LSC attended the Food, Pharma and Life Sciences roadshow in UCC
It was great to take part in such a focused event where we had the opportunity to give our advice to enthusiastic students eager to enter the Life Science industry.
To answer some of the questions asked at yesterday’s event:
How do I get my foot in the door?
The majority of graduate recruitment is managed internally by companies. Very few agencies will have any roles to suit grads. Apply directly to your target companies in your target sectors. Include a cover letter telling the company why you want to work for them, what roles you are interested in and why you are the right fit for the company (all in less than 6-8 lines). Don’t just look at the big companies. 90% of companies in the European Biotech market are SMEs. Also look at the suppliers to the Biotech sector. There are 25,000 persons working directly in Biopharma and another 25,000 in support companies to the sector.
Which companies do the most Biotech research and drug discovery in Ireland?
The Irish Pharmaceutical industry in the 1970s/80s/90s was traditionally manufacturing focused and didn’t engage in the upfront drug R&D. This has changed as the industry in Ireland has matured and developed and we are seeing an increasing number of facilities adding development capabilities that take the candidate molecules from the research labs and bring them through trials and commercialisation and into steady state manufacturing. While the front end of research and discovery is still not a common occurrence in the multinational Biotech companies in Ireland, the range and depth of science and engineering engagement in R&D is increasing every year and in 10-15 years that may be a very different story.
Today the majority of research and discovery in Ireland occurs in third level institutes (in partnership with companies), SMEs and start-ups. If research is an area you want to work in then speak to your lecturers and find out what is best for you.
Where are the most graduate jobs at the moment?
Biopharma is expected to add 8,000 new jobs from 2016 to 2020. Medical Device are predicting 4,000 new jobs in the same period. In short the Life Sciences market is growing rapidly and tends to be a long term stable market. This is certainly a great time to join the Life Sciences sector and to start your career.
All the large Biopharma and Medical Device companies have graduate programs. Employers today are less focused on your specific qualification. Don’t stress too much on figuring out which roles suit your degree. One of our industry partners recently recruited six grads for the same job title from six different primary degrees. Focus on what type of job you want and that is a much better approach, as your passion for the job will shine through at the interview stage.
LSC’s Eoin and Oisin will be attending the UCC Engineering and IT roadshow this on Wednesday, 27th September, giving advice to graduates as they prepare to enter industry.