From my own experience, I know how hard it can be to be thrown into a completely new environment, a new industry, after just having finished university. All these new topics and working habits you never learned about in university can be overwhelming. Additionally, you have to start building your own network from scratch, always being regarded as the “newbie.” Where to start?
This is where I have to give loads of thanks to my manager who introduced me to PDA one year after I had started my first job in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2012, he took me to the PDA Parenteral Packaging Conference and introduced me to many allied people, who cordially welcomed me to this industry. I felt comfortable at once. Ever since then, I have been an active member with PDA and still can call many of the people I met at that first meeting my friends. Getting involved in various PDA activities kickstarted my career and has formed my pathway within this industry.
With this story I would like to encourage everyone who is just starting their careers to come and be part of the PDA family!
There are plenty of opportunities to engage in scientific work, to build your own network of experts, and to learn all about the topics that are important to your daily work and that you need to start your career.
To facilitate this process, PDA is developing a mentorship program that will allow you to get engaged on a more personal level. This will be a valuable experience, one that should also help you develop your career for the long term based on a continuing personal exchange with your mentor.
Parallel to that, there are plenty of opportunities to deepen your technical and regulatory knowledge. To start, I recommend becoming part of a task force that is writing a technical report. The process of generating a technical report brings valuable insights into industry perspectives that cannot be found in any book or internet site. Experts from all areas of the industry discuss and weigh points to be included in the report, which will help you to look at things from different angles.
In addition, becoming part of interest groups also gives you a focused insight into specific topics relevant to your career. Experts from all areas in industry are discussing hot topics and exchanging opinions. As often happens, new ideas for technical reports are born from these discussions.
To further enhance your professional development, I also recommend that all early- career professionals visit a PDA conference, where you will find a combination of scientifically oriented, specialized presentations and enough free time to exchange ideas and get the latest news from around industry in the exhibition area. At the casual and entertaining evening events, you will have the chance to personally engage with other attendees and build up your own professional network. And after some time, you will be able to contribute on a larger scale, as well, by giving presentations and representing your company.
If you take advantage of a new opportunity, you might need to educate yourself on the new topic. At specialized training courses, you can either build up the basics or dive deeper into certain areas with small groups and experienced trainers that facilitate a lively and personal exchange. Relevance to your daily work is granted here!
Finally, if you live in a region where PDA has an active chapter, I strongly recommend getting involved there as well. The chapters are PDA’s warrant to actively participate on a very local level. Events are held in the local language and involve experts from the local region. This facilitates entry into the industry, especially where English is not your first language.
We want to support you in your journey right from the beginning by our newly developed membership tiers and entry pathways to make our knowledge and network base more widely accessible on a global level. In this way, we want to play an important part in the development of our future experts and leaders.
If you are an early career professional and this has inspired you to become part of the PDA family, contact us at: [email protected].
We are looking forward to getting to know you!