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Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development [Paperback]

Toby Freedman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 13, 2009 0879698802 978-0879698805 1
As the world of biotechnology has grown in leaps and bounds, so too have the career opportunities. But the choices can be daunting. What types of jobs are available? How do you get your foot in the door? What will your job entail if you become a "Preclinical Project Manager" or a "Process Scientist"? What's the difference between biotech and pharma?

Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development provides a comprehensive and systematic overview of careers in the life science industry, with all their ups and downs. The author, Toby Freedman, Ph.D., has conducted interviews with hundreds of key players in the industry, who provide firsthand explanations of their daytoday roles and responsibilities, and offer key insights into how they landed those jobs in the first place. Careers in everything from discovery research to venture capital are covered in detail. Each chapter includes valuable sections on preparing yourself for a prospective career: educational requirements and personality characteristics needed; recommendations of books, magazines, and Web site resources; and issues to consider regarding salary and compensation. The book also includes interviewing and job searching tips, as well as suggestions on writing a resume specifically for industry. Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development is an essential guide for science graduates and medical, business, legal, hightech or engineering professionals. With discussions of job security, future trends, and potential career paths, even those already working in industry will find helpful information on how to take advantage of opportunities available within their own companies and elsewhere. This book will help you make wiser and more informed decisions about what role you would like to play in the biotechnology and drug development industry.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''In the preface to [this book], author Toby Freedman states that her intention is to 'assist talented people in their search for satisfying employment in the life sciences industry' and suggests that the book is designed to serve as a resource for the transition from academics into industry. She is president of Synapsis Search in Portola Valley, Calif., and an executive search recruiter. Without question, the newly published career guidebook accomplishes this goal. However, to dismiss the book as a resource specifically for so limited a target audience would be a disservice not only to novice professionals already at work within the biopharmaceutical industry but also to established professionals in the field. Even curious individuals not contemplating a career transition will find Freedman's text an interesting exploration of the biopharmaceutical industry and will, in fact, come away with a surprisingly rich understanding of where drugs come from.' From page one, it is clear that Freedman understands how little time most readers can afford to dedicate to even well-constructed books of this type. The book is consistently and meticulously organized in such a way as to facilitate the maximum transfer of key information. Each section and subsection is bullet-point driven, yet Freedman's 'just the facts' approach is sincere and engaging.'' --Chemical & Engineering News ''[T]his book should be available in all university departments rather than held in a central library and both Honours students and PhD candidates should be introduced to it through a lecture format. It's a tremendously valuable resource.'' --Australian Biochemist ''Since I'm always interested in career development, and biotech is a field I don't know enough about, I thought I'd check [this book] out. I must admit I was highly impressed with the material...The first 6 chapters of this book provide general career advice, giving an overview of what is expected in the biopharma industry, what it takes to succeed, how to write a resume, network, etc. Most of the advice applies to all jobs, but some is specific to science or these industries. The advice is very good, and includes lots of details, examples, and resources for further information. Freedman provides a balanced overview, pointing out both the good and bad points of this industry.'' --American Chemical Society Careers Blog

''[T]his book should be available in all university departments rather than held in a central library and both Honours students and PhD candidates should be introduced to it through a lecture format. It's a tremendously valuable resource.'' --Australian Biochemist

''Since I'm always interested in career development, and biotech is a field I don't know enough about, I thought I'd check [this book] out. I must admit I was highly impressed with the material...The first 6 chapters of this book provide general career advice, giving an overview of what is expected in the biopharma industry, what it takes to succeed, how to write a resume, network, etc. Most of the advice applies to all jobs, but some is specific to science or these industries. The advice is very good, and includes lots of details, examples, and resources for further information. Freedman provides a balanced overview, pointing out both the good and bad points of this industry.'' --American Chemical Society Careers Blog

Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1 edition (March 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879698802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879698805
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Toby Freedman is an author and Founder/President of Synapsis Search. A scientist by training, she transitioned into business as a recruiter, writer, and entrepreneur. Her book Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development was published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and provides a comprehensive overview of the many careers in the life sciences industry. Her book covers over 20 vocational areas ranging from venture capital to marketing to discovery research. She founded her own recruiting firm, Synapsis Search, which is focused on executive R&D and business placements in the life sciences industry. She previously worked at BioQuest, an executive search firm, placing VP to CEO-level executives, and as Director of Business Development at SLIL Biomedical, a drug discovery company developing therapeutics for cancer and other diseases. She earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from UNC Chapel Hill, a B.S. from the University of California, and as an NIH Fellow, conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University and at the University of Texas-Austin.

Toby is the Program Chair for the BioScience Forum, a non-profit educational forum serving the Bay Area biotechnology community and also teaches classes in career development for the life sciences at UC Berkeley extension.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great biopharma career resource January 3, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development by Toby Freedman, Ph.D. ([...]) is an invaluable tool for anyone pursuing a new career or currently working in biopharma.

Applying for a job is a job in itself. When starting this process, it is difficult to remember everything that needs to be researched and considered for this important life decision. Executive support Web sites like TheLadders.com offer helpful pieces of information, but in this book Dr. Freedman seems to have included everything the job-seeker needs.

The writing style is direct and personal, allowing for quick and enjoyable reading. By the end of Chapter 3, the reader can have a personalized list of to-do items that will increase confidence, and set a realistic expectation of the job seeking experience. Chapter 5 covers the Informational Interview concept. It is a key step in networking that I first learned after paying a career consultant $3,000 after I left clinical practice. Networking is how many people gain entry into biopharma. Part 1 of this book prepares the reader to start networking effectively.

Part II of the book is chaptered by career area over the life cycle of the biopharma product. The reader will gain a clear understanding of each step and how they depend on each other. Chapters are full of definitions and detailed explanations of each role, as well as educational and experience requirements for candidates. Each chapter creates a day-in-the-life-of-this-job picture with pros and cons of the job. Section titles such as "Are You a Good Candidate for Regulatory Affairs?" help readers match position requirements with their personal traits. There is even a list of personal characteristics in each chapter to help rule out a position.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding where you fit inside biotech April 19, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Having worked in biopharma marketing and business development management for over 30 years, I am often asked by young professionals working in biotech R&D what positions they might pursue successfully on the business and marketing side of the business. I feel comfortable sharing what the roles, rewards and expectations are for business and marketing functions but don't have the background of actually moving from R&D myself to understand their current positions and the questions they should be asking. In the future, I will now recommend Toby Freedman's book to help them find the position that best fits their background, skills and temperment. I was especially impressed with the extremely valuable information about career ladders inside functions in all divisions as well as great insights where those with "Research bench" experience can move successfully. This book is not just for newly graduated life scientists but for those desiring a transition after years in a function. I was amazed with the breadth and depth of the myriad career paths covered and quality and accuracy of those positions I hadn't expected the author would have understood as well as research.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Way to Learn about Careers in Biopharma! March 10, 2010
Format:Hardcover
This book is so multifaceted. It describes very clearly how the various divisions and departments of biopharma fit together. You learn the requirements for each career. You learn about suggested personal traits, comparative salaries, job security, do's and don'ts, pros and cons of each type of position, and how to switch careers within biopharma. You read lists of personal attributes which would contraindicate a particular career choice. You read about a typical day-in-the-life of various positions....

I've read or perused six Biopharma career books, and this is the best one I've found by far! I can't imagine how it could be any more comprehensive, helpful, and easy-to-read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING BOOK!!! May 24, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had been looking for quite a long time now, a book that would help me understand what the jobs in the pharmaceutical industry were and what the responsibilities in each one of them were.
This book does it all!
It has a ton of information in it and it is very easy to read!
Congrats to the writer, Toby Freedman, she has made it simple for all of us!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is the one!!!! May 16, 2010
By Y. Wang
Format:Paperback
For those in life science field who are feeling trapped and searching for alternative career opportunities outside academia, I highly recommend this one. Compare to numerous career counseling books out there, "Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development" (COBDD) is the most informative book I have ever read. Instead of putting lots of weight on self assessment and how to write a resume (don't get me wrong, they are also very important) COBDD is about facts, lots of facts and details about most of the career paths in Bio-pharma industry. After reading the book, you will find out that "industry" is not just a word opposite to "academia". It is not a mystery anymore. You will get an in-depth understanding of a career you want to pursue. The book is well organized in chapters regarding different career path. You can read from the beginning to re-evaluate your decision of switching (knowing what you're getting into and giving a second thought is always the right thing to do before starting anything new) or go directly to the one you have been thinking of for a while. For each career path, you will not only receive a general description of the field, but also detailed information of all aspects, well laid in different sections and sub-sections--just to name a few of my favorites, "a typical day in XXX", "pros and cons of the job", "salary and compensation", "career tracks in XXX", "landing a job in XXX". A really good hand book for job opportunities in Biotech and Drug development it is!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide
As someone who has spent 5 years working on a Ph.D., I had spent little time wondering what I would do when I had one. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amanda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
As a newly graduated student, I was really concerned about what i would do. This book puts things into perspective. Great insight from an extremely knowledgable author.
Published 17 months ago by Dkav
4.0 out of 5 stars Good job
I wish I started my search with this book, it would have saved me time, money, and a lot of not-very-interesting stories of "how my life turned out to be the way they are". Read more
Published 18 months ago by GL
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent source of Biotechnology insight.
I work in Biotechnology, and this book provided incredible insight into the Biotech world. Reading through it re-affirmed the types of Biotech careers I know of, illuminated many... Read more
Published on March 11, 2012 by rsanka
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
This is a great resource for those of us already in the industry as well as those thinking to make an entry. Read more
Published on February 27, 2012 by Jeffrey T. Irelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Career Options in Biotech/Pharma
I found Dr. Freedman's book very illuminating as I read it. It's a great resource, not only for shedding light on the particular career trajectories available in biotech and... Read more
Published on January 28, 2012 by Johnathon D. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING RESOURCE!!
I highly recommend this book and think everyone in bioscience should read it at some point in their career! Read more
Published on November 8, 2011 by L.Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for fellows and graduate students
This is an excellent book for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in Biology, Molecular Biology, and related fields. This is worth buying. Read more
Published on October 7, 2011 by pharmafan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource!!!
I highly recommend "Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development" by Toby Freedman as a comprehensive resource for those of us seeking information and looking into... Read more
Published on July 18, 2011 by Zehra Tuzun Guvener
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is a very thorough review of current employment options outside of academia for recent bio graduates. Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by Nellies Mommy
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