e&a consultants introduces pharma students to market access

After a successful first edition, e&a consultants is glad to co-organise this year’s Orientation Day for the KU Leuven’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. During the event, master pharma students are introduced to consultancy and different pharma career paths through interactive workshops and cases. How did Orientation Day first come about and what are the benefits for students? Managing director Johan Eykens and senior associate consultant Lotte Herbots are happy to tell you more. 

Johan and Lotte, for those of us who are no longer students, what does the Orientation Day entail?

Johan: ‘The Orientation Day offers master pharma students a chance to learn about the possible career paths after their studies. In the morning, there are six short workshops, two of which are centred on market access. We organise the Orientation Day in collaboration with other pharma consultants, each of which gives workshops related to their expertise, for us that is pricing and reimbursement.’

Lotte: ‘In the afternoon, students can apply the knowledge they’ve learned by building and presenting a case. We offer guidance and answer questions. Finally, there is an opportunity to connect with us over a drink at the closing reception.’

The Orientation Day is a joint initiative by different consultancy companies, including e&a consultants. How did the event come about?

Lotte: ‘We learned from our interns that many pharmacy graduates are not aware of the career options that are available to them. The transition from pharma studies to a career is not fully covered in their programme. Students learn about the development of medicine and lab-related processes but not about the final steps in bringing a medicine to market.’

Johan: ‘We wanted to organise an event that introduced master students to possible career paths and offered them a better idea of where to apply for an internship or a first job. We reached out to pharmacy consultants InfarAMA and PhaRA who had a similar idea and pitched the concept of the Orientation Day to the faculty in Leuven.’

The first edition was a great success and the Orientation Day is now officially included in the master’s study programme.

Lotte: ‘Indeed, we’re very excited to see that. In consultation with the faculty we also decided to open the event up to first-year master students, so they can make an informed decision for their internship in the following year.’

Johan: ‘An internship can last for nine months. It’s important that when students make that choice, they do so out of personal motivation and not for practical reasons. This is particularly true for consultancy. It’s a career choice that has to fit your personality. Among other things, you have to be enthusiastic and driven. By presenting possible career paths clearly to students, we hope they can ascertain what would fit their interests and personality.’

What makes the Orientation Day so exciting to organise?

Lotte: ‘It offers us the perfect opportunity for self-reflection. We have to explain consultancy and complex topics such as pricing and reimbursement in an accessible manner. What key information do they need to understand? It requires us to come to the essence of things. It’s a refreshing change of pace from our day-to-day tasks where we’re concerned with legal specifics and medical details.’

Johan: ‘It’s a fun challenge. We find these topics exciting, but will students have the same reaction? As consultants, we’re passionate about our job and we want to convey that passion to them during the Orientation Day. Considering the enthusiastic reactions we’ve received from students after the first edition, I believe we are succeeding in that goal.’

Johan and Lotte, thank you for the interview. We’re certain that your passion will inspire this year’s master students and those to come.  

Do you need support in market access to bring your medicine to the Benelux pharmaceutical market? Our consultants can support you every step of the way. 

e&a consultants introduces pharma students to market access

{{ popup_title }}

{{ popup_close_text }}