Whether you want to be a medical writer, a pharmacologist, or a clinical scientist, a graduate scheme might be your next step into achieving your dream career in the STEM industry. You could find yourself working at the biggest names in pharmaceuticals, including GlaxoSmithKline, MSD, Bupa, AstraZeneca, and many more. You might be thinking, but how do I get there? Fear not, here’s everything you need to know about applying for top pharmaceutical graduate schemes.
Why should I work in the pharmaceutical industry?
Pharmaceuticals is a very rewarding industry that allows you to improve or save people’s lives by doing intensive research, developing new drugs and medications, and mass manufacturing. The global pharmaceutical market is worth a colossal £978 billion, and this is set to rise with the arrival and distribution of the new COVID-19 vaccination. There isn’t a better time to start a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
What Pharmaceutical graduate schemes am I eligible for?
The type of graduate scheme you are eligible for depends on your chosen degree. Often, pharmaceutical graduate schemes require a science-based degree, or a specific degree such as chemistry, for a scheme that is based around analytical chemistry.
The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t just offer graduate schemes for scientists though – there are various opportunities in human resources, medicine marketing, or commercial support functions.
What do the top grad schemes offer me?
Pharmaceutical companies are especially focused on offering high-quality and sometimes extensive benefits. This could include a discounted or free gym membership near the office, flexible working, a good amount of holiday per year or wellness advice for you and your family. Not only are these benefits important, they also show that the company is invested in you and your overall health, not just your work. Be sure to consider the different kinds of benefits you would like to receive because it will influence your future and time at the company – graduate schemes are often two to three-year fixed-term contracts too, so make sure you’re satisfied with the benefits from your chosen company for all your hard work.
Read our article on who are the big pharmaceutical companies to find out who are the key players to look out for in the pharmaceutical sector.
When can I start applying to pharmaceutical graduate schemes? Is there a deadline?
Graduate schemes can be extremely competitive, so it’s recommended that you begin searching and applying for graduate schemes during the final year of your degree. Some applications are open on a rolling basis (companies that accept and respond to applications continually, instead of having one set deadline), whereas others have set deadlines you can’t miss.
If you’re a Bright Network member, take advantage of our Career Calendar that allows you to add potential internships, graduate jobs, or events that you’re interested in to make sure you don’t miss a thing – you can even receive application deadline reminders straight to your email inbox! If you’re not yet a member, sign up today.
How do I apply for pharmaceutical graduate schemes & what does the application process entail?
Bright Network has an up-to-date list of all the pharmaceutical graduate schemes available to apply for, as well as a growing list of top pharmaceutical graduate employers you should consider. Graduate schemes often follow a similar application process, including an online application where you upload your CV and detailed cover letter, followed by a telephone or video interview with a recruiter. If you’re successful, this may be followed up by an assessment centre or game-based assessment that will allow you to show your skills and even build new ones.
Here are a few more articles that might help you understand assessment centres, find useful CV advice, and learn how to have a successful telephone or video interview.
- How to write a CV | Advice, and templates
- Bright advice for acing telephone & video interviews
- Bright advice for acing your assessment centre
- How to write an outstanding personal profile for your graduate CV
To apply or find out more information about a specific programme or firm, keep a close eye on the regularly updated list of Pharmaceutical industrial placements so you’ll never miss a thing.