. Through our highly focused training and hands on support, qualified companies are put in front of specially chosen investors our annual LifeScienceFest conference. To date over 75% of presenting companies have gone on to receive funding, with over $280 million being raised since 2006. Learn more at investorfest.com

Until next time

Good Luck and Good VC Hunting!!!!!!