School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Dr Sridevi Ranganathan

 

 

Dr. Sridevi Ranganathan - PhD, Biomedical Sciences, SUNY Albany, NY 

Intern at Sanofi Pasteur 

PHMI Class of 2021 

 

 

 

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

The emphasis on mentorship from industry experts and the opportunity for experiential learning via the internship drew me to the PHMI program. The PHMI curriculum appeared to cover a wide range of topics in medical affairs. This appealed to me, as I wanted to gain a better understanding of the different functions and roles in pharmaceutical medical affairs. Also, I was confident that the peer cohort that comprised on MD/PhD/PharmD graduates with diverse work experiences would be very motivated and add value to the learning process. 

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

I had completed my PhD in Biomedical sciences and was working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Baltimore, MD, USA. I was considering a transition to pharmaceutical industry and non-bench roles for my next step. I had started networking and requesting informational interviews with people in the biotech/pharma industry to understand the different non-bench roles.   

What has been your favourite experience so far? 

One thing I kept hearing constantly from friends and my professional network was how difficult it is to get your resume past automatic screening systems and get it noticed by a hiring manager. Getting that first position in the industry without relevant industry experience is the bottleneck. My favourite experience with PHMI is certainly the visibility it has rendered to my resume, via both the coursework and industry work experience. 

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

During graduate and postdoctoral research, I was often the sole owner and driver of my research projects. The project trajectory or the pace at which a particular task was done was based exclusively on my expertise. I remember thinking sometimes that delegating work to others or collaborating was perhaps slowing me down. However, while working on the group assignments during the coursework, I realized the importance and benefits of teamwork! It is designed to build on and use your soft skills to work cohesively as a team, drawing from the strengths of individual team members. Definitely something the pharmaceutical industry values, and rightfully so! 

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

PHMI definitely delivered on its promise of providing a good foundational understanding of the pharma industry and in facilitating an internship position that aligns and matches well with my past experience and interests. I would highly recommend PHMI to anyone looking to understand and transition to medical affairs positions in the industry. My one advice would be to reach out and connect with people in your cohort, mentors and program faculty for they are going to be your immediate network and provide your invaluable mentorship (A senior PHMI graduate passed on this very piece of advice to me! J)