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MSL Society Conference VEGAS: 5 Takeaways

By all accounts, the 2018 MSL Society Conference in Las Vegas was outstanding. Two of our own, Mary Morton and Lawrence Beck, attended the event and shared some thoughtful insight (and, had a great time:).

5 Takeaways from MSL Society Conference 2018

1. What do you feel was the Educational takeaway from the conference? 

SEMbio was honored to be an MSL Society Conference 2018 Sponsor

Mary – ” I learned a number of amazing things, but the big broad takeaway for me was how similar our role as recruiters is to the MSL.  It’s all about providing real value to your stakeholders/customers through relationship building, gathering insights and feedback on how we can provide the best possible service to each client or candidate, individually, staying on top of the latest news in clinical development, and doing all of these things in an ethical and compliant way. I’m always amazed at what I learn that is directly applicable to my day to day functions.”

Lawrence – “I think the biggest new thing I left with was how much thought and analysis goes into structuring an MSL team. There is a lot that goes into determining how many MSLs you are going to hire for the buildout, who the KOLs are going to be that the team targets, and how you’re going to show the value of the team to internal stakeholders. It was interesting to pick up on how many resources go into this part of the role.”

2. What will you remember most about the conference? 

Mary Morton with friends at MSL Society Conference 2018

Mary – “The first thing that comes to mind in how wonderful it was to see some of the faces of people I’ve spoken to for many years but, for one reason or another, never got the opportunity to meet live.”

Lawrence – “What I think stood out to me the most was what a supportive community the MSL world is. The MSL Conference is a great event for aspiring MSLs to attend, not only to network but also to pick up some other nuances about this career that they may not be very privy to just yet. But there is no shortage of experienced MSLs or MSL managers at the conference who are happy to spend time talking with aspiring MSLs to give them any advice they can to make this career move. Additionally, the MSL Society has their own programs such as the MSL certification and the mentoring programs and it’s eye-opening to see how many experienced MSLs take time to contribute to these programs.” 

3. What made the biggest impact for you personally? 

Mary Morton and Don Mallet

Mary – “At SEMbio, we love being able to have even the smallest impact on someone’s career.  But seeing and meeting some people for the first time that I placed in their first MSL position, some even 15 years ago, was so rewarding. And it reminded me how important it is to support those who endeavor to join this fraternity of pharmaceutical professionals.  Spending time with people to discuss how to better frame their experience in their resumes, making connections between aspiring MSLs and people I know in the industry including some calls I placed on the spot while in Las Vegas. It made for some “feel good” moments for me.”

Lawrence –  “The biggest impact for me personally, as an MSL recruiter, was hearing about the aspects of their job that is important to them – important enough to design a conference session around. This includes things like making sure they are providing strategic insights for the home office, including HEOR info into their message to HCPs, and making sure they set themselves up to properly develop their career for life after the MSL role.”

4 – In general, what did you like most about the conference? (e.g. fun, venue, Vegas, camaraderie) 

Mary & Lawrence Keepin’ it real SEMbio style

Mary – “Outside of the content itself, I loved the venue!  Lawrence and I spent some time becoming experts at the craps table.

Lawrence – “What I like the most about the MSL Society Conference is how they integrate ways for people to interact outside of the typical education sessions. It doesn’t simply wrap up at 5:00 pm after the last session is over. They schedule fun events in the early evening that make it easy to keep meeting the attendees in a more casual setting. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s in Vegas, too! 

5 – What would you change about the conference?

Mary – “I’m not sure I would change too much about the conference-it was definitely well run and organized.  My only complaint was that during the breakout sessions, there were too many good ones to choose from!”

Lawrence – “I would change how many choices they have during the breakout session time slots. During the afternoons they have 4-5 different sessions during the same time slots to choose from, but I always wanted to attend at least a few of them! It would be nice to have the option to see more of these sessions.”