On Friday September 21st, 2018, the BDC program hosted its third annual BDC Industry Preview. The event, which took place in the form of a career fair, offered students a chance to listen to a series of talks from biotechnology/pharmaceutical representatives and attend an engaging networking session.
List of companies attending the BDC career fair:
|Aerotek||A global recruitment company that produces leading staffing solutions|
|Amaris||A consulting group focused on technology and management|
|Celgene||A global pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes a variety of medicines, including treatments for cancer|
|Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation||An initiative between healthcare, science, industry, non-for-profit and government partners to improve the lives of the aging population|
|Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC)||An organization that provides molecular imaging probes and radiopharmaceuticals to hospitals and researchers|
|ChipCare||A biotechnology company that creates accessible diagnostic devices for those living in remote areas|
|Eli Lilly||A pharmaceutical company that creates life-changing medicines for communities across the globe|
|ExVivo||A medical device company that is developing a new allergy testing patch|
|GlaxoSmithKline||A global pharmaceutical company that creates medicine, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products|
|Green Relief||A medical marijuana company that promotes sustainability through the use of aquaponics technology|
|Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre (Haltech)||A non-profit organization that provides advice and mentorship to start-up companies|
|Hamilton Health Sciences Innovation Exchange||A Hamilton-based healthcare innovation accelerator that connects researchers, clinicians, and entrepreneurs while equiping them with necessary resources|
|Innovation Factory||A Hamilton-based non-profit innovation centre which helps start-ups and enterprises innovate and commercialize their ideas|
|Klick Health||A marketing and e-learning firm that has worked with many pharmaceutical companies|
|Mammoth Health Innovation||An investment firm that specializes in health IT companies, universities, global partners, and donors|
|McKesson Canada||A global pharmaceutical and medical technology distributor|
|McMaster Industry Liaison Office||An organization that connects McMaster researchers with industry partners and helps with the commercialization process|
|Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Innovation in Health Care (MGDII)||A group that works with students, researchers, and health professionals to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization|
|Mirexus/Glysantis||A biomedical company involved in research and development of new nano-medicines|
|Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO)||A non-profit membership-based organization whose goal is to help health science companies commercialize ideas|
|Ontario Brain Institute||A non-profit research centre that connects brain researchers with industry|
|Ontario Institute for Cancer Research||A non-profit research institute that conducts and enables cancer research|
|Radicle Cannabis||A Hamilton-based, vertically integrated medical marijuana producer|
|Shift Health||A consultancy group that provides health and life science strategies to government, industry, academia, and the non -profit sector|
|Sixsense Strategy Group||A consulting company that provides biotechnological insights and strategies|
|Stryker||A medical technology company that offers innovative products across a variety of disciplines|
|The Research Institute of St. Joe’s||A scientific community that conducts research in the healthcare sector|
|Vena Medical||A medical device company that is creating a forward viewing imaging microcatheter to allow physicians to see inside patient’s blood vessels|
|VivaVax||A biotechnology start-up that builds products that protect temperature-sensitive drugs in transport|
|Youtrients||A biotechnology company that provides nutritional supplements personalized by nutrigenomic analysis|
To kick-start the event, BDC Director Dr. Eric Brown welcomed students, staff, and industry representatives with his opening remarks. This was followed by a Career Talks session, which had the following guest speakers: Ricky Ghoshal (Mirexus/Gysantis), Dr. Anne Mullin (Shift Health Consulting), Dr. Gail Martin (St. Joe’s Hospital), Kimberlite Mayordomo (Eli-Lilly), Rami Reda and Dr. Kiva Ferraro (Radicle Cannabis). Each presenter took a few minutes to discuss their career, their academic pathway, and their personal journey. The talks were a new addition to the career fair, and were met with overwhelming praise.
“The Career Talks session was my favourite part of the event,” noted Sally Min, a fourth-year undergraduate BDC student. “It felt more like a candid conversation rather than a presentation. The industry members became much more approachable and relatable. After all, they face struggles, deal with uncertainty of the future, and have second thoughts about their dreams just like we do! It definitely made me want to reach out to other company representatives to ask about their personal journey.”
The networking session was a different experience for students at different points in their education pathway. For many undergraduate third-year BDC students, the event showed them new perspectives and exceeded their expectations.
“It’s better than other career fairs that I’ve been to,” said Julie Nguyen, a third-year BDC student. “The personalized business cards from the BDC student society definitely boosted our confidence. The [industry members] were surprisingly super nice and I feel like they had a lot of wisdom to share, rather than 100% discussing job opportunities. At the end of the day, I’m sure everyone gained something from it!”
On the other hand, students in the BDC Masters (MBDC) program saw the career fair as a showcase of internship opportunities. “The positive reputation that the administrative team has cultivated for the BDC program is something to be cherished, and the fruit of their labour is the annual BDC career fair,” said Krish Khurana, an MBDC candidate.
“From my perspective as a student, this event is invaluable because it brings the industry right to our doorstep. I see that the industry partners are equally enthused because it’s their opportunity to recruit some of the brightest minds at the nexus of science and business. It’s truly a win-win. With that much synergy, I look forward to attending this event again, albeit with the hope that I’ll be representing one of the companies!”
In summary, BDC students responded to the career fair with satisfaction and appreciation. “As a fourth-year BDC student, I am regularly contemplating what life will be like after my bachelor’s degree is complete,” said Hamdi, president of the BDC student society (BDCS). “It’s a time full of excitement, but also a time full of extreme pressure and doubt.”
“The BDC career fair is an excellent opportunity for students to see the fantastic careers that lie between the world of biomedical science and business. Attending this fair is one of the great highlights of this program as it provides students with networking opportunities that other programs can’t offer.”
The event would not be possibly without the meticulous planning of Emily Taylor, BDC career and development and relationship manager, as well as Jennifer Crane, who will be taking on Emily’s role during her leave-of-absence. Thank you and best wishes to Emily, and a warm welcome to Jennifer!