Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

MSL Careers Require A Different Set of Skills

Join Isaiah, Elizabeth Thatcher, and Yuri Klyachkin as they discuss an MSL job search blueprint that includes designing a resume and crafting your interview presentation.

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah interviews PhDs who have successfully transitioned into MSL positions.
  • Next, Isaiah, Elizabeth, and Yuri discuss the soft skills needed to be an MSL.
  • Finally, Isaiah, Elizabeth, and Yuri review the presentation standards set forth for MSLs.

From This Week’s Show…

Advice From Fellow PhDs

[We are talking to] successful professionals in the MSL career path, they’ve made the transition into industry, and there’s plenty of positions out there for PhDs, you’re just invisible to employers.

The MSLA group has been really valuable in terms of that network, understanding what the MSL position is, and helping me with the interview. Knowing how to present is key. That’s the number one point that you need to kill in your interview process because the presentation is just absolutely crucial. 

The MSL career is slightly different and understanding those different aspects is very important. However, you can get into this role as a PhD, no matter what background you have. You need to learn new things, to learn to speak the language of MSLs, and you have to learn which parts of the job search process for MSL are different from other career paths. But you can learn that through day-to-day interactions and using the resources we offer.

Important Skills To Land An MSL Job Offer 

The soft skills are what that matter most in an MSL role, whereas for a non-MSL role, it’s usually the technical skills that matter most. For scientits or similar roles, we all know that our technical skills are incredibly valuable, but if you can’t communicate appropriately, then you’re not going to get an MSL role.

They can teach you the science, but it’s much harder to teach social skills, emotional intelligence, and how to be comfortable and confident speaking in front of a group of people. 

Importance Of Interview Presentations For Aspiring MSLs

Let’s focus on the interview presentations, what are some of the shifts that they need to make the biggest differences in presenting in academia versus in an interview for an MSL position. What do they need to know?

I would say the biggest difference for a clinical presentation versus a PhD presentation is they pretty much do not care about the methods at all in a clinical presentation. Whereas, I think, in science, we focus a lot on the methods. They care more about the outcomes, the patient population, and AE or adverse events. 

Candidates need to show that they know the data and apply the data correctly to an appropriate patient, whatever those data may be. A safety profile is important because some patients may be intolerant of the drug or just may not be the right patient for the drug. The efficacy profile is also important in the context of the therapeutic area landscape because there are so many different therapies to choose from. 

It’s important to essentially present what our asset does from safety and efficacy. By no means, do we say it’s better or worse unless there was a head-to-head study done with a competitor. MSLs don’t make any comparative statements.

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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