Job title: Pharmaceutical specialist
Company: MSD Haarlem
Highest level of education: MSc.
I work for MSD Haarlem, this is the largest innovative pharmaceutical company in the Netherlands. In Haarlem we mainly package medicines that were produced by our sister sites all around the world for patients in about 140 countries. MSD Haarlem is very international but also very Dutch. To me it feels a bit like a small town, a very nice environment to work in with all its changes, challenges and opportunities.
In the pharmaceutical industry we have to comply with very strict rules and regulations. Therefore we have quite a large quality department that ‘tells’ operations how to perform their jobs and to check whether they do. My main responsibility is in between the quality department and operations. How can we implement all the ‘difficult’ rules as efficiently as possible and stick to them and what needs to be done when we deviated from the rules. What I really enjoy is the variety and that my critical view on things is valued.
If you are interested in this field it is important that you have an analytical mind, are able to switch quickly, not only see black and white despite all the strict rules and the standard procedures.
How did you encounter this position?
I did an internship at the QA department of MSD and during summer and graduation I applied for a job in another quality department within MSD, mainly responsible for deviation management. After one and a half year I was requested to apply for my current position. A role in between Quality and operations.
Can you tell a little bit about the application process you went through?
As usual within our company I had to stick with the standard procedures and I needed to write an application letter, even though the hiring manager knew me and asked me to apply. After the letter there were two interviews; one with the hiring manager and one with the ‘commission’ that decides whether a person suits the job position in general (the same position exists in several departments).
Do you have any tips for career seekers in your field?
If you see a job/career you like, just give it a try! There are a lot of opportunities to learn and grow.