Biotechnology - Looking for direction? - Postgrad


5 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Looking for direction?

Edinburgh University

Alternative Careers Seminar

Alasdair Milton, Wood Mackenzie


November 2006



BSc Cell Biology, Glasgow University, 1994

MSc Marketing, Strathclyde University, 1998

PhD Cancer Research, Glasgow University, 1999

doctorate, Glasgow University, 2003

Medical Representative, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, 2005

Analyst, Wood Mackenzie, 2005


Why an MSc in Marketing

what did this give me?

Decided that I wanted to eventually do a PhD


was afraid of ‘pigeon
holing’ myself

Knew I wanted a career that mixed business and science

Decided to gain that business knowledge through an MSc

Enhanced my presentation skills/writing skills

Enhanced my ‘people’ skills

Learnt how to work as part of a team for the first time


PhD Cancer Research

In this day and age, everyone seems to have a degree

You have to set yourself apart from the other job seekers

Learnt what hard work was, and what little thanks you get for it

But, this is for you

Made me focused, determined, and driven

Would I do it again


a PhD can make, or break you


First mistake

stayed on as a post

Married in 2003, so felt I had had enough upheaval!!

Chance to join Wood Mackenzie in mid
2003 as Pharmaceutical
research analyst

Ideal job

mix of business and science

But, turned down

not enough experience of the Pharma. industry

Really disappointed to miss out

Was offered the chance to stay on and publish my PhD work

Too tempting

Unfortunately, I took the easy option

like a lot of other people I
worked with!!

But, with hindsight, I should have left

Knew that I didn’t want a career at the bench

6 months turned into 2 years!!


What now?

Spent most of 2004 looking at entry points for the Pharma. industry

Sales rep. is about the only way in on the business side

Also looked at lab
based sales

But, no experience

no job!!

Eventually, my hand was forced

Lab relocated to Oxford in March 2005

Had no option but to leave


Life as a sales rep

Joined Wyeth as junior sales rep in March 2005

Covered Glasgow (including the salubrious parts)!!

Tough job, but an excellent starting point for someone interested in the

If any job can mould you into a success

this is it!

Many senior executives in the industry have ‘cut their teeth’ as reps

But, not for the faint hearted

The days of the GPs
junkets have gone!

You have to be prepared for doors to be slammed in your face


Second bite of the cherry with Wood Mackenzie

Chance of Wood Mackenzie job arose again in June 2005

This time, even with limited experience, I was determined not to miss

Learnt about the company

inside out

Knew the recruitment process, so had an advantage

Got the job and started in August 2005


What do Wood Mackenzie do?

Global suppliers of consulting and research expertise to the energy
and life sciences sectors

In life sciences

Our clients include the worlds leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies, as well as leading financial services companies

The company operates an integrated business model

We offer unique,


and authoritative insights through
integrated research and consulting services

This is what gives Wood Mackenzie its unique selling point

Most consultancy firms buy in second hand research in order to allow
them to complete a project


What does ‘research’ at Wood Mackenzie entail?

Our proprietary suite of research products help clients address key
business issues.

These analytical tools offer clients a clearer understanding of
competitors’ strategies, drug
sales trends and issues in the various
geographic and therapeutic markets:

Pharma/Biotech Reviews

Structured overviews including key products / R&D candidates etc


Sales forecasting tool for Top 45 Pharma/Biotech. companies

Corporate Franchise Analysis

Franchise development of Top 20 Pharma/Biotech. companies

Horizons / In Our View

Thought leadership publications covering key industry issues

We also provide ad hoc analysis for leading media sources including the
FT, NY Times etc


The Pros and Cons


Mix of business and science

ideal job!!

Working in a motivated, challenging and stimulating environment

Chance to become a specialist within your chosen field, building a
reputation amongst your peers

Chance to travel abroad

Wood Mackenzie is growing and evolving at an exciting pace

Chance to influence company performance is much greater than if with a
bigger company


Long hours

Remuneration not comparable to financial analysts


What about alternative careers?

Financial analyst

The Good

Influencing share price of the companies you cover

Right at the heart of what makes these companies tick

We’ve all heard what a City bonus can be like!!!

Form excellent contacts

The Bad

Demanding, high pressured job

London move is essential

Potential conflicts of interest

Small fish in a big pond!!

The Ugly

Get ready for the 5am starts!!


Other alternatives

Other types of finance

Investment banking

Always on the look
out for highly analytical students

Tough to get in

The rewards are obvious


if you think working as an analyst is high

Editor for scientific magazines/papers

Retains the mix of business and science

Probably a move to London again

The chance to influence what gets published within the scientific


Overview / Tips

Don’t stick around after your PhD like I did

Strongly advise you to get your CV updated professionally, and to
use selected recruitment agencies to help you source opportunities

Try, try again (like I did at Wood Mackenzie)

this was part of the
reason I got the job second time around!!

Don’t think you don’t have transferable skills

there is a real
shortage of talented, analytically thinking people in the business

Transferable skills

Time management / working to a deadline

Perseverance / resilience

Ability to show initiative

Data gathering / sorting skills

Independent thinking