To begin with, you should focus on your strengths. Many young scientist spread themselves too thin while at school and pursue a double major in biology and finance, thinking that this will give them a leg up on the competition if they have a firm understanding of both the business side and the science side. But most bosses at the top firms believe that this is a mistake. While they know that business is important, they are looking for scientists first. And if you want a second degree, you can always return to school later after you have secured employment. It is better to stick with what you do best and impress your interviewer with your background in the sciences. It is also a fact that there is no shortage of people with business degrees in the country. On the other hand, there is a staggering shortage of candidates with degrees in engineering, mathematics and the sciences. Graduates with degrees in biology and chemistry are always needed. So you can never hurt your chances focusing on what you like.
It is also recommended that you get as much experience in the lab as you possibly can. Many employers today complain that young scientists are shying away from practical science, and when they start working they are ill-equipped to deal with the massive amounts of lab work. As a practical alternative, it is advisable that you secure an internship in industry.
Since every pharmaceutical and biotech company in the world must look to the future and stay ahead of the curve, they are always on the prowl for young scientists who are interested in cutting-edge science. They want bold and original thinkers who have some experience with research on new treatments for patients. It is also important for a young scientist to have excellent communications skills. Since drug development teams incorporate professionals from disparate fields, it is essential that a young scientist be able to communicate with non-scientists. Otherwise the project may end up on the cutting room floor.
While many scientists with degrees in the physical sciences, like mathematics, physics, or engineering, believe there is no place for them in these industries, nothing could be further from the truth. For example, mathematicians are often hired to analyze the data of clinical trials. Engineers are also invaluable after a drug has been approved by the FDA and the company begins the manufacturing phase.
The last and possibly most important piece of advice employers have for young scientists is to simply follow their passion. Many students make the mistake of thinking about how their own particular field of study relates to positions in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and they choose a new field based on that rather than following their passion. But bosses strongly believe that it is better to stick with what you do best and worry about the job later. Your college days are the time to learn and you will always perform better if you are studying a subject you are truly passionate about.