Minority Recruiting Project Aims to Increase Diversity in Pharmaceutical Marketing Industry
Library: MED
Keywords: PHARMACEUTICAL MARKETING MINORITY DIVERSITY RECRUITMENT
Description: An effort to recruit minority students for careers in pharmaceutical marketing promises to open new opportunities for qualified students, while helping solve an industry-wide problem.



Minority Recruiting Project Aims to Increase
Diversity in Pharmaceutical Marketing Industry

UNIVERSITY, Miss. -- An effort to recruit minority students for careers in pharmaceutical marketing promises to open new opportunities for qualified students, while helping solve an industry- wide problem.

The project, dubbed PharMosaic, is an initiative to educate black, Hispanic and American Indian students about careers in the field, said Mickey Smith, director of the University of Mississippi Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management. The venture was launched by a $118,000 gift from the Pfizer Foundation.

Pharmaceutical marketing jobs include advertising, advocacy, distribution, marketing research, pharmaceutical management and sales, product development and public relations. The UM center is working with pharmaceutical firms and other universities to inform students about the field.

"It's unique in that we're not looking just to increase the diversity of the student body here at Ole Miss, but at other universities," said Edith Davidson, an MBA student who helped develop the PharMosaic program. "We're hoping to make changes throughout this industry."

The PharMosaic Web site http://www.pharmosaic.org includes career information, data on the top 50 pharmaceutical companies and links for prospective students. Organizers also have sent information to every public high school in Mississippi, pharmacy schools and pharmaceutical firms.

"This highly innovative program will meet an important need within the pharmaceutical industry while opening wonderful opportunities for minority students," said Barbara Wells, dean of the School of Pharmacy. ""We are grateful to the Pfizer Foundation for its support of this important project."

PharMosaic coordinator Maria Johnson plans to attend professional conferences and other events to spread the word about the project and find new partners. She is working to expand the Web site with interactive features and video clips, including a look at a typical day in the life of a pharmaceutical sales representative.

She also wants to set up an internship program with major companies and find professionals in the field to serve as mentors.

"Getting the mentorship program will be a big step because that makes the whole thing more personal," she said. "Many of the qualified minority students who are interested in this field go for the pharmacist route because of the bad connotation the term 'salesman' has with a lot of people, but when you show them the kinds of things this field involves, they start to get interested."

The Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management is a partnership of the UM schools of pharmacy and business administration.

For more stories from The University of Mississippi, visit www.olemiss.edu/newsdesk

For more information, contact Mitchell Diggs at (662) 915-5639 or mdiggs@olemiss.edu

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