I began seriously searching in November of 02. I was going to be finishing school during the holidays and figured I would gear up my search. I knew it was what I wanted to do for some time. My Father and Uncle are both 30+ year veterans of the industry. However, they are/were in the NYC Metro area and I wanted to do this on my own. Despite their offers to pull strings and make calls I went about it on my own. Both were/are high in the corporate structure of large pharma. At times it was tempting to ask them to pull in favors from over the years but I resisted. It took me until just shy of my 38th Birthday to finish school, so I could do what I wanted. While I was completing the last 2 years of college, I gave up a job that paid twice what Pharma pays, to get 2 years of B2B sales experience.
My first Pharma interview came from TAP at the end of January. I became upset when I saw an ad in the Sunday paper for the territory I had phone screened for and was still showing awaiting f2f. So I sent resume’s the next day via fax, e-mail and Fed-Ex. Low and behold it was for their Lupron Division and not the GI expansion we were all so wrapped up in around this board. I did well enough to be asked to fly to corporate, only to be called a few days later and be told corporate shot me down due to lack of 1 yr Pharma experience. I was bummed for a day or two but the members on this board and my own fortitude picked me up and brushed me off. The end of Feb I interviewed with Innovex and was a close second. That DM stayed in touch. In March of 03 I interviewed with PDI, Pfizer, BI and BMS. 1 week from my first Interview with PDI I accepted their offer. I have been with them since the first week of April. While at training for PDI the Innovex DM called with a job offer as did BMS. Pfizer I knew, I did not do well at that interview as it was three days after I accepted PDI’s offer and I was almost to relaxed. BI I did well and was surprised I did not get offered but the DM has been in touch twice to see if I was interested still.
My territory consists of 160 Doctors with a mix of 40% in the cities and 60% rural areas. Since May 1, I have put almost 12,000 miles on the company car and it is all work related. I have about a 17 working day call cycle. The nice thing about PDI is there is less stress and no speaker programs to keep you away from the family a few nights a week, unless you want to attend with the counterparts from the companies we are contracted with.
During the course of my search I read Anne Clayton’s book and David Curriers book. The key to success I believe is three fold. First, Patience. Second, Persistence. Third, Networking. They do not need be in that order. However, it is my belief that if one of those pieces are missing and you get into this field you are one of the few lucky ones. Networking by far, I found to be the most effective way of getting my resume into the hands of a desicion maker. Recruiters were of no help in my search. The company web sites I found to be of value only for research. Go out and get the local reps cards and start calling them or e-mailing them. They are the ticket into this show. Network with and learn from others on this board as well as those reps you do come in contact with. You never know when you may run into them in the field.
If you find this site helpful, please send a link to your career services department so your fellow alumni know about PharmBoard too! I've already written the message for you. :)