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Read about our interview with Nature about the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) role
"The changing landscape of pharma: a new route for PhDs?
The pharmaceutical industry is changing – challenging for some, but an open road to opportunity for others. And the latest opportunity in the world of pharma comes from a rapidly growing demand for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), says Dr. Martijn Bijker..." Click here to read more!
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"How to become an MSL without pharma experience"

Selection of companies where our FSTP candidates are now working as MSLs

amgen astellas AZ BMS_500_200 boehringer EMD lilly_white MERCk Novartis_white sanofi Vertex_white
amgen astellas AZ BMS_500_200 boehringer EMD genzyme_white lilly_white merck Novartis_white sanofi Vertex_white
Allergan amgen AstraZeneca BMS boehringer lilly MERCk Novartis ROCHE sanofi Takeda Vertex
Jeffrey Mosensen, PhD MS
MSL Dermatology, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
Before I signed up with FSTP, I was a postdoctoral fellow with no industry experience. The role of an MSL sounded exciting and fit with my interests, but I didn’t fully grasp what the job was. I also got discouraged early on after reading about the requirements to have industry experience, or an M.D./Pharm.D degree. The FSTP course quickly got me up to speed with understanding the role of an MSL, drug lifecycle, internal stakeholders, KOLs, and other aspects of pharma industry. Importantly, FSTP helped me to get my resume industry ready, and to prepare for the interview process. The MSL academy was crucial to help me learn about common interview questions, and how to prepare a proper MSL presentation. Each step of the way, Martijn and his team were helpful in getting me prepared and were in contact with me to see how I did. As an added bonus, everyone I interviewed with asked me about the course, and were impressed by my knowledge and commitment to go the extra mile. I believe listing this course on my resume helped me get noticed early on. Getting an MSL job does take a lot of work and must come from you to get it done. However, the FSTP course gives you all the tools to succeed.
Aurelie Cazet, PhD
MSL Oncology/Solid Tumors, Janssen
Aurélie Cazet, MSL Oncology/Solid Tumors, Janssen AUSTRALIA The ‘from SCIENCE to PHARMA’ online platform was instrumental in obtaining my first MSL role at Janssen (pharmaceutical companies of J&J) and I seriously can’t recommend the Platinum course enough. I was a medical researcher with over 10 years of clinical and scientific expertise in oncology, but despite my strong knowledge and work in big Universities/Research Centers in France/US/Australia, I had no industry experience. I knew that the competition for MSL jobs was fierce. I would never have succeeded so rapidly without FSTP. FSTP gives you all the tools to get a deep understanding of the MSL role within the pharmaceutical industry, to speak the “jargon” of Medical affairs and to capture your transferable skills and competencies in a concise industry CV. FSTP also provides crucial tools to optimally prepare the numerous (and challenging!!) interviews. Importantly, the FSTP team is present to help you all the way, providing feedback on your CV, coaching you for the phone call/face-to-face interviews and the clinical paper presentation. The team is friendly, always available and supportive and constantly provide fruitful feedback. I sent my CV and secured my first MSL job within less than 2 months. So now: Subscribe to FSTP, read and study carefully, send your CV and be absolutely prepared to answer the behavioral questions! Good luck, it is absolutely worth it!
J’aime Manion, PhD
Associate Director, MSL Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
“from SCIENCE to PHARMA” (FSTP) was an amazing primer into the day to day activities, and long-term strategy of the MSL world. The course itself is full of carefully curated resources, and Martijn and his team were a tremendous resource in preparing for my interviews. (Thank you FSTP for the talk through of my presentation strategy. You helped me ask all of the right questions, that led me to design a more targeted, and specific presentation) Also you really pulled aside the curtain, and answered some subtle questions about pharma regulations, and the MSL interview process) I am happy to report that I have been loving my MSL role at Sunovion for about 8 months! -A genuine thank you to FSTP and Martijn and his team!
Nicole Rawnsley, PharmD BSc
MSL Dermatology, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
“Prior to taking the course from FSTP, I was a recent PharmD graduate with no direct experience in industry. I had connected with MSLs through my various career roles, but knew I needed to learn about the role of an MSL in greater detail. I took the course at my own pace, and really took my time watching each module. After completing the course, I truly felt knowledgeable on the skill sets necessary to be successful as an MSL. I obtained my first MSL role several months after completing FSTP. Taking this course helped me to prepare for all of the questions I was asked and to give a successful presentation. The FSTP team were extremely helpful throughout the entire process. As soon as I found out about my interview, they set up a phone call with one of the coaches and they helped to prepare me even more for my live interview. I am truly grateful for everyone at FSTP for all of their help in obtaining my dream job as an MSL. Obtaining a role as an MSL takes time and dedication, but FSTP truly helps you to stand out amongst the pool of candidates.”
Dennis Kusters, PhD
Medical Manager, MSD/Merck&Co
Yes!! Landed my first position in big pharma, not in the least thanks to the FSTP course. I wanted to become an MSL, but how to break into Pharma? from SCIENCE to PHARMA, as the name says, was a great start and very accommodating! The instruction videos teach you the basics, the language you need to speak and how to prepare for the interviews. This is all very instrumental and necessary to make a successful transition. The certificate generates visibility and gives you an advantage over the competition, I even mentioned the course in my interviews, the interviewers were impressed to say the least. After completion of this course, I had a phone call with Martijn, in order to discuss what to do when two companies at the same time offer you a position. Martijn is very approachable, instructive and knowledgeable. November 19th 2018, I will start as Medical Advisor Anesthesia for MSD/Merck&Co in the Netherlands. In the end, you need to do it yourself; but the FSTP course sure is a great start and excellent fundament!
Ian Bratz, PhD BSc
MSL Women’s health, Allergan
With the help of the “from SCIENCE to PHARMA” team I managed to get my first MSL job at Allergan in Women’s Health. The help of the FSTP team and the online MSL resources played a significant role in preparing me for my interview with Allergan. The FSTP training materials gave me a solid understanding of the MSL role and the one-on-one phone coaching prior to my MSL interviews by the FSTP team was instrumental for me in getting this MSL job. A dream come through landing this position and I the FSTP team a huge debt of gratitude!!! Thank you to all involved that played a role in helping me achieve this wonderful position!
Chithra Subramani, PhD
MSL Hematology, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
“I am super excited to have managed to get my first MSL job working in the therapeutic area I really wanted – Hemato-Oncology at an international US Company. Thank you FSTP for making this a possibility! Purchasing the online FSTP MSL training in addition to signing up for the one-on-one coaching was the best investment I have ever made. It helped me build on my PhD expertise and how to make best use of skills relevant to MSL. From the time I started the FSTP MSL training course and signing the contract was less than 1.5 months. Can’t wait get started! Thank you so much FSTP!”
Biliana Rotse, PhD
MSL Assoc Director, Amicus Therapeutics
The team is knowledgeable, approachable, and very helpful in coaching scientists transitioning to industry. They advised me every step of the way on my journey from academia to getting my first MSL job. I would recommend their services to anyone who is looking to learn more about the MSL role. Thanks
Pascale Mustapha, PhD MSc
Medical Affairs Manager, Biogen
“The FSTP team are experienced scientists and dedicated, open and very kind people. They helped me leverage & emphasize my scientific expertise to break into an MSL position without having any prior experience in the field and in a country where MDs are the norm for MSLs positions. They encouraged me and gave me a lot of useful tips to win my assessment & gain confidence! It was a real pleasure to meet them & I'm very thankful :) I'm also very admirative of their initiative to create "from SCIENCE to PHARMA". I think that PhDs are not at all assessed on their true added value especially in France & employers in pharma are usually hesitant towards their candidatures! That's why the argumentation and convincing can be sometimes tough! I definitively recommend FSTP!”
Kim Cheng, PhD
MSL, Boehinger Ingelheim
“I have completed the MSL training course by “from SCIENCE to PHARMA”recently and I can only have praise for the level of detail and knowledge imparted by FSTP. Even prior to this course, they had helped me gain an understanding of an MSL position. I have read books regarding MSL positions and "how to get an MSL position" but it didn't provide the personal knowledge and anywhere near the level of detail that the MSL course provides. FSTP has helped me get a better understanding of my own personal skillset and where I can improve on, something I believe will be immensely useful regardless of the career path I choose.”
Nicolle Rekers, PhD MSc BSc
MSL Gastroenterology, Takeda
Great news: I Will be an MSL at Takeda (IBD) from January! After a few months of working as a postdoctoral researcher, I knew that academia was not the right place for me anymore. Thanks to your course, I learned what pharmaceutical companies are Looking for, what the role of an MSL is and how to prepare for the MSL job interview. It took me 2 months of preparing to get this job. Thanks a lot for helping me to find the right direction in my career! Wish you all the best for 2018! Nicolle
Steven Cordeiro Matos, PhD
MSL CNS & Specialty, Purdue
“After a few years in academia, I came to the realization that basic research was not for me. Instead, I discovered that the MSL role was where I belonged because it would allow me to pursue my fascination for science and medicine, as well as my interest in improving healthcare. “from SCIENCE to PHARMA” was a valuable tool that helped me reach my goal of becoming an MSL. Their e-training platform doesn't just provide a comprehensive course to help job seekers understand the pharma industry, it also provides you with an opportunity to discuss with their team of experienced MSLs. They were always very approachable and always willing to offer valuable insights into the pharma world based on his previous experiences! This course is a great first step for anyone, especially those looking to make the transition from academia to pharma. On a side note, I am proud to be “from SCIENCE to PHARMA” first Canadian placed in an MSL role!”
Trevelyan Menheniott, Ph.D.
MSL Hematology/Oncology, Janssen
“The ‘from SCIENCE to PHARMA’ Platinum course is, without doubt, one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was an oncology researcher in academia with no industry experience and, despite wanting to become an MSL, my initial attempts to find a position were unsuccessful, mainly because I did not have a good enough understanding of the role. FSTP changed all of that and gave me the tools to stand out among other MSL candidates and succeed! The FSTP team is very approachable, extremely knowledgeable, exceptional mentors and have a natural flair for building rapport with their students. For me, a huge positive of the course is the way it delivers a large amount of dense information in a well-paced, conversational style that is readily digestible. But even more than that, the educational content of the course is full of real-world experiences of working as an MSL across a variety of scenarios, that nicely illustrate the practical application of what you have learned. Through our telephone coaching sessions, they quickly identified my strengths, as well as areas for improvement, they worked with me to address knowledge gaps, and helped to navigate the interview process with professionalism. They make themselves available at short notice, are very generous with their time and are quick in providing feedback. Like any self-learning experience, with FSTP you get out what you put in. It became obvious to me that to succeed, it is essential to not only assimilate the content of the training videos, but to also commit to the recommended tasks… and write out those behavioral questions and answers well in advance of your interview! FSTP has had a transformational impact on my grasp of the MSL role, and they have my highest recommendation. With their guidance, I secured my first MSL position with Janssen just a couple of months after completing the FSTP course. Thank you FSTP team!”
Lien Lam, PhD
MSL Cardiovascular, AstraZeneca
“The ‘from SCIENCE to PHARMA” course is essential for anyone who is considering the transition into the MSL role from an academic background. The course covers important information pertaining not only to the MSL role itself, but also the pipelines within the pharmaceutical industry. Important discussion points include how you can increase your chance of standing out in the recruitment process and how to prepare for the different interview stages. As someone who had been thinking about making this transition for a long time, this course provided a strong knowledge base for me to build on. Beyond the course itself, there is work required on your end to move forward - but with the FSTP team’s guidance and encouragement you will not feel lost. They are dedicated in helping you break into pharma and are generous with their time in discussing how to best get you there. This course and the mentorship by the FSTP team has been key in securing my MSL role. Best career decision I have made, and I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the MSL role.”
Felicity Kao, PhD
MSL Dermatology, Novartis
For all aspiring MSLs out there, FSTP is a must-do course if you would like to better understand the role and standout from the crowd during interviews. Martijn's coaching style is patient, supportive and professional. My favorite part is definitely one-on-one coaching for the role-play interview round, I found Martijn's industry insight and constructive feedback particularly helpful. I continue to benefit from the knowledge gained during this course as I started my first MSL role recently. Last but not least, sure, the coaching fee might not be cheap, but if you truly believe MSL is ultimately what you'd like to be, then it's worth the investment!
Subhashri Kundu, PhD
MSL Oncology, BAYER
MSL roles are becoming increasingly demanding with the advent of new and complicated drugs from small and big pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Martijn's FSTP course for MSL training is a great online platform for freshers like myself to land their first MSL role. In a super competitive job market like Singapore, it is quite challenging to successfully convert into these roles without having prior MSL experience. Martijn's course gives a very comprehensive idea about the role of MSLs in a pharmaceutical company, product lifecycle and the different functions of this industry. This information helped me to be confident enough and build up my knowledge and understanding which in turn helped me succeed at the MSL interviews.
Laetitia Cicchelero, PhD
MSL Novartis
“The FSTP-team was always available when I needed assistance and it’s been heart-warming to feel the coaches’ genuine excitement when their candidates do well. I started the FSTP course in Mid-April. This course gave me a thorough understanding of what the main tasks of an MSL are in theory as well as in practice. I was so impressed by the wealth of information on the training site on what the MSL job entails and how you should approach MSL vacancies, that I signed up for the personal coaching as well. My coach really took the time to get to know me and find out how to emphasize certain aspects of me that matter for the MSL role which I didn’t think of. For the clinical paper presentation round he gave me very practical advice on how to proceed and discussed this thoroughly until I felt fully prepared for it. And it worked: I started my first MSL position in July, 3.5 months later!
Chunyan Ma, PhD
MSL Oncology, Eisa
After six months, I landed my first MSL oncology job at Eisai. I had clinical medicine education and research experience in oncology, but had zero industry experience. The from SCIENCE to PHARMA online MSL course really helped me in the interview preparations in many ways. It not only gave me a comprehensive insight of what MSL does from an insider as Martijn, but also impacted the way of my thinking when structuring my CV, approaching the recruiters and visiting companies. During the interview, the company clearly showed an interest in the FSTP course and gave me an advantage to show what I've learnt during the course. Better yet, I managed to negotiate my salary up using the salary survey result published on the website. I sincerely recommend anyone who is interested in an MSL career to check Martijn's website. Final note to thank Martijn's support along the way. I will never come this far without you. Thank you.
Dania Yaghobian, PhD BSc
MSL Multiple Sclerosis, Novartis
“The MSL course which I undertook through from SCIENCE to PHARMA got me my first MSL job. The online training was important in preparing me for the MSL interview process. I found the personal coaching and guidance provided by the FSTP team was essential in getting fully prepped for the interview rounds. The MSL role has been a very fulfilling job for me so far. I can recommend the course to anyone who is an aspiring MSLs and want to succeed in getting an MSL job.”
Catarina Kordsachia, PhD
MSL, Clariness
The “from SCIENCE to PHARMA” course has been a very useful resource for me on my way from being a PhD graduate with no industry experience to working as an MSL in pharma! I did the FSTP course after submitting my thesis to learn everything you need to know about the pharma industry and used the FSTP resources to write an industry CV and to prepare for my MSL interviews. Additionally, Martijn was available to give me personalized advice related to my job search. Thanks so much! I would very much recommend the FSTP online course.
Yajing Chu, PhD
MSL Anemia/Gastroenterology, Pharmacosmos
Signing up with FSTP definitely gave me in-depth insights about MSL roles and the pharmaceutical industry. The tailored training course has prepared me well for my interviews. It is very important to gain the mindset of an MSL before we can get the experience, and to understand what pharma companies are looking for. I would highly recommend FSTP course for anyone looking for opportunities to move from science to pharma.
Christine S. Schwaiger, PhD
MSL Immuno-Oncology, AstraZeneca
"Martijn is an experienced scientist and a dedicated, open and very kind person always giving genuine advice and guidance throughout the entire process to develop into an MSL. I recently have finished his "from SCIENCE to PHARMA" course which helped me a lot to emphasize my scientific background combined with pharmaceutical experience in early research and development. I'm very thankful that I have met him :) and all the upcoming possibilities in pharmaceutics"
Maria João Silva, PhD MSc
MSL Oncology, ROCHE
The MSL training course from FSTP was really important for me to learn more about the MSL role, pharma pipelines, MOAs, etc. I think it is a perfect way to be sure you want to do the transition from academia to pharma (at least it was in my case). I've been receiving several messages asking for feedback so maybe a public feedback will be more useful for everyone: I really recommend Martijn's training and want to thank him for all help he has personally given me. If you are unsure if you want to do the course, you can contact Martijn/the FSTP team and speak with them personally, like I did. Good luck in your searches and feel free to contact me if you have additional questions!
Ashish Banerjee, PhD
Medical Manager Oncology, Merck group
“I have had the privilege of receiving MSL training, coaching and mentorship from Martijn and his team at "from SCIENCE to PHARMA" and I can vouch that this is the program that helped me transition into Industry as an MSL. I would highly recommend anyone who's thinking of entering Industry without prior experience to contact Martijn and his team. They are incredibly dedicated and passionate about helping academics like myself transition into an MSL position. With the help of his team and the training given, I gained the knowledge, skillset, confidence and vision required to break into my first MSL position.”
Kevin Knower, PhD
Senior MSL, Roche
“from SCIENCE to PHARMA was a perfecting training platform that allowed me to identify my academia skills that could be utilised in the MSL role. FSTP provided a fantastic insight into all facets of the MSL role and how it is integrated into the development and lifespan of a drug. Following the training I was introduced to a number of potential recruiters that opened up job opportunities. I highly recommend this course a first point of call for those looking to move to industry.”
Jose Miguel Sierra Miranda, PhD MSc
MSL Oncology, Amgen
“I highly recommend this training course for those who want to transition into an MSL career and that - like me - didn't know where to start. You can find all you the information you need to become an MSL on their online platform. And most important, the FSTP team are always available to help you along the process to become an MSL.”
Soumya Biswas, PhD MSc
MSL Neuroscience, Lundbeck
If you are looking for a foot into the world of MSLs, FSTP is your best bet. I have just completed the MSL training. The course was extremely well structured. It was informative, comprehensive and applicable. The training was thoughtfully tailored for people with an academic background keen on pursuing a career as an MSL. Its practical guide to optimizing resume and preparing for interviews are excellent. I loved the actual real-life examples and experiences from Dr. Martijn Bijker. In short, this training is focused and practical. I unreservedly recommend this training to anyone in academia interested in pursuing an exciting MSL career. Your training is the single most important guidance that helped me to break into my first MSL role.
Sammy Mohandas, MD
MSL Ophthalmology, Novartis
“Coming from a clinical (MD) background, Martijn coached me to better understand my strengths and weaknesses as an aspiring MSL candidate during our one-on-one phone coaching sessions. Martijn gave me all the real-life MSL tricks on how to ask questions and to respond to questions during my MSL-doctor role play interview. Martijn is very experienced and his course has helped me to get me first MSL job at Novartis in ophthalmology. Thank you Martijn for your support!”
Benoit Rey-Robert, PhD
MSL, AstraZeneca
Martijn has a strong experience in the pharma industry and MSL coaching. This combination brings value for novices like me, by giving direction to work on the things that matter. It's easy to get lost in the amount of data and information found on the internet. Martijn provides you what is relevant for you, so you can focus on what is important and be MSL competitive. I highly recommend his MSL course.
Neil Davies, PhD
MSL Immuno-Oncology, MSD/Merck&Co
”The FSTP were instrumental in me attaining a Medical Science Liaison position. I had already worked in Pharma (in Clinical Research) for a number of years but would have struggled without the FSTP team’s advice in so many things such as tailoring my CV to the MSL position, and how best to respond to particular MSL interview questions. And through it all, just as important was the team’s encouragement which gave me the confidence to believe I would get there. Thanks, FSTP team!
Naseem Ali, PhD
I did the ML training course with Martijn Bijker and it was very informative. The MSL resources provided were very helpful in painting a picture of what the MSL job entails and supported preparing for my interviews. Definitely a course worth considering for those serious about starting an MSL career.
Mark Dessing, PhD
Scientific Advisor Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb
“Thanks to your FSTP course I was able to explore and navigate in the world of pharma and discover the responsibilities, opportunities and challenges as an MSL. I learned a lot from all the terminology and interplay between internal and external parties as discussed in the course. I always kept the advise in mind: if you want an MSL role, be an MSL”
Karolina Dinges, MSc
MSL Neuroscience, Seqirus
“I have completed the MSL course in July last year. This training course and follow up coaching were packed with useful information about the role and interview process. Not only have I got the job 6 month ago but I still find what I have learnt during this course very useful in everyday work. Thank you FSTP.”
Athin Sujeer, PhD MS
MSL iNova Pharmaceuticals
“The “from Science to Pharma” is a perfect training platform for moving from science to MSL. Their training program gives you insights into MSL's key attributes, MSL job functions, practical tips on CV format, possible interview questions and strategies for effective interview responses. I felt very confident to handle phone, first round interview and clinical paper presentations. The trainers are very patient and they provide guidance and support pre and post interview. I would recommend this training course to anyone who is in the process of breaking into their first role as an MSL role.”
Andree Hubber, PhD
Medical Manager, MSD/Merck&Co
“from SCIENCE to PHARMA really helped me to define my value proposition and played a valuable role in my (successful) MSL job hunt. It takes courage to make the transition from academia to industry, but this is not enough. I can't emphasise enough how important it is to adequately prepare for the interview process and your life away from the bench. SCIENCE's insights into MSL's key attributes and MSL job functions were both insightful and useful. Practical tips on my CV format, possible interview questions and strategies for effective interview responses were of particular value. Are you prepared to answer questions such as what do your colleagues think is your biggest weakness or what might worry a Director of Medical Affairs?”
Ayman Sabra, PhD MSc
MSL Vaccines, Pfizer
“Not only is the FSTP team very knowledgeable, they are also excellent tutors, and are always available. I am deeply thankful for the training they offered me. They gave me advice on making my CV better and my LinkedIn profile more attractive. I was also provided with useful interview preparation tips. More importantly, the information detailed in this course is very valuable and showing what I have learned during my interviews left a very good impression on the recruiters. Because of this training, I got my first MSL job straight out of my postdoc and without previous industry experience. I highly recommend it to anyone willing to learn about the MSL role.”
Juliana Lamoury, PhD
MSL, Eli Lilly
“The training course offered by “from Science to PHARMA” is a fantastic resource. It is very unique, as it provides a wealth of information needed to succeed in the pharmaceutical industry. The FSTP team could always be counted on to deliver exceptional support and guidance throughout the entire process. I found his enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication both inspiring and motivating. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the MSL role.”
Andrea Schuessler, PhD
MSL Immuno-Oncology, AstraZeneca
“I highly recommend the FSTP MSL training to anyone wanting to transition from academia to industry! The training contains a lot of useful information about the MSL role and how to prepare an “industry-ready” CV and LinkedIn profile. But the FSTP’s support goes way beyond that, they share their network and provides ongoing advice which has been an invaluable resource for me at all stages of the job application and interview process. ”
Robert Jukic, BSc
MSL Allergan
“FSTP were fantastic during the preparation for my interviews. I was given fantastic insights into the role of an MSL and what I should expect at each interview stage. Thank you FSTP team!”
Egle Passante, PhD MPharm
MSL at Sanofi Genzyme
The “from SCIENCE to PHARMA” MSL course was a fundamental tool during my journey to secure my first MSL role. Starting from an academic background, this course equipped me with all the necessary tools to perform during the interview and made me think like an MSL. And…this was not all.... Along with the course, I received one-on-one coaching that was crucial to fully understand how to improve myself. Martijn can transmit passion and helps filling in the gaps between your background and what is needed to break into the MSL role. He is very personable and it is simply a pleasure talking to him and receiving his feedback and his advice. I strongly recommend this experience to anyone determined to break into the MSL role. Thanks FSTP for helping me secure my first MSL job!!! Egle
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