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Graduate Recruitment Centre: the final sprint!

Category: R&D Regulatory Affairs Uncategorized | 7 comments

The last hurdle is finally on the horizon: the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC)! First off, for those of you who have made it to this last stage, you should be extremely proud of yourselves. There were a lot of applicants this year across all the different programs, many of whom were highly qualified, so good job!

As I write this I am feeling a bit nostalgic because this time last year I myself was participating at the GRC as a Regulatory Affairs candidate and it was truly an amazing experience. In this post, I’d like to lessen some of the obscurity surrounding the GRC and give you a couple of tips.

  1. Be yourself. At this stage, your resume, cover letter, grades, and accomplishments take the backseat. The GRC is much more about who you are as an individual. It’s about your personality, your values, your goals, etc. The important thing to take away is that there is no point in faking who you are. Firstly, you don’t know what the assessors are looking for. Secondly, being yourself is the only way you can find out if this company and this programme are the right fit for you. Novo Nordisk doesn’t only seek to hire great candidates, but seeks to hire those that genuinely want to be part of the program and that will consequently get the most out of it.
  2. You are constantly being evaluated. One of the main purposes of the GRC is to see how you perform and react to challenges. There are personal interviews, but there are also a range of activities that you are thrown into. One thing you should prepare yourself for is that there will be assessors surrounding you all the time. The GRC is about evaluating the process just as much as it is about the final outcome of a specific activity or task.
  3. Your expertise is not as important as you think. Some of the tasks will be outside of your area of expertise / education but don’t let this get to you. It is not about who knows the most about Regulatory Affairs. It is about who can navigate and solve problems, how do you interact with others to achieve a certain goal, how do you respond to uncertainty?
  4. Don’t get too caught up in a poor performance. I distinctly remember doing badly in a task and having a moment where I thought “that’s it, I’m never getting this job”. But if there’s one thing that all the current graduates have in common it’s that we decided to put that internal voice aside and move on to the next task. At the end of the day, you are human and the assessors aren’t looking for someone who doesn’t make mistakes, because everyone does. If you feel you’ve disappointed yourself in a particular task, use it as an opportunity to prove that you can soldier on and ace the next one.
  5. All the candidates are very sharp. One of the first things I noticed (and that scared me!) at the GRC was how smart, cool, and qualified the other candidates were. There’s a reason they are all there. But it is important to keep in mind that you made it there too. What is also crucial to remember is that while the GRC is still a competition, I can guarantee that attempting to bring others down will not get you the job. In my year, the 12 candidates got along exceedingly well. Yes, we had all tried to convince the assessors that we were the right ones for the job, but we had supported each other and learnt from one another in the process. It was amazing to meet so many bright people and it is important that you appreciate being part of this unique experience while you are there.
  6. Relax and have fun. I can’t stress this enough, and I think it ties in to all of my previous points. You’ve made it this far and you should be very proud. It is going to be a long day and so the best way to survive the GRC is to live in the moment.

I wish you all the best of luck. Carpe diem!

Mathilde

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7 Comments to Graduate Recruitment Centre: the final sprint!

  1. Posted March 8, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink
    Brian says:

    Hi Mathilde,

    Thank you for sharing those tips!

    I am one of the candidates who applied for RA program. I read your comment on other post that we should receive an email early this week but I haven’t received any so far. I just want to double check with you.

    Appreciate your help.

    Best,
    Brian

  2. Posted March 9, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink
    Mathilde Mathilde says:

    Dear Brian,

    All applicants should have received a response on their application by now. Please check your spam filter, as this is where any e-mails may have ended up.

    Best,
    Mathilde

  3. Posted March 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
    Filip says:

    Dear Mathilde,

    Thank you for writing this insightful article I hope we get the chance meet you at the GRC.

    Best regards,

    Filip

  4. Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
    Shifa Iqbal says:

    Dear Mathilde,
    I’m an MPharm graduate with keen interest in R&D, Regulatory affairs. I just wanted to pick your brain about how technical does it get during the recruitment process? How prepared should one be to tackle the questionnaires? And which area of expertise were actually put into test?

  5. Posted October 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink
    Mathilde Mathilde says:

    Hi Shifa,

    Apologies for the late response. The recruitment process will not be testing your knowledge of regulatory affairs. You could come across an activity that deals with a regulatory subject, but what the assessors will examine is not how much you understand but how you approach the task. In this sense, the recruitment process is not about finding a candidate that is an expert in regulatory affairs. It is about finding an intelligent, well-rounded, and curious individual with a background in the life sciences. Previous experience/ exposure to Regulatory Affairs is not a requirement.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Best,
    Mathilde

  6. Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
    Viktor Danev says:

    Dear Mathilde,

    I would like to ask the following: I am currently doing my Master’s degree in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management in University College London and I will graduate next summer. Will I be eligible to apply for the European Market Access Graduate Programme, because according to the entry requirements, a master’s degree within health economics, public health, pharmacy or business administration is needed.

    However, I have done several internships in the field of the pharmaceutical industry and my last internship was focused on HTA submissions, so I have some experience in the field of Market Access.

    Best regards,

    Viktor

  7. Posted October 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
    Mathilde Mathilde says:

    Dear Viktor,

    I’m afraid I cannot answer this question as I am a Regulatory Affairs graduate. I urge you to take a look at Anne’s posts, a current European Market Access graduate.

    Best,
    Mathilde

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