Guide to Recruiting for Biotech and Pharma | MBA Core Fellows Series

by Vivek Pejaver, MBA ’23 | MBA Core Fellow

I was fortunate to work at Moderna this summer as a Business Development and Corporate Strategy intern. To secure this internship, I took various steps to ensure that I could find the best opportunities and that I was prepared for the interviews. Below are a few steps that will help you on your journey if you are looking for a similar role.

Step 1: Update your resume so it aligns with the role description

Ensure that your resume reflects the qualifications of the job description. I didn’t have any business development experiences but I emphasized my knowledge and expertise in the biotech area. Having prior experience in biotech/pharma is not a prerequisite for these types of roles and many recruiters are open to a variety of backgrounds. For those that don’t have experience in the area, I would suggest making sure to highlight skills that are transferrable to the role. Additionally, you can try and gain experience in biotech during the semester to look more appealing these pharma/biotech companies.

Step 2: Set up notifications for job postings on Career Central and LinkedIn. Join relevant organizations, such as the Healthcare Club, and subscribe to newsletters/WhatsApp

I was constantly checking job postings from the CDO (you can also set up alerts) and set up multiple alerts on LinkedIn. I utilized keywords such as internship, business development, biotech/pharma to ensure I was getting the most pertinent notifications for LinkedIn alerts. The more access and notifications to job postings you have the better your chances of landing the role you want. There are some great roles that get posted on LinkedIn and various roles that come through the professional clubs!

Step 3: Internship applications

I applied to multiple internship postings to ensure that I would have broad exposure to the interview process, questions, and learn more about the roles. For example, one role on paper didn’t look that appealing but after talking with the individuals at the company it was a very interesting internship role! My role at Moderna came through LinkedIn. If you do see a LinkedIn posting, I would recommend applying immediately. I was fortunate to apply when the application went live and I believe that helped me in the interview process.

Step 4: Interview process

In most of my interviews, there was a first-round interview followed by a final round consisting of 3-5 consecutive interviews. The interview questions were split between behavioral questions and more technical questions around the biotech industry. The behavioral questions usually centered around teams, challenges, communicating complex information and influencing without authority. The technical questions, for example, centered around latest business development deals, how these deals aligned with their scientific and corporate strategy, and emerging scientific trends.

I hope this serves as a helpful guide. Good luck in your search and please reach out with any questions!

By MIT Sloan CDO