Inside Big Pharma – A Roadmap for PhDs with Vicky Sherwood

This week on Papa PhD, I’m sharing my conversation with  scientific writer and amazing human behind the Biomed Badass website – Vicky Sherwood.

During our conversation, Vicky shared great advice based on her own career transition experience from academia into industry, but  also on her experience helping other people make the jump.

So, be sure to have pen and paper at hand for this one – there are a lot of gold nuggets in there you’ll want to remember!


Dr Victoria (Vicky) Sherwood is an Expert Scientific Writer at Novartis in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry, Vicky was a Principle Investigator, running a skin cancer research lab at the University of Dundee, UK.

In her current role at Novartis, Vicky writes medical communications that disseminate the results of clinical trials, real-world evidence, and clinical opinions to the medical and scientific community. Her work supports Novartis Oncology to effectively communicate clinical research findings from their pipeline and across brands.

Vicky also supports STEM professionals secure meaningful work outside academia through her website: She helps academic researchers understand the non-academic job market, identify careers that align with their values and skills, network productively, prepare applications that get noticed, and interview effectively for private sector jobs.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The pharma project/product life-cycle and the different places scientists fit within it
  • Never feel stuck in a pharma position – there are a lot of  opportunities and directions to pivot your career once you’re in
  • The importance of finding higher-ups that will champion you and your career development goals
  • Why you should put yourself out there, socially and ask yourself “who should I be talking to next?”
  • Defining 3 positive messages about your career goals and work-related interests and reinforcing them in your conversations
  • How informational interviews can teach you the language that will make  you shine in your next job interview
  • “Job boards are just candidate magnets” – you need to follow a multi-channel approach to finding your job
  • Don’t forget your alumni network!

Thank you, Vicky Sherwood!

If you enjoyed this conversation with Vicky, let her know by clicking the link below and leaving her a message on Twitter:

Send Vicky Sherwood a thank you message on Twitter!

Click here to share your key take-away from this interview with David!

This episode’s resources:

As always, if you find value in Papa PhD and in the content I bring you every week, click on one of the buttons below and send some of that value back to me by becoming a supporter on Patreon or by buying me a coffee 🙂 Now with the added perk of receiving the brand new Papa PhD and PhD Dojo stickers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.