Biotech career fairs in the U.S. you don’t want to miss

biotech career fairs

Job fairs are a great opportunity to connect with professionals from various industries. Biotech career fairs are tailored for those who want to get into the fields of biotech, life science, and pharma investments, to name a few. 

Although the past year was met with a surge of cutbacks as thousands were laid off across the world, things seem to be looking up for the biotech job market, and some roles in particular. From artificial intelligence (AI) specialists in drug discovery to CRISPR scientists, these career paths have been in demand lately and recruiters have been on the lookout for experienced professionals and new talent to fill up these spots.

Attending career fairs provides exposure and can get job seekers’ foot in the door, especially when it comes to bagging an interview. As biotech hiring events are held across the country, here are six popular fairs that take place annually in the U.S.

Table of contents

    Harvard Biotech Club Career Fair

    The Harvard Biotech Club Career Fair is run by the Massachusetts-based Ivy League Harvard University, one of the top universities to study biotech. Unlike many other career fairs that are catered for students belonging to that specific school, Harvard’s career fair is open to Harvard and non-Harvard students.

    It is organized by the GSAS Harvard Biotech Club, a student-led organization that aims to bridge the gap between industry and academia in the world of biotech. The fair, which takes place every year in October, has seen biotechs from all over the world attend the event, some of which include big pharmas like Sanofi and AstraZeneca, Amgen, and GSK to name a few. As the university is situated in one of the leading biotech hubs in the country, various Massachusetts-based biotechs like Minerva Biotechnologies, Sherlock Biosciences, and Intellia Therapeutics, have all attended as potential recruiters at the event.

    Last year, the keynote speaker was Mathai Mammen, chief executive officer of clinical-stage precision medicine company FogPharma, and speakers from mRNA programmer Strand Therapeutics, and multinational life science companies Johnson & Johnson, and Danaher Corporation, were part of the panel discussion.

    Life Science Career Fair

    The Life Science Career Fair hosted by Yale Biotech Club at Ivy League Yale University in Connecticut is an annual event tailored for graduates, undergraduates, post-docs, medical, and Masters In Business Administration (MBA) students looking to explore alternative options, particularly in the field of biotechnology.

    Recruiters from biotechs, pharmaceuticals, management consulting companies, and venture capitals attend to hunt for new talent. This year, the fair was held in April, and companies that attended presented a 10 minute showcase for students to have a broader idea of the different roles at life science companies. Company booths were also set up so that students could have a one-on-one chat with pharma representatives and headhunters.

    Yale also hosts the Engineering Career Fair Collaborative, which connects students to people from the medtech sector and environmental services, among others.

    Biotech Career UCLA

    The Biotech Career Fair is organized by the UCLA School of Engineering and the Biomedical Engineering Society in California in collaboration with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), every year.

    Two years ago, the career fair had 10 companies join, and it attracted students pursuing different majors like biochemistry, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering, among others. Some of the attendees were vaccine maker Moderna, DNA giant Illumina, multinational biopharma Gilead Sciences, and medtech company Edwards Lifesciences. 

    BioNetwork’s Spring 2024 Career Fair

    The North Carolina Biotechnology Center-led career fair partners with biopharmaceutical and life science companies in North Carolina, and is open to life science students, program graduates, as well as job seekers with at least six months of experience and those starting out in the industry.

    It was held at the Wake Tech RTP Campus,  a community college in North Carolina, back in April. Apart from the career fair, there is also the NC Biotech Career Symposium hosted by bioengineered tissue manufacturer Humacyte, which is a networking opportunity for students entering the biotech and life science profession. 

    This year, it will be held on June 5, and the keynote speaker is biopharma innovation expert Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, who has been named one of the ‘10 Most Influential Women in Biotech,’ by the Boston Globe. Registrations are still open.

    MIT Biotech Group Career Fair

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ranks among the top universities to study biotechnology. So, it’s no surprise that the annual biotech career fair held for not only MIT graduates, undergraduates, post-docs, MBA, and medical students, but also the wider biotech community, is one of the major biotech career fairs in the U.S. 

    This year, the fair took place in March, and global life science company DSM, drug developer Generate: Biomedicines, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Piramal Pharma Solutions, and protein design company Gensaic, were all part of the summit.

    Life Science Career Expo

    The Bay Area Biocom California Institute hosted the Life Science Career Expo, which took place earlier this month in South San Francisco. In partnership with California-based job center NOVAworks, the career fair is specifically for job seekers to meet recruiters from the life science industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, a key biotech hotspot.

    Member companies and those stepping into the industry, as well as budding and seasoned professionals, are given a platform to interact and cultivate relationships that could strengthen well beyond the expo.

    Participants also have the opportunity to create and present an elevator pitch, and gain access to Biocom’s online job board tailored for the life sciences sector called Career Hub.

    Biotech career fairs: platform for networking

    Annual job fairs have become an event ​​conducted by many universities and institutions across the U.S., including community colleges like Wake Tech to offer students a way into the industry. 

    Back in 2008, when people were reeling from the Great Recession that led to millions of job losses, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Career Fair featured some of the biggest names in the industry like Gilead, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, which attracted many on the job hunt. 

    Now, post-pandemic, virtual job fairs have taken over, with many colleges and universities hosting annual events and inviting speakers from different fields within the industry, without the extra costs of hiring a place to host the events, and more importantly, offering people from across the country, and sometimes even across the globe, to partake in these events and gain as much exposure as they can.

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