Donna Watkin is the Global Graduate Programme Manager at AstraZeneca, where she is responsible for the recruitment of biology graduates.
At AstraZeneca we recruit from a broad range of chemical and biological disciplines – we look for much more than whether job candidates have a relevant degree title. In order to be successful in our organisation it is critical that graduates have the appropriate practical skills to be successful in industry and this is a big challenge for us in terms of recruitment.
Our IMED Graduate Programme has recently been developed and we have a large number and range of placements at any one time. This two year graduate programme allows new recruits to join with no specific job focus, as we encourage young scientists to explore different areas before deciding which path they should pursue.
Our graduates are based in the UK, US or Sweden and have three rotations across different sections of the business. These programmes offer international placements, mentorship programmes and the potential to enrol onto a sponsored PhD course at the end of the curriculum. With over 30 placements live at any one time, AstraZeneca’s programme allows employees to gain a depth of knowledge across many disciplines in the business. This helps them to understand what kind of opportunities could await them at the end of the course and helps new recruits to find what’s right for them.
Below is an overview of the different areas that our graduates have the opportunity to work in:
AstraZeneca is a close partner of the Society of Biology, sponsoring the Degree Accreditation Awards Ceremony and attending numerous careers events including the annual Life Sciences Careers Conferences. Organisations like the Society of Biology work to bridge the gap between education and industry and are an important part of improving the process for all involved. Along with the right experience, a passion and respect for our company values are also key characteristics we look for in potential recruits. Often, graduates that we meet at these events, some which are from degrees accredited by the Society of Biology, are taken on for our upcoming development programme. With a high calibre skill set, practical experience and a passion for the topic, these students make great candidates for the programme.
For more information on accredited degrees, visit the Society of Biology accreditation website.