On Friday, September 30th, the Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization (BDC) program held its first major event of the 2016-2017 academic year: the Industry Collaboration Fair. This event allowed BDC students to network with representatives from a variety of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and, in doing so, to scope out the breadth of available career options.
A list of all of the companies that attended the 2016 Industry Collaboration Fair.
|Abbott Canada||A global healthcare company that focuses on medical diagnostics|
|Amaris||A global consulting group that assists its clients in carrying out their projects by using a combination of business acumen and functional expertise|
|Boehringer Ingelheim||A global pharmaceutical company that focuses on researching and marketing novel and therapeutically relevant human and veterinary medicines|
|Center for Commercialization of Regenerative
|A commercialization center that assists small enterprises and emerging biotechnology companies in entering into the regenerative medicine industry|
|Enhanced Medical Nutrition||A healthcare startup that focuses on the need for clinical nutrition following high-risk surgery|
|GlaxoSmithKline||A global pharmaceutical company that develops pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products|
|Inflamax Research||A clinical research organization that specializes in allergies, respiratory conditions, and controlling environmental exposure|
|Innomar Strategies||A leading patient care provider company, part of Amerisourcebergen|
|McGovern Management Group Inc. (MMGI)||MMGI is a recruiting agency that specializes in supporting the Life Sciences industry|
|Novo Nordisk||A global healthcare company that specializes in the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hemophilia, growth disorders, and obesity|
The event was well-received and had a great turnout from faculty members, potential employers, and Level 3, 4, and Master’s BDC students, allowing students to not only meet members of the industry but also BDC students from other years. It was a great official welcome to the BDC program for its new third-year cohort!
BDC students eagerly await the start of company presentations in Celebration Hall.
The fair commenced with brief presentations from Abbott, Amaris, Inflamax, the Center for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, and Enhanced Medical Nutrition. These talks were followed by an open-floor networking session, during which students were able to visit different company booths to ask about potential job opportunities and career paths. Most importantly, the event allowed students to lay the foundation for developing their professional network.
In a world where the job market continues to fluctuate and evolve, bridging the gap between education and the workplace often proves to be a challenge for most students. While career fairs have proven useful in exposing students to workplace opportunities early on in their education, finding opportunities specific to one’s field of study remain rare, particularly when it comes to things as specialized as the scientific industry.
As a four to eight-month internship is required to complete the BDC Master’s degree, the Industry Collaboration Fair was thus an excellent way for Master’s students to scope out potential placements. “Michelle [Trottier; BDC Career Development and Relationship Associate] did a really good job in connecting recruiters and hiring managers in the pharma and biotech sector,” said Rachel Fong, a current MBDC student. “It was amazing to reconnect and make new connections that will benefit us in our professional careers.”
While third and fourth year BDC students have no such internship requirement for their bachelor’s degree, they were just as enthusiastic about potential summer opportunities and future graduate positions. “It was a nice way to get your feet wet as a third year,” said Daniella Bui, a current third year BDC student. “I appreciated the opportunity to see the different companies out there, so that I can get involved when the time comes.” Jobanjit Phulka, a fourth year BDC student, had similar thoughts. “It’s always nice to work on your networking skills and become comfortable with the networking environment,” said Phulka.
BDC students engage with a representative from Enhanced Medical Nutrition during the networking period.
The event was also incredibly well-received from the perspective of the industry representatives. “Almost every employer made a point of letting me know how impressed they were with the students after the event.,” said Trottier, whose role was instrumental in bringing various employers together for the event. “Part of what made this event successful is that we’re branding ourselves…There were lots of comments that these students weren’t typical Science students.”
The BDC program prides itself on developing interdisciplinary students who are equipped with both business acumen and a scientific background. Making an impression on potential employers by distinguishing the program as unique from other Science/Health Sciences programs was thus, in itself, a great success. Trottier also mentioned that many of the employers were excited to return for future events – and there are definitely more to look forward to!