“Career Paths and Prospects in the Pharmaceutical Industry”
On Saturday, June 14th, more than fifty members of the Chinese Association of Life Science in Switzerland (CALSS) took part in an inspiring professional networking event hosted by Dr. Yue Huang in Novartis, Basel.
Dr. Ching Pong Mak, a retired Novartis Executive, delivered an enlightening keynote speech. Through story-telling about his thirty-year profession journey in the pharmaceutical industry, including experience as the chairman and CEO, spark consulting AG and the General Manager for Novartis Shanghai site, Dr. Mak encouraged the audience to step out of the comfort zone and follow their passion in pursuing career development. His wealthy experience and wisdom inspired many attendees and an interactive Q&A session ensued.
Following a coffee break, a panel of six invited Pharma professionals representing diverse background, experience, and responsibilities shared success stories, challenges, and lessons learned along their respective career path. Many viewpoints, remarks, as well as some great senses of humor resonated well between the audience, and the panelists. In a few highlighted quotes, “Specialized academic training is important, and general problem solving is even more so” “A self-awareness of what he/she wants to pursue in the professional career is key to success”, “Ability to balance life, work, and social need is a critical aspect of being a working professional”. The “glass ceiling” in career advance was raised as an interesting and relevant topic among the panel given the culture difference and unique Chinese heritage we share. Valuable perspectives were communicated in an open, informative fashion.
The 3-hour scheduled session slipped by easily with many attending opted to linger around afterwards for more networking. The event offered a rare and valuable opportunity to interact with Pharmaceutical Industry leaders and professionals up close and personal. Immediate feedback received was overwhelmingly positive.