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How an IMU Pharmacy Degree Helped Me in My Career as a Product Specialist in the Pharmaceutical Industry

20 Jul 2022

I am Lovy Chong Le Er (First from left in the photo above) from the cohort BP116 and I am a graduate from the International Medical University (IMU)’s Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy. I am currently working as a product specialist in Johnson & Johnson (J&J) covering the Central Nervous System (CNS) portfolio.

I always wanted to be part of the healthcare profession. That is the reason why I choose the BPharm (Hons) programme at IMU as the university is a very reputable in Malaysia. As a student, we were able to gain wide exposure through several experiential learning opportunities including the mandatory placements and service to the community through the curriculum of the BPharm (Hons) programme. I am confident in saying that this produces competent, caring and ethical professionals who are lifelong learners and makes them an asset to their employers.

I am sure many will certainly agree that the BPharm (Hons) at IMU harbors several unique features to ensure that its graduates are prepared for work in the many sectors, and I would like to highlight the one which is more aligned to my current work in the pharmaceutical industry.

To me, it would be the Pharmaceutical Management and Entrepreneurship module which I had taken in Semester 5, Year 3 of the programme. The module provides the necessary knowledge for students who would like to explore the business side of the pharmacy sector or explore pharmaceutical marketing as their career option. One of the assignments in that module that I would like to mention is when we had to develop an innovative pharmaceutical product and also design a suitable marketing strategy to promote the product. Working on this assignment in a group, we managed to pick up soft skills like teamwork, resilience, communications and develop the ability to propose effective strategies for sales and marketing. Fortunately, my group had won the Best Poster Presentation Award for our business management project. Besides that, I was also able to improve my presentation skills due to the constant practice during the PBL sessions and presentations assigned in every semester.

The clinical and business knowledge that I had acquired through the pharmacy programme have enabled me to be more confident in my current work as a product specialist in Johnson & Johnson. As a product specialist my day-to-day role includes visiting doctors and other related healthcare professionals to evaluate their needs or promote products and services. Besides that, I am also involved in negotiating contracts with prospective clients and collaborating with the marketing team. The product that I am currently dealing with is paliperidone palmitate injectable which can treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. The pharmacy knowledge and background that I have, enables me to understand the clinical literatures in depth and to work along with the medical doctors on their queries about the product form the clinical perspective. With this, I strongly believe that the IMU BPharm (Hons) programme has one of the best reputations in preparing work ready graduates.

Besides, there is always a constant effort of providing career talks and internship opportunities for the students by the career development team. I was lucky to land myself in an internship opportunity with Norvatis while I was pursuing my pharmacy degree.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the IMU BPharm (Hons) programme to anyone who is willing to pursue the pharmacy degree without any hesitation as the pharmacy degree opens the gate to wide range of job opportunities. In short it is one degree for many opportunities!

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