Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharma

The life sciences field, which can include large pharmaceutical companies (i.e. Johnson & Johnson), biotechnology startups (i.e. Wave Life Sciences), and medical devices (i.e. Abbott), has opportunities for all degree concentrations. While it can be a great industry fit for those who have concentrated in the sciences and have research/lab experience, the field also has numerous opportunities in business, finance, and strategy. Whether you are looking to be in the lab or beyond the bench, the life sciences field is expected to grow. For instance, MassBioEd’s recent Life Sciences Employer Outlook report estimates the life sciences will increase in Massachusetts by 32% in 10 years.

Finding Internships

Along with your science-related coursework, the best way to explore your interests and build foundational skills in life sciences is by finding a lab (wet lab or dry lab) in your field of choice during the school terms or over the summer. Research forms the backbone of any scientific endeavor and this experience will provide the skills and knowledge necessary for a future career. If you plan to pursue a PhD, it is especially important to engage in research during your undergraduate career. In addition to research, industry internships can provide real-world experience, which is directly applicable to future career paths. Many biotech and pharmaceutical organizations will host interns throughout the year. Search their websites for opportunities in business and technology roles as well as R&D. These opportunities usually become available in late fall stretching through early spring, which is why we typically host our Biotech, Pharma and Healthcare Career Expo in January.

Finding Jobs

Both research and non-research positions are available for Harvard graduates interested in the life sciences. You may want to consider leadership development or rotational programs. These 1-2 year opportunities are posted on Crimson Careers or on organization human resource websites. Research these organizations starting in the fall to plan your applications accordingly. Others will choose to find entry-level research assistant or associate research positions within biotech and pharma organizations, academic laboratories, or research hospitals. One recommended job board to explore your interest in the biotech, pharma and life science industry is biospace.com. Making connections is an important step in finding  post-grad research opportunities, so we recommend reaching out to your network as you begin your job search. Some graduates interested in life sciences have also chosen to pursue life sciences consulting, which holds earlier hiring timelines with more structured recruiting requirements (i.e. case method interviews).

Graduate and Professional Programs

Deciding whether to pursue a research-based Ph.D. program versus a professional master’s degree can be difficult, and certainly hinges on your ultimate goals. In addition to speaking with our advisors, discuss this decision with trusted members of the faculty who have advised or taught you in a related discipline. Faculty are often in the best position to describe the academic and research components of graduate education, and may even connect you to their colleagues in departments and schools across the country for further information.

Making Connections & Employer Research

Summer is an excellent time to learn more about specific industries and employers, which includes reaching out to fellow students, recent alumni, and other professionals who are working in fields or at organizations that interest you. Making connections and networking are the most effective ways to explore pathways, navigate the application and interview process, and position yourself for future internship and job opportunities. What sets a candidate apart is their demonstrated interest and knowledge about the organization, the work that they do, and the broader career field. Get a head start by utilizing some of

By Recruiting / Employer Engagement Team
Recruiting / Employer Engagement Team
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Making the Most of Your Summer

Summer is almost here! Congratulations on completing the academic year. We know that while many of you may be looking forward to a summer experience, others may still be seeking new opportunities.

If you are looking for a summer experience, …

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Recruiting / Employer Engagement Team
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Resource Spotlight: Vault

Vault is a valuable, comprehensive career planning tool – whether you have a career in mind, are not sure where to begin, or want some options to consider. Peruse this terrific resource to access numerous career guides, explore career fields, …

By Loredana George
Loredana George Assistant Director, Consulting, International Relations, Global Development, Education, Psychology, Global Health, Human Rights, & Alumni Engagement
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Featured Resources

Below is a sample of the organizations that have structured leadership development programs. These entry-level programs often allow employees to …

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