School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Dr Michele Zhang



Dr. Michele Zhang - PharmD, University of Toronto 

Intern at Eisai Canada 

PHMI Class of 2021 




What drew you to the PHMI program at Queen’s? 

The PHMI program at Queen’s University is a unique program, with a structure that puts equal emphasis on academics and real-world experiences. In a highly competitive field, it’s important ensure that you are armed with the knowledge and experience to truly make an impact in pharmaceutical industry. The PHMI program offers both, with the added opportunity to build a network of like-minded colleagues and prominent figures in the industry.  

What were you doing when you entered the program? Were you already looking for opportunities in industry? 

Before I entered the program, I was a pharmacist practicing in both community pharmacy and at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. I had recently transitioned from a highly patient-facing role to a position that provided a higher-level view of the healthcare landscape. From here I realized that there was an opportunity in pharmaceutical industry to contribute to patient care on a greater scale, as well as step into novel ground for medical innovation and opportunities.  

What has been your favourite experience so far? 

Although the program this was year done completely virtually, the PHMI program team did an excellent job of keeping the cohort engaged throughout the semester. The virtual escape room that we did was a great way to get to know the plethora of personalities in the class. It was truly a good time and I wish we had the opportunity to do another one!  

What is the most interesting thing you learned? Perhaps an “ah-ha” moment that has changed your view on something? 

The best example of an “ah-ha” moment for myself occurred a few weeks into my internship, when everything “clicked”. The content from the learning modules and assignments we completed in the first half of the program aligned with the internal workings of the Medical Affairs team in my internship company. It’s exciting to see the clinical development and commercialization pathways operating in real time, and getting to work and apply the knowledge I’d learned in a real-world setting.  

If someone were considering applying to PHMI, what advice would you give them?  

Do your research and talk to as many people as you can who have insights into the experience, and also into the sector of industry you are interested in. Sometimes, your true interests may land you somewhere completely different than where you thought would end up. Therefore, I think it’s important to understand the different roles within industry, how they work together, and which matches your unique strengths.