This one-year career mentoring program pairs ethnically diverse students (Baccalaureate, Master, PharmD or PhD) and early career researchers with industry mentors who work at companies in the medical technology, biotechnology and consumer healthcare industries. The 2022 SMDP Biotech training session was held in San Diego, California on June 11-16. Each day was filled with moments to learn more about career opportunities in industry via various panels, lectures, and workshops. There were an array of panelists sharing their experiences working in industry, their journeys and any advice that would make the scholars successful. Panelists included external individuals and alumni who currently work in companies such as Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca and more. Each of the 100 scholars selected were also paired with one industry mentor on day 1 where they were given the opportunity to meet with them one on one to prepare and plan the next year-long mentorship, meeting at least once a month. In addition to the mentorship and informative presentations, scholars were given great feedback and tips on how to orient their resume, CV, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and SMDP portal profile to stand out and be competitive for a position in industry. The program included a site visit to Janssen’s La Jolla Campus to tour the facility, ask direct questions of industry personnel, and for networking opportunities. Zakiyah and Rulaiha were also provided access to the 2022 BIO International Convention held at the San Diego Convention Center, where their registration was sponsored by SMDP ICPD Programs. At BIO 2022, they visited the biotech and pharmaceutical industries expos with companies from all over the world including Belgium, Canada, and China. On their last day at BIO 2022, Zakiyah and Rulaiha were also invited to a Biopharma Leaders of Color (BLOC) Brunch by the President and CEO of BIO, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, M.D., Ph.D.

Zakiyah and Rulaiha had a wonderful experience and encourage others to apply for this amazing program. Be on the lookout for next year’s application cycle at