Nine8th grade students attended the four-day Multicultural Teen Corporate Mentoring Program at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in East Hanover during their spring break in April. The program was designed to introduce students to the pharmaceuticals industry and offer insights into business careers found in the industry including marketing/sales, information technology, medical affairs, legal affairs, finance and more. Read about what our students did at Novartis and what they gained from the experience.
Students were greeted by a panel of Novartis executives speaking about the industry, by Kim Guadagno, New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor, and Eunique J. Gibson, founder of Because of Them We Can, a campaign aimed at empowering youth from all backgrounds with positive images and stories that refute negative stereotypes. Students immersed themselves in a public affairs challenge, creating mock campaigns to raise awareness and funding for malaria prevention in unaffected populations. During the week our students worked in small groups with students from other NJ schools, in competition with other groups, on a project – creating a medical drug product. From the project, they learned about product development/research, marketing/sales, legal and ethical issues, finance and more. Some of our students were on the winning project team and some were singled out for their performance during the week. .Students also “shadowed” a Novartis employee in his/her job for a day to see firsthand how someone goes about their job. Waleed, a Link 8th grader said his experience was “fascinating.” He said that working together with high school students made him “step up my game” and that while he had not thought about a pharmaceuticals for a career, he might reconsider. A great chance for a glance inside a large corporation, and perhaps be inspired to a career in science or the business. An added benefit: to make new friends with students from other schools across the state.