Our application portal is open! Read on for advice frequently asked questions (FAQs) on navigating the application process. We will be reviewing applications and scheduling interviews on a rolling basis- APPLY EARLY!
MCPHS Fellowship Application Important Dates:
Application portal is open October 3 – November 11, 2022
Recommendation evaluation forms must be submitted no later than December 1, 2022 via the online portal. This is NOT a letter of recommendation but an online form that the reference will need to complete.
Your application is our first introduction to you. Many programs, including MCPHS, accept applications on a rolling basis, so it is better to apply earlier rather than closer to the deadline. A couple general tips for application materials:
- Proofread materials yourself and have someone else review your application materials before you submit them!
- Submit every document (CV, Letter of Intent) as a PDF
Letter of Intent
Your letter of intent should tell us about you as a person and why you want to be here. The letter of intent should not just be a reiteration of your CV, but rather highlight pivotal experiences and how they shaped your career goals (not a summary of what you did there—that’s on your CV!) as well as what you bring to the table. A general organization of the letter of intent should be:
- Express interest in the position
- Why you are interested in the company/program
- Why you would be a good fit for the position
- Summary of main points
In your cover letter, you should address these main questions:
- Why industry?
- Why this functional area?
- Why fellowship?
- Why this company and/or therapeutic area?
- Why this specific position?
While some programs differ, generally, it is a best practice to address the letter of intent to the fellowship director(s) for the position, which is in the company brochure. It is also helpful to use the same language/phrasing as the position description in the brochure. It is best to keep your letter of intent to one page; longer letters do not always provide us with any more valuable information, and main points can get lost. It is also a good idea to refer to the company’s mission/vision statement and review company core values.
CV organization is really a matter of opinion, so this is just a general guide; however, it is important to highlight your most relevant experiences by putting them at the top (tip: education and industry-related experiences should be first and second, respectively). Sections to include could be:
- Pharmaceutical Industry Experience (if applicable—any internships, jobs, and relevant APPEs here)
- Leadership Experience/Community Service
- Projects and Presentations (relevant presentations done during APPEs, internships, school, etc.)
- Work Experience (other work experiences, i.e., community or hospital pharmacy intern positions)
- Completed APPEs
- Anticipated APPEs
- Honors and Awards
List experiences in reverse chronological order within each section.
Create a table and make the lines invisible for easy formatting and alignment.
We recommend your CV be no more than four (4) pages (if it is more than four pages, evaluate what is on your CV and how it adds value to your story). You should be able to speak to everything listed on your CV, and how each experience makes you a strong candidate.
For most, if not all, fellowship programs, you will need to provide contact information for references. These should be professional (ideally pharmacy-related) references; it is nice if they are industry professionals but by no means necessary. You should ask for recommendations from people you think can provide the strongest recommendation and who know you well enough to do so. It is also a good practice to ask if they would be willing to provide a recommendation well in advance of when you plan to apply (such as at the end of an APPE rotation if you plan to ask your APPE preceptor) rather than waiting until you are submitting your application.
For the MCPHS program, references only need to complete an online recommendation form, and do not need to write an actual recommendation letter. To apply, you only need to provide references’ contact information; the actual forms need to be completed by December 1st.
Please refer to MCPHS application instructions for the application process. Each program, company and even each individual position has a slightly different application review and interview process and timeline. Interviews are generally 15-30 minutes and may consist of introductory/general fellowship questions, more situational questions to gain more insight into how you may fit in with the team, and time for you to ask questions at the end. It is important to come to these interviews prepared; practice mock interviews with friends, research the company pipeline, the mission, the values, and news, especially any pertaining to the functional area you are applying for; and of course, know your CV.
Generally, interviews start with a few general questions, then more in-depth questions to get to know you better as a person (how you think, problem-solve, and how you may fit in with the team). When answering interview questions, it is important to highlight key experiences (internships, work experience, APPE) that have influenced you the most and how these experiences led you to pursue a fellowship.
Similar to your cover letter, you should be able to clearly articulate why you are interested in industry, a fellowship, the functional area, and the specific position. For the more in-depth questions, make sure you have thought about key learning experiences and how they have shaped you as a person and as a professional—the best candidate is one who knows their strengths and is aware of areas for improvement.
At the end of each interview, there will be time for you to ask questions. This is your chance to gain a better understanding of the position, the company, the team you would be working with and the type of work you would be doing as a fellow. It is a good idea to come prepared with specific questions you are genuinely curious about as well as asking questions related directly to the conversation during the interview.
Finally, it is important to be mindful of time when answering questions—make sure not to spend more than a few minutes answering one question, so that we are able to learn as much about you and so that you have time to ask questions at the end.
Here are some final pieces of advice from fellows, based on their experiences:
- “For interviews that include presentations, try to present on an industry- or functional area- related topic. It’s even better if you have a presentation you’ve already done that is industry-related!” – Hannah, former Regulatory Sciences fellow, Biogen
- “Interviewing for multiple companies can get a little hectic. It’s important you stay organized through the whole process, either by using an excel document, or other platforms. Interviews can stack on any given day, so staying organized will help reduce the anxiety of it all” – Arjun, former Worldwide Medical fellow, Biogen
- “Get to know the fellows. Ask questions and seek mentors throughout the process. Fellows and former fellows are your most valuable source of information. Think like a future fellow; be your own best advocate, seek out what you want to know and ask questions to gain insight into what you don’t know.” – Nick, former Regulatory Advertising and Promotion fellow, Biogen
- “Be intentional about which functional area(s) and therapeutic area(s) you choose. You will need to articulate why both on paper and during interviews. The more interests you have, the more you will need to reflect to clearly articulate your reasoning.” – Melissa, former Worldwide Medical fellow, Biogen
- “It is so important to research the companies prior to interviews. Look at the mission statement and values of the company, the product pipeline, and any recent press releases. As a candidate, this really helped me get a better sense of each company and the type of therapeutic areas I would be working with as a fellow there, as well as develop more meaningful and company- specific questions to ask during interviews. As an interviewer, the candidates that stood out to me clearly researched Biogen by referencing our mission statement and values and asking specific questions about the work that Biogen is doing.” – Hannah, former Regulatory Sciences fellow, Biogen
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding the MCPHS Program/Application Process
Will interviews be conducted at ASHP/PPS Midyear 2022?
- Yes. We will be conducting interviews in person at ASHP/PPS in Las Vegas, NV. However, preliminary round interviews will be conducted virtually. You will have to be registered for both ASHP and PPS to interview in person.
How do I apply to the MCPHS Fellowship Program?
- Applications will be accepted through our web portal at https://mcphs.smapply.io
- We will NOT be accepting any interview requests through PPS.
- Attendance/Registration to ASHP/PPS 2022 is a requirement to be interviewed in person at PPS.
- You will be contacted by each program to schedule an interview after submitting your application. We will NOT be accepting any interview requests through PPS.
When does the MCPHS Application portal open?
- The application portal opened on 10/3/2022 and will close on 11/11/2022.
Where can I find a listing of all of the positions available this year?
Where can I find the company brochures to learn more about the positions?
Will there be onsite interviews?
- Top candidates may be invited for interviews at the sponsoring company’s location pending COVID-19 restrictions.
What materials do I need in order to apply?
- We require applicants to submit the following:
- Application profile (created within our portal)
- Letter of Intent (LOI)
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Unofficial School of Pharmacy Transcript
- Contact information for 3 recommendations. If there is a need for a 4th, you will be notified to provide one. Recommenders will complete an evaluation form within the portal. You will get a notification when it is submitted by the recommender.
Do I need to submit this information manually for each position I apply to?
- The application profile, CV, Transcript, and Contact information of the recommenders will carry over to each position that you apply to.
- The program selection and LOI will not carry over with each position.
What if I want to upload a different CV or contact for my recommendation?
- You may need to contact the program administrator to update the contact information of you recommender if you have already completed that task.
- If you decide to upload a different CV, please note that it will not be reflected in your previous submission. The new CV will only show for the position that the change was made.
Will my recommender be asked to submit a recommendation for each position that I apply to?
- No. Recommenders will complete one recommendation form that will follow them for each of your applications in which you have them listed as a contact.
Can I submit more than 3 references?
- Yes, you may submit up to 4, but only 3 references are required for each position you apply to.
Is the recommendation a free format submission?
- The recommendation is a semi-structured formatted submission with both a ranking and free form aspect similar to the forms used for residency.
Does a letter of intent have to be submitted for each company?
- Yes and a LOI must be submitted for each position you are applying to.
Do all application materials have to be submitted before I can be considered for a position?
- Yes, your application will not be reviewed until it is completed and has been submitted on the MPCHS portal.
When are application materials due?
- All application materials must be submitted and marked as complete by November 11th 2022.
Do interview spots fill-up before the application deadline?
- In many cases, yes.
Are international students welcome to apply?
- All applicants must have authorization to work in the United States throughout the duration of the one or two‑year fellowship. No visa sponsorship will be provided.
Is licensure required for the Fellowship Program?
- Licensure is NOT REQUIRED for the following companies: Agios, Alexion, BD, Biogen, Novartis, Sanofi Genzyme, Sunovion, and Takeda
- Licensure is REQUIRED within 6 months of starting the program at the following company: Pfizer
- Please check with each company to verify licensure requirement as this may change per position/per company.
Does MCPHS host both a company reception and program reception?
- MCPHS hosts a single reception with all companies on Tuesday night of ASHP Midyear.
Do I need to have all of my recommendations completed prior to being considered for an interview?
- No, but you will need to have all of your recommendations submitted prior to your final interview.
Are PharmD graduates from previous years, but with clinical working experience able to apply?
- Yes, all PharmD graduates are welcome to apply. Our program has had a few fellows with such previous experience.
CAN’T FIND AN ANSWER?
If you have more questions, and need answers, please contact the fellowship office at PharmDFellowships@mcphs.edu