FAQ

1. What do I get when I buy the MSL training platform?

Question

What do I get when I buy the MSL training platform?

Answer

First of all you buy a very comprehensive MSL training course consisting of 12 well designed chapters designed by experts in the field with years of MSL experience that will get you upskilled very quickly in what it takes to become an MSL (including but not limited to: with whom you can/will work, how pharma works and learn you how to write a better MSL industry CV/LinkedIn profile that gets you noticed and will prepare you for those tough MSL interview rounds). These videos can be watched at any time, as often as you like and on any device you have. And many of our candidates have watched them many many times in order to prepare for their interview rounds. Secondly, you will have access to the resources on the MSL academy page that will dive deeper in the understanding of certain topics such as interview rounds, salary negotiations etc. Thirdly, we are providing ongoing coaching after the course to help you to digest your learning of the course and prepare you for the MSL job. Fourthly, we have additional resources such as successful MSL CVs, CV cheatsheet, FastFacts medical handbooks, personal CV review and personal one-on-one coaching (depending on the level of membership). Lastly, we get MSL jobs (see jobs page) via our large pharmaceutical industry network that we try to match you with. We will coach you through these MSL interview rounds to help you land you that so desired MSL job (AND expect you that you come prepared). The most comprehensive package to maximize the chances of you becoming an MSL. Talk to you soon.

2. Is this MSL course relevant to the US/European Market?

Question

Is this platform course to the US/European Market?

Answer

Yes it is. It is relevant to any country. The core of the MSL role is similar across different countries. There are some small differences and those are mainly in relation to the regulatory and compliance environment and we will explain that to you. However, the biggest differences we have observed in our own MSL careers and the candidates we have placed worldwide, depends on for which company you work for AND where the drug is in its product life cycle, NOT the country you are working in as an MSL. And this is clearly explained in the course

3. Why is it so hard to break into an MSL role?

Question

Why is it so hard to break into an MSL role?

Answer

It depends on the candidate but based on our experience talking to hundreds of candidates, the main reason is that a lot of candidates do not understand the role and therefore come underprepared to the interview and subsequently fail. The MSL role is a complex role that requires having many skills as well as a deep understanding of the science, the therapeutic area, the hospital system and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. The more you can upskill yourself on all these topics the greater your chances of getting an MSL job.

4. Do I get a certificate when I complete the from SCIENCE to PHARMA training course?

Question

4. Do I get a certificate when I complete the from SCIENCE to PHARMA training course?

Answer

From SCIENCE to PHARMA (FSTP) is pleased to announce that following completion of our online Medical Science Liaison (MSL) training program you will now receive an MSL training certificate. Our widely recognized online MSL training program is aimed at people who want to transition into the pharmaceutical industry as an MSL but don’t have any pharmaceutical experience or MSL experience. Our team of expert - with years of MSL in-field, coaching and interviewing experience - has developed the most comprehensive online MSL training platform that will provide you with all the information and practical tips from the expert that you need to know to get fully prepared for your MSL interviews.

5. I don't have a PhD/MD/or PharmD, can I still become an MSL?

Question

I don't have a PhD/MD/or PharmD, can I still become an MSL?

Answer

Yes you can, but it depends on the country. It is worth noting that hiring managers have more and more candidates to choose from. Therefore, there is a trend of hiring more candidates with a terminal D degree. However, in a several countries they value pharma industry experience more than just your degree and are therefore more than happy to hire people with Bachelor or Master degrees into the MSL role. In our opinion, moving forward, the scientific complexity of clinical trial design and the increasing use of biomarkers will push recruiters to employ candidate with highly specialized scientific expertise, if this is obtained via a terminal D degree or via other means doesn't matter. As long as you are a subject matter expert.

6.How long does it take to become an MSL?

Question

How long does it take to become an MSL?

Answer

Based on our experience, we would say to set a 12 months horizon to find a job. We have seen candidates getting jobs in a 1-2 months and some took longer. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, it takes time to fully understand the MSL role and the pharma industry and to upskill yourself to pass the recruiters and land an interview. Secondly, the interview process can take up to 4 rounds of interviews stretched over several months. Thirdly, your therapeutic area might not have that many vacancies as it is a rarer disease. Finally, most of our candidates had to apply to several companies before being successful, which takes time as well. Don’t be discouraged with this time-frame, some of our top candidates have been recruited within 2 months of finishing this course. We will give you all the tools and support you need but at the end of the day it really depends on the candidate to utilize this knowledge and their willingness to succeed.

7. Should I do a postdoc to increase my chances of becoming an MSL?

Question

Should I do a postdoc to increase my chances of becoming an MSL?

Answer

It doesn’t hurt if you have done a postdoc as you might have become an even better subject matter expert in that (clinical disease) area. However, you should ask yourself what extra “pharma skills” will you learn by doing a postdoc, unless it is very clinical (trial) focused? Most of our candidates had a (postdoc) job while applying for an MSL job, and that is the best place you can be in. Earn an income, while applying for a better future, as it can take a number of months to land your first MSL role.

8. What’s the difference between an MSL and a sales representative?

Question

What’s the difference between an MSL and a sales representative?

Answer

This one is pretty simple. The sales representative is hired to promote the sale of the drug. However, the MSL is part of the medical affairs team and is not involved in sales. It will take a whole course to explain you the intricacy what a MSL is doing. The role of the MSL changes with the life cycle of your drug, the various interactions you have with your internal/external stakeholders and the market you are in determines the regulatory, reimbursement and compliance environment.

9. How much travel do you do?

Question

How much travel do you do?

Answer

It depends on the country, the company, the drug and the product life cycle of the drug and the size of the territory you are looking after. A big part of the MSL role is externally facing, meaning interacting with external experts and therefore you will have to travel to meet these experts. How far and for how long you have to travel can really vary. Some positions require to fly and to spend nights away from home whereas other positions require primarily driving and you are almost never away from home. Some job descriptions mention 80% travel for a MSL, but I (and any candidate that I placed) have never traveled 4/5 days every week. Furthermore, if after a year you feel it is too much travel, you just move to a different MSL role or perhaps a more office based job within your company, as you are now an experienced MSL and you are worth your weight in gold!

10. I have a PhD but don't have industry experience, can I still become a MSL?

Question

10. I have a PhD but don't have industry experience, can I still become a MSL?

Answer

The simple answer is yes. Three quarters of our candidates we have placed through the course moved directly from science to pharma, without having any previous pharmaceutical industry experience. However, it is becoming more and more competitive. The more relevant experience you have and a clearer understanding of the role the better your chances are. Simple as that! You might already have a lot of (unrecognized) experience that is required for the MSL job. You just need to recognize it and highlight it accordingly on your CV together with a clear understanding of what the MSL job is all about. This is something that will be extensively covered in the training.

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