life sciences companies taking on graduates right now
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These 6 life sciences companies are taking on graduates right now

13 Aug 2018

If you want to get your foot in the door of a life sciences company but don’t know how, these graduate schemes could be the perfect fit for you.

Life sciences companies are all pretty recognisable. Everyone can expect at one point in their lives to pick up a prescription, and that prescription will carry the name of the company that manufactures the drug.

Of course, if you aspire to work in the life sciences field, you’ll be doubly aware of the key players, and may have even figured out which ones you want to work for. You may not know, however, what it’s like to work there or how you can get your foot in the door.

Fortunately, life sciences companies are always on the hunt for new talent and are happy to take inexperienced people in and help them develop the skills they need to flourish. Straight out of college, or sometimes even during, graduates can take up programmes that will give them both insight and vital networking opportunities.

If you’re looking to take those first steps in your life sciences career, these six organisations all have excellent graduate programmes.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) develops medicines for patients in disease areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, immunoscience and fibrosis. After years of development, the company recently announced that its state-of-the-art facility at Cruiserath was fully operational.

At the end of her third year studying chemical and bioprocess engineering at University College Dublin, Elizabeth Madojutimi took up a 15-month internship at BMS. She found that the company entrusted her with greater responsibility than she had anticipated and, as a result, she felt really valued.

More information about graduate programmes and internships at BMS can be found here.


MSD, known as Merck in the US where it was founded in 1891, is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. In Ireland, it operates six different sites and employs approximately 1,800 people. This headcount is due to grow even more, as the firm recently announced plans to hire 350 at a new biologics facility called MSD Biotech in Swords, Co Dublin.

MSD is always on the hunt for bright, young graduates to recruit into its graduate programme, and you can find out more here.


Shire specialises in the development of drugs for those living with rare, debilitating diseases and highly specialised conditions such as haemophilia, epilepsy and Hunter syndrome. Shire site lead Susan Hynes cited this as something that brings a truly satisfying sense of meaning to her working life.

If this sounds like something you’d like to experience as a graduate, you can take a look at Shire’s graduate schemes here.


Amgen is a world leader in biotechnology with core competencies in six therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, oncology, bone health, neuroscience, nephrology and inflammation. It particularly focuses on illnesses for which there are limited existing treatment options.

The graduate programme at Amgen works on rotation, allowing those who complete the programme to spend time with each of the quality control teams, as Kashmira Zahoor discovered when she was a participant.

You can check out the company’s graduate scheme here.


BD is a medtech firm with a history that goes as far back as the 19th century. Since then, it has expanded and founded sites around the globe. This includes three sites in Ireland at Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire and a new research centre in Limerick.

Christian Malone found that his BSc in computer game development provided transferable skills that prepared him for the graduate programme at BD, and that it was an invaluable learning experience for him. Malone found out about the programme from one of his lecturers, but you can find out more here.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is one of the most recognisable brands, not only in the life sciences sphere, but the world in general. The company manufactures and distributes many household staples such as Johnson’s Baby, Calpol, Imodium, Bengay, Aveeno and Clean & Clear. However, it isn’t isolated to pharmaceuticals – the firm has subsidiaries operating in a variety of different sectors, including medtech and manufacturing.

J&J has centres dotted all around Ireland, including its EMEA centre in the mid-west. The centre designs, develops and delivers business applications and software solutions to serve the company’s enterprise needs. Currently, the centre is taking on graduates, more information about which can be found here.

Are you interested in joining the top sci-tech employers building their profile on Email our team at to learn more.

Updated, 12.23pm, 17 August 2018: This article was updated to clarify which disease areas BMS develops medicines for and to note that Elizabeth Madojutimi spent 15 months at BMS for her internship, not one month.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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