Recap: Our inaugural graduate summit and career expo

Dr. Steven Thomas
Dr. Steven Thomas December 8, 2021

Recap: Our inaugural graduate summit and career expo.

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On October 27 and 28, 2021, PhRMA held our inaugural graduate summit and career expo, Pathways to Success in Biopharma. As part of a joint partnership between PhRMA, CHI, UNCF and the Ernest E. Just Life Science Society, the virtual summit connected students with many of today’s leading biopharmaceutical companies.

Over the course of the two-day summit, we welcomed over 600 virtual attendees representing 224 schools from across the country. Undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty, member companies and community partners came together through virtual booths, company breakout rooms and expert panels. In these virtual spaces, attendees were able to discuss the latest innovation, the importance of diverse representation in our industry and opportunities for students to enter the biopharmaceutical field.


Sessions included a roundtable with Chief Diversity Officers discussing the importance of representation in the industry, ‘A Day in the Life’ roundtable with current early career professionals and a key note and fireside chat from Siddhi Shah, author of The Career Lab Formula: 8 Easy Steps To Get You From College To A Career in STEM.


Following the summit, we have distributed 367 resumes to member companies from participants looking for opportunities in the biopharmaceutical industry across research, technology, legal, business, marketing, and accounting. Also as of November 2021, the summit video on YouTube was viewed over 128,000 times and the event webpage reached over 18,00 page visits — and continues to receive traffic from visitors looking to access resources and revisit summit information even after the event has ended.

Many talented students look forward to a career with the potential to change lives within the biopharmaceutical industry. We're excited to be a catalyst for these rising leaders, and are hopeful for the future of innovation. Our goal is to continue to work with partners and host many more events like the summit to help build a more diverse workforce and space for students to learn more about the industry from current leaders.

Building a workforce that better reflects the diversity of the United States is just one pillar of our larger PhRMA Equity Initiative — aimed at creating a more just and equitable health care system.

As part of PhRMA’s Equity Initiative, we’re excited to offer more events like this and continue the critical work of building a workforce that better reflects the diversity of the United States. Follow along for more updates and sign up for our newsletter at PhRMA.org/Equity.

Topics: Research and Development, Equity