Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

Biotechnology, often referred to as “biotech,” harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. Modern biotechnology provides breakthrough products and technologies to combat debilitating and rare diseases, reduce our environmental footprint, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, and have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes. Adapted from Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Information Gathering

Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular websites in your industry area. Places to start include BiotechNOW, BioSpace, FierceBiotech, BioWorld, and PharmTech. Join relevant listservs; follow industry insiders via social media; and research the types of positions that are available in those fields. Vault, available to Georgetown students for free through the career center’s website, is a good place to start your search. Company websites, O*NET, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are equally helpful resources. You must show not only an interest, but also knowledge about the industry.

Select Resources

  • Vault Career Guides (Cawley website): Vault Career Guide to Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology, Vault Guide to Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Jobs

Making Connections

Attend employer information sessions, industry events – on and off-campus, and connect with popular professional organizations regionally and nationally. The most relevant professional associations in biotech and pharmaceuticals include the Harvard Biotech Club (check out the annual career fair), Association for Professionals in Infectious Control and Epidemiology, and American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Local professional associations include the Maryland Tech Council (see events and conferences) and virginiabio (see organizations that provide internships). Professional associations host a variety of professional development, educational, and networking events. If the cost of membership is prohibitive, contact leadership and ask if there are discounted prices for students. Volunteering for a conference, educational, or social event is another great way to connect with leaders in the industry.

Another way to make connections and potentially find employment is to search NIH databases to learn where research is being conducted around the world. Go to clinicaltrials.gov to view privately and publicly funded clinical studies. The NIH Reporter allows you to look up all funded research by various factors, including location, study area, and more.

Develop a LinkedIn profile that communicates your personal and professional brand. Joining groups related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask questions. Find alumni and reach out using Hoya Gateway, Georgetown University’s alumni page on LinkedIn, and via Georgetown’s Alumni Career Network. The Cawley website provides helpful guidelines on networking and informational interviewing and LinkedIn offers a checklist to help you build an effective profile (PDF).

Making Connections at Georgetown

Georgetown offers a number of opportunities for Hoyas to get involved. Joining a school club is an excellent way to learn more about the industry, develop your skills, and get hands-on experience. Some biotech-related clubs include Futures in Science and Humanities, AcademyHealth, and STEMME. Participate in research and get published in the peer-reviewed Georgetown University Journal of Health Sciences. You can also participate in a group based on a personal interest and develop your professional skills. For example, develop business or communications skills for a student group that interests you. On and off-campus jobs are another excellent way to build skills valued by employers.

Preparing Materials

To better understand what skills, you need to highlight on your resume, check out internships, fellowships, and entry level positions in these industries. Your resume should be one page. Use strong action verbs and focus on your skills and accomplishments to show (not just tell) an employer that you have the required abilities. Be concise. See our resume section for more tips and advice. Be energetic, intelligent and aware when writing cover letters. Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities. The purpose of a cover letter is to convince someone to interview you. For more on cover letters, see our cover letter tips.

Applying

For listings beyond our campus recruiting platform, Handshake, visit biotech-careers for internships and biologyjobs.com for full-time positions. Virginiabio provides a list of bioscience organizations in Virginia that provide internships.

Select Employers


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