Improving my skills and knowledge at Pfizer

Photo of Krizand Christine Vaz
Krizand Christine Vaz
Now: Renal Oncology Marketing Undergraduate at Pfizer
MBiolSci Genetics and Microbiology with Employment Experience
Krizand chose to spend a year completing a paid work placement at pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer as part of her degree at Sheffield. During her year, Krizand improved her skills and knowledge in the pharmaceutical industry and after graduation she hopes to return in a commercial role.
Photo of Krizand Christine Vaz

My undergraduate degree at university was in genetics and microbiology with employment experience. After my third year, I undertook a placement year at Pfizer UK as an ‘Oncology Marketing Undergraduate’ working with the renal portfolio from September 2018.

There were several reasons behind my desire to complete a placement year. Firstly, this was an opportunity to enhance my employability prospects with a placement year on my CV that is relevant to my degree and ultimate career goal.

I wanted to gain first-hand professional experience in this industry. In addition, this placement would allow me to improve my skills and knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, as well as soft employability skills and specific technical competencies required for future roles. I wanted to increase my understanding and awareness about the working environment in the UK, and the self-awareness and ability to articulate my skills and achievements for future employers.


During my placement year, I have been supporting the renal oncology cross-functional team in numerous exciting projects. Through my involvement in these projects, I have developed softer professional skills, and have learned several specific marketing skills, for instance, the ability to generate actionable insights through an understanding of the market, customers, competitors and the changing environment.

Krizand Christine Vaz

MBiolSci Genetics and Microbiology with Employment Experience


Secondly, the ability to communicate and guide the execution of brand strategy in alignment with the larger company goals. This includes, measuring marketing performance to target marketing efforts and clearly demonstrate the contribution of each tactic to corporate goals. Thirdly, the ability to develop unique and creative strategies and marketing tactics that anticipate customer and market trends, stay ahead of the competition, and/or improve ROI.

Fourthly, the ability to provide commercial and strategic guidance during new asset development. This includes incorporating an understanding of the different phases of asset development into the asset planning process and evaluating the commercial viability of the asset. I have gained experience in understanding how brand managers plan and conduct market, customer, and competitor research that answers key market questions and informs their marketing strategies.


I feel prepared and enthusiastic for a full-time job in this industry

Krizand Christine Vaz

MBiolSci Genetics and Microbiology with Employment Experience


In addition to the above-mentioned marketing competencies, I have gained softer employability skills including, presentation skills, interpersonal skills, communication, organisation and time management skills. Overall, my experience has been amazing, and I have always felt supported in my professional development throughout the year with the help of my line manager.

When searching for my placement, there was one useful support service at the time and I would recommend this service to other students who are applying for placements. This was the individual advice sessions with a career consultant, which was beneficial for providing advice about assessment centres and reviewing specific applications prior to submission.

During my placement, I was tasked with an assignment to submit 4 blog posts to my tutor which was a great way of summarising my experience every quarter and developing my written communication skills.

Now that I am nearly at the end of my placement year, I feel prepared and enthusiastic for a full-time job in this industry. After my placement year, I hope to begin my career with an entry-level commercial role in the pharmaceutical industry. Thereafter, I am keen to climb this career ladder towards more senior commercial roles.

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