The MSLS has created a unique list of resources and tools available to members and non-members to aid in industry awareness, global connections, and professional development for MSLs. The following article briefly highlights the offerings of a few important resources located on the MSLS website. All of the mentioned resources are viewable to the public and many can be accessed with or without membership in the MSL Society.
Entering the Job Board resource located toward the bottom of the MSLS Resource pull down menu will reveal a practical and efficient tool in the Career Center for any type of MSL professional interested in available positions. From entry level jobs to contract work, the Job Board allows a user to browse a search by multiple different criteria including location, therapeutic area, and job title. Results will include positions that have been posted directly to the MSLS Job Board. In addition, the Job Board tool will also run a search of positions that meet the same criteria that may be posted to other job search websites like Indeed.com and even employer websites themselves. An additional benefit of the Job Board is a built-in tool that allows the user to create email alerts that will notify them when a new position has been posted that would fit in that search.
Within the MSLS Career Center, there are other beneficial resources as well. Job seekers can upload their resumes to create a candidate profile visible to potential employers as well as receive assistance through resume critiques. Employers can use this site to post jobs and search for candidates through their posted profiles. The MSLS Career Center is host to multiple effective and efficient tools created to improve connections for MSL professionals in the workforce.
MSL Mentor Program
While the MSL profession has an important role to play in modern medicine, it can often be a challenging position for those lacking experience. For this reason, the MSLS has created the MSL Mentor Program which allows free participation of professional members to engage with their experienced peers on a personal level. The Mentor Program runs each year from January to August and coordinates groups of 4-6 mentees, each with less than two years of MSL experience, with two co-mentors, each with more than five years of MSL field or MSL management experience. Groups are curated after a thoughtful application and selection process to match mentees with mentors that can provide them with the knowledge, discussions, and opportunities that most closely parallels their career goals. Mentorship groups meet in video conferences for an hour once a month to discuss mentee-driven topics and goals. Mentor group discussions are expected to provide support, guidance, and professional development for both mentees and mentors.
To get a closer look into the benefits of this resource, visit the MSL Mentor Program webpage located in the Resources drop down menu on the MSLS homepage. This page will offer insights from past mentors and mentees on their participation as well as frequently asked questions about the program. While this professional development experience is not intended to replace employer training, it can be an invaluable resource to MSL professionals looking to expand their network within the field in addition to engaging in group professional development.
The MSL role is a highly field-based position that requires in-person conversations between MSLs and health care professionals. Because of the nature of these communications and their often occurrence in places of patient care, the current COVID-19 pandemic has had drastic and evolving effects on the structure of MSL and HCP interactions. At the top of the Resources drop down menu, the MSLS has provided a page of resources for members and non-members to locate information on the developing pandemic. These resources include links to CDC information, FDA guidelines on clinical trials during COVID-19, and a webinar created by the MSLS to answer questions and provide information regarding the pandemic to MSLs.
An additional resource highlighted on this page is the results of a global survey conducted by the MSLS to investigate how MSLs are virtually engaging with KOLs, how companies are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, and future implications for MSLs in regard to the pandemic. The survey is intended to provide insight for MSLs on what is currently known concerning how interactions should be conducted as well as predictions for potential outcomes. Additional questions addressed also provide alternative activities MSLs can engage in to supplement their work due to the lack of their normal in-person KOL and HCP interactions. The webinar and survey results are informative resources that are free to both members and non-members.
Recently added to the MSLS resource page is the MSL SocialLink platform, an exciting, new way to engage and connect with fellow members of the MSL Society. This professional social networking site provides a unique space for all types of community members to communicate and create connections across the world. Also available as an app for tablets and phones, MSL SocialLink can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. Some favorite features that have been created include a personal, centralized feed highlighting the activity of connected professionals. Your feed is completely custom to the opportunities and network built by your connections with other MSLS members allowing you to expand relationships and share content viewable by everyone you know. This easy to use function encourages staying up to date on the news and conversations happening in your MSL community. Similarly, the platform will suggest recommended members that you share content or mutual connections with to allow each member to maximize the resources in their network.
Other features highlighted in MSL SocialLink are very unique to the platform including engagement scoring which allows users to quantitatively measure their participation and activity compared to other members of the MSL community. Additionally, activity alerts and email notifications will keep you updated and engaged in your MSL network allowing you to focus on what keeps you busy. Automated renewal notices can be used to remind members of their membership cycle dates so that you never miss out on the exciting and rewarding connections made in the MSLS social community. You can find more information about the MSLS SocialLink platform on the resources page of the MSLS website.
Clara Bechtold is a student at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. She will be beginning her education in the School of Pharmacy this fall after spending her undergraduate years also at the University of Connecticut studying molecular and cell biology. On campus, she works in a research lab studying nanoparticle delivery of antisense oligonucleotide therapies. Currently an intern at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, she has previously worked at Cybrexa Therapeutics. When not pursuing medical science, Clara serves as a Co-Captain of the UCONN Equestrian team. She enjoys spending time at the beach and loves playing with her dog.