We spoke to a range of employers at our Meet the Employers: Healthcare Science event to find out what skills and experiences they look for in a graduate and some top tips for getting a career in this sector.
Where can students look for jobs in your sector?
Carrot Pharmacy – “We mainly advertise through our website and through job boards. The emedcareers website is a useful one to use as you can filter for jobs in Pharmaceutical, Medical, Biotech and Healthcare professions.”
McCann Medical – “I’d recommend looking on Indeed and our website for jobs. Ask candidates to look online. In house recruitment. Growing so much as a company so keep looking. Ongoing recruitment”
Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine – “All of our vacancies are advertised on the main NHS jobs website. You can search according to subject type through this website so that you can search for specific roles.”
Astra Zeneca – “We only advertise our roles through our company website. You can sign up for email alerts through our website so that you don’t have to keep checking every day. Each department will push roles in their own department so make sure you follow us and other companies on LinkedIn too. We will also promote some roles through university Careers Services so make sure you check on our jobs board at Manchester Met.”
Concept Life Sciences – “We advertise through our company website and Indeed. It’s also useful to attend networking and careers events to find out more about upcoming roles. We’d also recommend that you follow relevant companies on social media too.”
Astra Zeneca – “Year in industry. Lab based experience – any little bits you can get. Try and get half term placements if you can’t get the year in industry. Need something to differentiate themselves as lots of candidates have good grades. Do your research and show your passion. Try to have an idea of what research you want to go into after university. Have an idea of what research you want to go into but stay flexible and adaptable – don’t specialise in one area too quickly.”
Concept Life Sciences – “Make the most of their time to gain experience. Placements. One year in industry. Unrealistic expectation in some graduates for wages.”
Would you prefer students to have work experience that is relevant to the role they are applying for?
Carrot Pharmacy – “Relevant. Sales experience, experience of meeting targets and deadlines.”
McCann Medical – “Would be fantastic but not essential. Can be quite difficult to source relevant work experience. We recruit writers so they could start writing a blog in their spare time to gain experience.”
Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine – “Relevant if possible. But you do get a lot of skills from any work experience. Do take transferable skills into account.”
Astra Zeneca – “Depends what kind of job you’re applying for. Undergraduate roles – doesn’t matter as we’ll teach the skills. We want integrity, passion and honesty. Need relevant experience for specific roles.”
Concept Life Sciences – “Relevant but particularly in the life sciences.”
What can students do now to prepare themselves for a career with your company and the wider sector?
Carrot Pharmacy – “If you can, going on a placement year would be really useful experience to gain. If not, try to get any work experience that you can to help develop your skills. Try to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and clean up your social media accounts. Make sure that you create a CV too and tailor it to each role you wish to apply for.”
McCann Medical – “Peter Llewellyn has a website which includes lots of useful information about jobs in MedComms and some background information about these jobs. Make sure that you prepare cover letters that are tailored to each role and to each company that you apply for, don’t create one generic cover letter. Try to volunteer to gain experience and take part in society events at university to network and gain new skills.”
Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine – “Experience. Three or four week placement. Any diagnostic lab experience.”
How can your Careers and Employability Service help you to prepare?
- Read our Science and Engineering career guides
- Take part in the Futures Skills Award
- Attend our Careers and Employability workshops
- Learn more about finding valuable work experience and volunteering opportunities on our website
- Book an appointment to speak to a Careers Consultant linked to the Faculty of Science and Engineering