On September 22, 2017, the BDC program held its second annual career fair in CIBC Hall to celebrate the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. The event expanded on the success of last year’s career fair, and included a panel discussion and a networking session that allowed BDC students to engage with representatives from biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
A list of companies that attended the 2017 Industry Preview Fair.
|Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corporation (APC)||A biotechnology company that produces antibody drug conjugates to treat cancer|
|Albany Molecular Research Institute||A contract manufacturing and research organization that partners with biotech and pharma industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life|
|AllerGen NCE||A research network that unites Canada’s leading experts in asthma and allergic disease|
|Amaris||A global consulting group that assists its clients in carrying out their projects by using a combination of business acumen and functional expertise|
|Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited Canada||A contract manufacturing supplier that deals in liquid and semi-solid outsourcing|
|Enhanced Medical Nutrition (EMN)||A healthcare startup that focuses on the need for clinical nutrition following high-risk surgery|
|GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)||A global pharmaceutical company that develops pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products|
|Hoffman-LaRoche||A multinational healthcare leader in the development of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics|
|Jazz Pharmaceuticals||An international biopharmaceutical company with a focus on sleep and hematology|
|Klick Health||The world’s largest independent health marketing and commercialization agency, with headquarters in Toronto|
|Lumago||A start-up at the Forge that uses aquaponics to improve greenhouse food sustainability|
|Mariner Endosurgery||A medical device company based in Hamilton and London that specializes in soft tissue surgical navigation software and hardware development|
|Mint Pharmaceuticals||A Canadian pharmaceutical company that produces generics|
|Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO)||A non-for-profit organization that aims to help companies in the health sector commercialize their technologies|
|Pfizer||A research-based pharmaceutical company with a diverse portfolio in prescription medicines, vaccines, infusion systems, and non-prescription products|
|Sanofi Pasteur||A division of the global pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis that focuses specifically on vaccine research|
|Sixsense Strategy Group||A consulting company aimed at helping pharmaceutical and bio-tech industry customers design and execute business strategies|
|Sunny Brook Research Institute||A Toronto-based research centre dedicated to the advancement of medical science|
|TO Health||An industry-led promotion cooperative aimed at further developing Toronto’s Health Sciences sector|
Members of the BDC student society began the career fair by facilitating a panel discussion, during which Megan Coombes (Hoffman-LaRoche), Tom Hendrikson (Sixsense), Rory Curtis (Albany Molecular Research Inc.), Michelle Kerrison (Sanofi Pasteur), and Alexandria Papa (Pfizer) offered personal insight on key topics of interest. Common overarching themes included desirable qualities in potential employees, general career/personal advice, and how each panelist reached the current point in their career.
BDC students take advantage of the personal career insight offered by various industry representatives during the open-floor networking session.
Many industry representatives had positive words for both the event and the BDC program as a whole. “[BDC students] have together what I had to do separately,” said Alexandria Papa, a senior business analyst at Pfizer who obtained an undergraduate degree in science, a graduate degree in bioinformatics, and an MBA before finding a career path suited to her science/business interests. “For [BDC students] to have that bridge already established and to have people in academia and the institution helping [BDC students] makes me really happy.”
Michelle Kerrison, a McMaster Commerce alumnus and supply chain manager at Sanofi Pasteur, had similar praise. “It’s important for people to think about what they want to do after school,” said Kerrison. “By combining science with commercialization, [the BDC program] really shows students what opportunities are out there.”
Left to right: Alexandria Papa (Pfizer) and Michelle Kerrison (Sanofi-Pasteur) providing advice to BDC students.
For students wishing to consider paths beyond graduate and professional school, interacting with health care sector employers proved invaluable. The open-floor networking session gave students the opportunity to ask industry representatives specific questions pertaining to their individual career interests. “The BDC administrative team did a phenomenal job recruiting a myriad of big-name pharmaceutical and biotech companies,” said Gabriella Paniccia, a fourth-year undergraduate BDC student. “I definitely always take advantage of these situations by trying to make a lasting impression [on the companies I interact with].”
“Many students don’t get the opportunity to explore networking during their undergraduate education,” added Hamdi Abdo, a third-year undergraduate BDC student. “I found [the BDC Career Fair] to be both informative and helpful in terms of getting out of my comfort zone and communicating with industry members.”
Other students explored available internship opportunities, a mandatory part of the one-year BDC course-based Master’s program. “The Career Fair was extremely valuable in developing my network with potential employers,” said Alyssa Posca, a BDC Master’s student. “Building relationships with hiring managers and recruiters is one of the most important parts of the job search – and this event was a great opportunity to do so!”
“BDC students can be quite competitive for a wide range of career choices due to the nature of the courses within the program,” said Michelle Trottier, former BDC career development and relationship associate. “The purpose of the fair was to provide students the opportunity to ask questions and have insight to the opportunities they can explore with their degree.”
Many thanks to Michelle Trottier, who conceptualized and implemented the past two BDC Career Fairs! The BDC Career Fair marked Michelle’s last event, as she has since moved on to an amazing opportunity in the UK. The BDC office welcomes a new career development and relationship manger to the team, Emily Taylor, and wishes Michelle all the best in her new position as Faculty Employment Advisor at the University of Bristol.