Pharmaceutical Sales Right Out of College?


Tim writes:
I’m graduating in May with a BS in Life Sciences: cell biology and physiology. I’d like to go into pharmaceutical sales. Can you give me any suggestions to lead me in this direction? I have medical experience but no sales experience.


The Career Doctor responds:
Here’s what I suggest you do immediately Tim: Go out and get a sales internship. You obviously have the medical background but you absolutely need the sales experience. Employers don’t want to hire people who look good on paper — they want to hire people who they know can perform.
Does it matter what type of sales experience? No — just go out there and get some real sales experience ideally selling to professionals. Go to your college’s career services office immediately and see if they have any sales jobs/internships listed. You might also check with your alumni office to see if there are any local alums who have offered to help current students with jobs or internships. If you strike out with these two sources (and you shouldn’t) see if you can locate any business-to-business companies in your area and pursue job/internship opportunities with them.