A group of men and women in black t-shirts behind a table with the NIBRT logo at it. Signs behind them also say NIBRT.
NIBRT Careers Fair. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

What do biopharma job candidates need to know right now?

29 Apr 2022

Want to know who’s hiring in biopharma? We headed to the NIBRT Careers Fair to hear from industry experts who also shared their top tips for candidates.

Last Saturday (23 April) the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) held its eighth annual Careers in Biopharma event in person at The Campus in Cherrywood following two years of virtual events.

Speaking to SiliconRepublic.com at the event, NIBRT director of projects Killian O’Driscoll said the biopharma industry in Ireland has gone “from strength to strength” over the last 10 to 15 years.

Future Human

“What we’re beginning to see now is investment in the newer types of manufacturing – manufacturing new medicines that have a very strong impact on patients’ health and wellbeing and very complex manufacturing technologies. So there’s wonderful opportunities for people right across the spectrum.”

The event saw many of the major pharma and biotech employers from all across Ireland come to speak to potential candidates, with many of them currently hiring for a wide variety of roles.

Janssen, which is part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, is hiring for a range of roles in QC, R&D, manufacturing, IT and engineering.

Its director of R&D analytical development, Gillian O’Shea, advised candidates to come with an open mind. “We’re really looking for that right culture fit, for somebody who’s going to really help shape our organisation of where we want it to go in the future.”

Amgen’s talent acquisition manager, Kevin Gordon, added that aside from technical skills and qualifications, candidates need to be flexible and ensure they are choosing a company that is aligned with their values.

MSD is looking particularly looking for graduates from a range of backgrounds. Operations manager Fintan Coady said the company has a new emerging technologies group and it’s really passionate about tech.

“We have a lot of research-based roles, particularly around engineering, utilities, facilities, there’s multiple roles,” he added.

Alexion, which specialises in targeting rare diseases, is hiring for “everything from internships and graduate programmes to bioprocess technicians [and] engineers,” according to its Dublin site lead Sean O’Brien.

“My best advice to anybody would just be come into the industry,” he said. “Get your foot in the door, get the experience working in this industry and then so many doors will be opened up for you at that point.”

Bristol Myers Squibb is looking for new talent to support a strong pipeline of tech transfer over the next few years. In particular, the company is looking to fill roles in quality, manufacturing and automation.

Cleaning validation manager Catherine Moran said when it comes to making an application, candidates should look for key words in the job description and sure these terms are in their CVs.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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