Developing talent through experience: The Bristol Myers Squibb PharmD program

May 30, 2017     

From marketing to medical information, there are a number of paths newly minted pharmacists can take upon graduating. Global biopharma leader Bristol Myers Squibb is dedicated to helping PharmD candidates learn more about the opportunities before them through its nationally recognized PharmD Fellowship and Residency Program, a partnership with the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and Florida A&M University. Bristol Myers Squibb offers one- and two-year programs during which fellows and residents gain hands-on, immersive experience on all different facets of the industry.

Program co-leads

Program co-leads and alumni (from left): Dr. Priya Darouian, Dr. Thomas Lehman and Dr. Carol Davis-Shiloh.

Through the program, residents and fellows can focus on specific areas such as Medical Information, Medical Strategy, R&D Strategy and Analytics and Marketing. “At Bristol Myers Squibb, we are truly leading from the front,” says Priya Darouian, a PharmD Fellowship alumnus and the Director of Customer Experience, Medical Capabilities at Bristol Myers Squibb. “The PharmD program gives you an excellent foundation for what pharmacists can do in this industry. The opportunities are endless.”

Residents and fellows work side by side with Bristol Myers Squibb employees, thus entering into an established network of people who are truly invested in helping them develop their careers. Beyond the close friendships members form during the program, fellows and residents are also given challenging and rewarding opportunities to create real impact within Bristol Myers Squibb. “When a fellow comes into a department, they’re treated as part of the team,” says Melissa Harris, an executive sponsor of the program and the Head of Medical, CFIG “They are driving and leading important elements of this business.”

And when it comes to mentorship, fellows and residents won’t have to look far. My door is always open to them,” Darouian says. “They come to me as someone they can talk to regarding opportunities, projects, and career advice.” Even after the program has ended, many alumni stay connected with the program and are happy to interact with incoming fellows and residents. “People really appreciate the impressive talent that’s coming through,” says Samantha Gothelf, an executive sponsor and the Head of Publications & Scientific Content. “Many of the fellows and residents who stay on as Bristol Myers Squibb employees continue to give back.”

Often, employees at Bristol Myers Squibb will look to PharmD fellows and residents for their advice on helping the company innovate. “One of the first things I’ll say to fellows is, ‘You’re viewing the problems and challenges we’re facing with a fresh set of eyes when it comes to bringing medicine to patients,’” Harris says. “‘Don’t be afraid of putting your voice on the table, because you have the ability to bring fresh thinking that can help us do things in a different and better way.’”

Through the diverse learning experiences and opportunities offered, the Bristol Myers Squibb PharmD program prepares graduates for a successful and rewarding career in the pharmaceutical industry. “For the ones who’ve had all the experiences they can here, it’s a seamless transition from being a PharmD to being an employee in the real world,” Gothelf says. “PharmDs, by nature, are individuals who, through their training, understand the science and have the keen ability to drive execution.”

“When I was a fellow, I saw firsthand the passion for the program and how much time people invest in your career growth,” Darouian says. “Bristol Myers Squibb is like a family, and the experiences and friendships I’ve gained throughout my career are invaluable. We’re all here for a common goal: to bring the best medicines to our patients.”

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About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.