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How Can An MBA Help You Build A Career In Pharmaceuticals?

A career in pharmaceuticals isn’t just for healthcare specialists—MBA grads with the key skills for innovation and strategy are in high demand in pharma


Wed Jan 18 2023

The pharmaceuticals industry is constantly growing. With chronic diseases accounting for 74% of worldwide illnesses and the ongoing effects of Covid, the global market is expected to reach around $1,635 billion by 2026. 

This means that a career in pharmaceuticals is future-proofed for MBA grads looking to put their blend of generalist business knowledge and specialist insight to the test in an agile sector.  

An MBA will build your cross-company collaboration skills 

When forging a career in pharmaceuticals, cross-company collaboration will be key to secure access to finance from new investors or access to new technologies from companies that can help with innovation. 

MBAs will learn the skills to liaise with other business sectors and overcome barriers through collaboration.

During the Global MBA at the Lebanese American University, students can choose electives in ‘Global Business, Ethics, and Social Responsibility’, ‘Cognitive Analytics’, and ‘Marketing Analytics’. 

MBAs on the program will be able to develop a wide-ranging skill set to communicate effectively with all areas of the pharmaceuticals industry. 

As a global industry, it’s also essential to be able to communicate across markets to understand different needs and demands.  

Rana El Yahchouchy, a PhamD LAU graduate and current student on the Online Global MBA at LAU and is working as a marketing manager for Algorithm Pharmaceuticals, a regional company based in Lebanon that operates in the Middle East and North Africa.

She explains how exposure to different international students on the program is allowing her to broaden her cultural awareness and grow her understanding of how different people can leverage their unique skills.

“From my experience within the pharmaceuticals industry, LAU students always stand out and are perceived as different in terms of education and personality, alongside communication and interactive skills,” says Rana. 

You’ll learn to merge specialist expertise with managerial skills 

Operating on a global scale and supplying life-altering drugs to billions of people means the pharmaceutical industry must be well-managed and highly organized at every level, from the supply chain and research areas to sales and marketing.  

Those pursuing a career in pharmaceuticals will need to learn to navigate strict industry regulations from international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Before joining the Online MBA program, Rana studied a degree in Pharmacy and Doctorate of Pharmacy at the Lebanese American University, as well as gaining a Master’s in Environmental Health at Cyprus University of Technology affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health.   

She arrived at the MBA ready to apply in-depth specialist knowledge from working in the medical department as a medical advisor at Algorithm Pharmaceuticals. 

Since studying the Global MBA at LAU, she has pivoted in her career to become a marketing manager at the same company, where she now manages a whole team. 

“Unlike my previous role, which was very scientific, this commercial MBA job requires strong financial assessment, analytical and strategic thinking, and business decision-making skills,” says Rana.

She adds that by studying the MBA online, she can apply her growing managerial skills to efficiently deliver branding strategy and ensure brand alignment within the pharma company. 

An MBA will open the door to an array of careers in pharmaceuticals 

The pharmaceutical industry holds a wealth of exciting opportunities for MBA grads.

Global pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson are always on the lookout to hire ambitious MBA grads. Pfizer, the creators of the BioNTech Covid vaccine and a major player within the pharma world, also offer a range of graduate programs

Across the industry, studying an MBA opens the doors to a career in pharmaceuticals as a development manager, financial advisor, or director of regulatory affairs. 

No matter the department you’re interested in, pharma companies need grads who can bridge the gap between scientific and medical knowledge and business and management skills to help companies bolster world-leading pharma products.

“The Global MBA program at LAU provides the tools to tie the knots between education, knowledge, and experience, which empowers us for a better professional future,” says Rana.