MSL Acceleration Key

Accelerate Your MSL Transition With One-On-One Consulting, Conference Calls & A Selective WhatsApp Group

Introducing The MSL Acceleration Key

Get The Personalized Guidance And Structure You Need To Overcome Your Unique Challenges And Accelerate Your Transition Into An MSL Role

Here’s What You Get Access To When You Become An MSL Acceleration Key Member…

The MSL Acceleration Key Provides Support for PhDs Who Want To Transition Into An MSL Role But Are Facing Special Challenges, Including…

  • PhDs who’ve hit a sticking point. You’ve tried to follow the Medical Science Liaison methodology, but you’re not getting the traction you’d like in your MSL job search.
  • PhDs with a rare academic background. While other PhDs come from a background that provides direct clinical experience, you chose a specialized, less-popular focus for your research. You feel that this creates additional hurdles in your job MSL search that other MSLA members may not face.
  • PhDs located in a remote geographic area. You don’t reside in Silicon Valley or Cambridge-Boston. Instead, you work in a less-populated area that doesn’t have a lot of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) nearby. As a result, effective networking and/or landing a position in your region seems complex or even impossible.
  • PhDs facing a make it or break it situation. You’re about to enter your first phone screening, site visit, or pivotal MSL interview. You realize that the outcome of this event can either accelerate your transition or lengthen your stay in academia.
  • PhDs who are scarred from their time in academia. Your academic environment fostered discouragement, perfectionism, cynicism, and/or imposter syndrome. Gaining back your confidence has been a struggle, and your MSL transition has suffered because of it.
  • PhDs who are in a time crunch. You’re attempting to faithfully work your way through the MSLA materials. But due to your postdoc research or graduation schedule, you’re having to rush your MSLA homework and not getting the results you were hoping for.
  • PhDs who’ve experienced a crushing disappointment. You thought you were one step away from starting your dream MSL job. But that final interview fell through…or that job offer never materialized.
  • PhDs who need a VISA. You’re finding that it’s tough to secure opportunities because of your VISA situation. To land that MSL position, you’re realizing you need an extra dose of confidence, creativity, and discipline.

The MSL Acceleration Key Provides Increased Access To Our MSL Consultants And The Cheeky Scientist Team

The MSL Acceleration Key gives you intimate, one-on-one access to MSL consultants: Elizabeth Thatcher, PhD, Yuri Klyachkin, PhD and members of team Cheeky like Isaiah Hankel, PhD, and Vinojini Nair, PhD. 

Every week, you’ll turn in your MSL Acceleration Key workbooks. Then, Elizabeth Thatcher, Yuri Klyachkin and the rest of the team will walk through your workbook answers in real time during our conference calls.

You’ll also get access to an advanced, one-of-a-kind WhatsApp MSL Acceleration group. With our WhatsApp MSL Acceleration Group, you’ll have another channel for accessing our team of consultants and asking us questions.

Thanks to the MSL Acceleration Key system, you’ll get personalized feedback and data that will accelerate your MSL job search and ensure you overcome your unique sticking points.

An article in the Entrepreneur explains…  

“The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they build in ongoing meetings with their partners to check in on their progress.”

Currently, the MSLA gives you the knowledge you need to transition into an MSL…as well as a support network thanks to our private group.

It’s helpful to browse the materials in your MSLA dashboard and interact with other MSLA members online.

But that isn’t the same thing as accountability.

The MSLA membership doesn’t include a formalized structure to hold you accountable to your MSL Job search strategy. You can work through all the materials…or you can stop in the middle of Module 1.

This autonomy might work fine for some PhDs…but it may be less than ideal for others.

In fact, research indicates that having a small group to hold you accountable increases your chances of turning your objectives into reality. Thus, accelerating your goals – like getting into your dream MSL position

Here are some details on how the program is designed to help you take ownership of your job search.

An Overview Of The Layers Of Support You’ll Receive With The MSL Acceleration Key

Live Video Conference Calls With Elizabeth Thatcher, PhD, Yuri Klyachkin, PhD, Isaiah Hankel, PhD, and our team of consultants

  • Discover Data That Informs Your Job Search Efforts. The MSL Acceleration Key gives you an opportunity to be on live conference calls with Elizabeth Thatcher and Yuri Klyachkin. These calls aren’t pre-recorded sessions or webinars. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to listen to Elizabeth and Yuri cover relevant topics for MSLs in real-time.
  • Stay accountable. Enjoy a structure for implementing key transition activities. Your conference calls will include instruction—as well as homework you need to complete.
  • Get a behind the scenes look at the current MSL job market. As PhD looking to transition into an industry position, you probably wish you had a deeper understanding of the job market. MSL Acceleration Key will give you access to this information to bolster your job search efforts. Team Cheeky closely monitors data on the job market for tops industry positions, like MSL, and we will share these data with you on the conference calls. We might discuss new trends we are seeing worldwide, a relevant merger/acquisition, and any other piece of data that might help you accelerate your job search.
  • Generate fresh ideas for your transition. If your job search is unusually challenging, you might need help thinking outside of the box. Take advantage of our conference calls to find creative ways to move forward. During the calls, you may learn about a job search strategy that is a great fit for your situation, job opportunities that just opened up, or even an innovation that might create new opportunities for someone in your position.

Personalized One-On-One Consulting & Accountability Documents

  • Establish your specific goals and the next steps you want to take in your MSL transition and identify the obstacles you are facing during your job search by filling out the intake form. This will help you come up with a personalized road map that you will follow during the program.
  • The form will also provide our team of consultants with detailed information about your specific situation and how we can help you overcome your roadblocks and get your MSL job search back on track.
  • With this information, we will have a better idea of where to focus our attention during the weekly conference calls.

Personalized “Next Session” Workbooks

  • Use the Next Training Session workbook to record the measurable actions you want to accomplish in between sessions and the accomplishment you achieved the in the last session. This will help track your progress. More importantly, it will help you establish achievable, short-term goals that will add up to your long-term goal of becoming a top MSL. These are the keys to being accountable.
  • During the conference calls with Yuri and Elizabeth, you will review the Next Training Session workbooks and discuss which next steps are more likely to get tangible results.
  • The information recorded in your workbook will allow our team to provide you personalized advice so you can make the right decisions.

Access To Our International WhatsApp MSL Acceleration Key Group

  • Communicate with our team using a highly popular app. Just like your MSLA membership, the MSL Acceleration Key gives you access to a private group. You can communicate with our consultants and other MSL Acceleration Key members via WhatsApp.
  • Receive one check-in each weekday. Our MSLA private group is very active and our team and the program leaders posts multiple times each day. However, in our WhatsApp group, MSL Acceleration Key receive a single piece of career advice per weekday.
  • Enjoy a same-day answer guarantee. When you send us a question on WhatsApp, we will reply to your comments on the same day.
  • Interact with a smaller group. Right now, the Alliance consists of over 1,000 members. While that means more PhDs are getting access to the MSLA, it also means the private group is constantly growing. The MSL Acceleration Key offers you an intimate group to interact with fellow members.

“The support and feedback I received from Elizabeth, Yuri, and Sonali played a significant role in my transition into my current MSL position. They gave me both general tips and personalized guidance like reviewing my resume live and serving as LinkedIn connections. The support I got from the three of them really accelerated my job search.”

If Your Challenges Seem Bigger Than Your Current MSL Job Search Knowledge & Confidence, Consider That…

There’s No Cookie-Cutter MSL Transition

Maybe you know several PhDs who started their first MSL job only a few weeks after joining the MSLA.

Maybe your fellow MSLA colleagues didn’t experience the challenge of needing an employer-sponsored VISA before they could begin their new MSL positions.

Or perhaps the experiences of PhDs who’ve landed jobs in in big cities with lots of Pharma Companies and KOLs in their territory don’t mirror your situation. You live in a small city or a country that doesn’t have lots of multinational pharmaceuticals—and you know that your MSL transition is going to look different.

The fact is, there isn’t a cookie-cutter formula for landing your first MSL job

Are there certain common experiences among PhDs? Yes.

Is there only one trajectory for getting a pharma company to recognize your value and hire you? No.

To land that MSL position, you may benefit from fresh insights, fresh motivation, and fresh confidence. You may want extra help as you seek to find creative solutions. And that’s okay.

A Purchase Won’t Solve Your Challenges

When you joined the Medical Science Liaison Alliance, you chose to say “no” to the status quo of academia and “yes” to a fulfilling MSL career. You started taking steps toward getting a paycheck that reflects your value and joining a work environment that leverages your skills.

But let’s face it.

The training in our MSLA materials will only take you so far.  

Your dashboard isn’t going to spring back from a disappointing interview, pursue a position that’s “outside” your KOL territory, or successfully navigate other challenges. You will.

It’s your job to put yourself in the best possible position to overcome your obstacles. That means being diligent about working through your training materials. It means rolling up your sleeves to follow up with contacts. It means employing your networking scripts.

No one can do the hard work for you.

What can help is having extra support to stay on track with following the MSLA methodology.

It’s Critical to Focus on Your Top Priorities

For some PhDs, being diligent isn’t the biggest challenge.

They know that following the MSLA methodology is integral to success. Because of this, they might feel the pressure to carefully comb through each resource and re-watch every single video.

But that can be a struggle when you’re working against a ticking clock. 

You might have experienced unemployment so long that your window of time to make an MSL transition is shrinking. Or you may be engrossed in hours of research, trying to keep your PI happy.

While it’s important to work through your MSLA course, it’s also important to be laser-focused on the most important activities for transitioning.

It’s completely understandable if you need help executing your most important activities—as well as additional access to our team to ensure you can accelerate your MSL job search.

Three Reason To Join The MSL Acceleration Key

Because Your Transition Is a Learning Experience

During your time in academia, perhaps you hit a sticking point in your PhD program. Suddenly, there was a big obstacle in conducting research or in writing your dissertation…and you simply didn’t see a way around your challenges.

At this point—if you had a supportive academic environment—you might have asked for additional help from a fellow PhD, your PI, or your academic advisor.

Your MSL transition is a learning experience, too. When you hit a sticking point, it’s only natural to seek extra help.

Think of your MSLA membership as your coursework. It provides the knowledge you need to transition into an MSLA position. Think of the MSLA private group as a learning environment where you can get colleagues to weigh in on your challenges.

However, when you encounter an unusual dilemma in the MSL Job search, you might need increased support.

That’s the point of the MSL Acceleration Key.

Leverage your membership to accelerate your transition. Take advantage of your access to restore your confidence…or get that creative breakthrough you need for addressing a complex challenge.

Because You Don’t Want to Waste Your MSLA Membership

You made a big commitment and a big investment by joining the MSLA.

But if you fail to find time to go through the Alliance materials…

Or when you don’t hold yourself accountable to completing the calls to action…

You’re effectively wasting your MSLA membership.

Be honest with yourself.

Have you truly made an effort to understand the MSLA methodology with your training resources?

Are you ensuring that your MSLA membership is more than just an online learning program? Do you understand the MSLA job search strategy because you’re actually following it yourself?

If your MSLA membership is figuratively collecting dust, it’s time to face the facts. It’s time to put accountability in place so you don’t waste your membership.

Because You Need More Personalized Support

You might feel lost in the sea of resources that the MSLA provided for you and don’t know where or how to start going through the materials and setting up your specific MSL job search strategy.

You might want to discuss your options in a smaller group that can focus on your particular struggles.

With the MSL Acceleration Key, you get a bundle of benefits, including insights and regular check-ins, all within an intimate environment and with experienced MSLs.

The MSL Acceleration Key Helps You Put Your MSL Job Search Strategy In Place.

The MSL Acceleration Key is a laser-focused program that will give you the tools you need to create an MSL job search strategy that works specifically for you.

During the conference calls, we will give you constant support and will help you take the steps to accelerate your transition.

Call days and times will be determined based on the incoming MSL Acceleration Key cohort. All locations and time zones are welcome and all will be considered.

Our membership allows you to request support based on your needs, your location, and your schedule.

When You Sign Up For The MSL Acceleration Key, You Will Get Additional Layers Of Support That Are Exclusive For You.

You probably know, firsthand, that transitioning into an MSL position isn’t an overnight process.

Going from academic postdoc to industry respected MSL can take months of honing your skills, persistently networking, and aggressively pursuing all opportunities before you.

Securing an MSL position takes patience.

In contrast, joining the MSL Acceleration Key gives you access to multiple benefits in a very short time frame.

With the MSL Acceleration Key, there’s a small gap between signing up for our membership and beginning to reap the benefits of our support.

You’ll get same-day answers within WhatsApp.

You’ll get access to a personalized dashboard with never-before-offered resources.

You will get access to our conference calls once the new MSL Acceleration Key cohort starts.

While you’re waiting for your future MSL career to materialize, you’ll enjoy regular, responsive support from the MSL consultants and the Cheeky Scientist team to keep you on track.

Here’s the Targeted Training You’ll Receive From The MSL Acceleration Key...

Introduction & Strategic Organization

  • Value of meeting in small groups – how this setting can accelerate your MSL job search
  • Establish therapeutic area, specific MSL positions you’re looking for, and the challenges/obstacles getting to them
  • MSL job search strategy spreadsheet – Identify pharma companies you want to work for, identify people who work in those companies, when last connected and when next to connect. Make a spreadsheet –> this is your MSL job search strategy spreadsheet: pharma company, job posting, contact, second contact, last time connected, next time connected – put on your calendar so that you can keep track.
    • Goal: to have 3-4 MSL interviews/week
  • Company search – search by location, size (small or midsize), company reviews.
  • Scripts to connect with current MSLs and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and streamline into informational interview/referral
  • Scripts to get a mutual connection to introduce you to another MSL/KOL on LinkedIn
  • Deliverables:
    • Prepare MSL job search strategy excel sheet and prioritize the top 10 pharma companies and contacts to reach out to.
    • Introductory email scripts to send to MSLSs and KOLs

MSL Network Prioritization & Job Referrals

  • Everyone gives update on MSL job search strategy spreadsheet
  • Challenge Q&A: how many MSL candidates are uncomfortable reaching out to people?
  • Establish why networking is an important aspect of the MSL career track
    • How to reach out effectively?
    • How to add value to gain a referral?
  • Networking scripts
  • How to handle “rejections” from networking?
  • Deliverables:
    • Reach out to the top 5 MSLs/KOLs on your spreadsheet and get a reply from at least two of them or reach out to more MSLs/KOL as needed until you get 2 replies.

MSL Referral Strategy & Informational Interview Deep Dive

  • Everyone gives updates on MSL job search strategy spreadsheets + reaching out to others. Share script for those who rejected the connection request vs successful connection – how to continue adding value to MSLs and KOLs -> informational interview -> referral
  • STAR method – opportunity to tell a convincing story
  • MSL Unique Selling Proposition
  • Deliverable
    • Set up and execute at least one informational interview and record your questions and their answers.

KOL Elevator Pitch Practice & Unique Selling Proposition

  • Everyone gives an update on what is their unique selling proposition
  • Exercise: Walk Us Through Your Informational Interview
  • How does an elevator pitch for a MSL position look like? 
  • Deliverable: 
    • KOL elevator pitch incorporating Unique Selling Proposition

Higher Quality MSL LinkedIn Profile

  • Everyone has a go at their KOL elevator pitch + feedback to make it better
  • Strategies for impactful MSL LinkedIn profiles
    • Headline: job title (MSL), location, skills
    • Features
    • Work experience
    • Volunteer experience
    • Endorsements and recommendations
    • Interests
  • Deliverable 
    • Update LinkedIn profile headline, MSL experience, volunteer experience, endorsements & get/give 2 reviews

MSL Resume Updates & Higher Quality Bullet Points

  • Everyone has to summarize their LinkedIn profile + feedback
  • Update MSL Profile 
    • Name, contact information
    • MSL Professional summary
    • Work Experience (relevant to MSL positions)
    • Skills/hobbies
    • Affiliations
    • Walk through MSL bullet point creation (live examples)
  • Deliverable
    • Update MSL bullets points for Professional Summary & Work Experience Section

Phone Screens & Mock Audio Interviews

  • Everyone has a go at summarizing their MSL resume + feedback
  • Go over MSL phone screen questions 
  • Some examples to work on:
    • Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you’re interested in this MSL position
    • Looks like you’ve been in academia for a while, why do you want to leave academia now and do you plan to go back?
    • We are opening up a number positions here, are you open to other positions?
    • What are your salary expectations?
  • Turn your KOL elevator pitch into your unique selling proposition.
  • Don’t talk in terms of years of experience unless you have results immediately following
  • How to get over the first “hurdle” of phone screen?
  • Always go back to skills, results and why that company/prepared you to get to this MSL position (STAR) 
  • Deliverable: 
    • Practice the answers to a list of common MSL phone screen questions

Mock MSL Video Interviews & Behavioral Interview Deep Dive

  • Each MSLA member has a go at common phone screen questions (audio only, Zoom video switched off)
  • Some behavioral questions to go over: weakness & conflict are the biggest questions – but remember the positive questions too
  • How to prepare for and ace MSL behavioral questions
  • What are the most common behavioral questions in a job interview?
  • How to create strong answers to MSL behavioral questions?
  • What to do if you don’t know the answer?
  • Why industry interviews rely on behavioral questions to hire top candidates
  • Deliverables: 
    • Work on the list of MSL behavioral questions and incorporate feedback into respective answers
    • MSL 30-60-90 plan

Site Visit Preparation & Incorporating KOL Expectations

  • Each MSLA member has a go at answering MSL video interview behavioral questions (video on)
  • What are KOLs and how to network with them
  • What is a KOL territory map and how to build one
    • Some tools to do your research
    • How to keep your map organized
  • Deliverables: 
    • KOL territory map
    • Scripts for virtual KOL engagement

MSL Presentation Design

  • Each MSL candidate has a go at their MSL presentation and receives feedback
  • Video presentations, do’s and don’ts – good audio, good background, good light on your face
  • Flow of MSL presentation/slides + target audience (KOLs, MSLs)
  • What is the theme across all 3 slides? Close the story and theme of the presentation
  • Deliverable: 
    • Update your MSL presentation according to feedback

Mock MSL Presentation & Higher Quality Slides

  • Each MSLA Member has a go at their MSL presentation + receives feedback
    • Presentation should incorporate Unique Selling Proposition and KOL Territory map
  • Flow of slides according to length of presentation
  • Deliverable: 
    • Incorporate suggestions from current MSL presentations and prepare for live presentations into the MSLA private group

Live MSL Presentation Training, Review, & Wrap Up

  • Live stream of MSL presentation into MSLA group
  • Personalized feedback in private – appropriate for MSL audience, inflection, tone, personality, timed presentation, audio connection, looking at the camera
  • Summary of MSL Acceleration Key:
    • What changed in your MSL job search strategy/what’s changed to who you’re contacting?
    • What challenges do you have?
  • Wrap Up

The Unsure PhD 

This PhD likes the MSL lifestyle but is also open to other career paths like R&D and Data Science.

They are at a point in their job search where they haven’t found the right position for them.

If you are unsure on what career to pursue or aren’t 100% invested on an MSL transition, then the MSL Acceleration Key is not for you.

The MSL Acceleration Key is laser-focused on the MSL career path and the advice your will get is specific for that position.

If you can’t see yourself voice messaging us or conducting in-person informational interviews, you may not benefit from the MSL Acceleration Key.

The Behind-the-Screen PhD 

This PhD would rather type a message than pick up the phone. He would rather send an email than interact face-to-face.

If this describes you, then we wouldn’t recommend signing up for the MSL Acceleration Key.

A big part of the MSL Acceleration Key’s value is the closer communication you’ll enjoy through our conference calls and the WhatsApp private group.

On top of that, the MSL Acceleration Key encourages person-to-person interaction. (Networking is more than having the best LinkedIn profile out there).

Additionally, the MSL position is about having in-person interactions and serving as a mediator

PhDs who are still looking into career options and are not ready to commit to an MSL-focused job search should wait before getting the MSL Acceleration Key.

The Know-It-All PhD 

This PhD is already experiencing good success using the MSLA Resources.

They blew through the MSLA materials and have no problem networking and getting thorugh the calls to action. They’re not facing difficult obstacles—such as living in a small city. They haven’t experienced a crushing letdown. And their confidence is quite high.

If this situation describes you, more than likely, you don’t need any additional support.

You really don’t need the MSL Acceleration Key.

The MSL Acceleration Key is about boosting your confidence with further resources. It provides accountability for those who are struggling to get traction in their MSL job search. It offers additional insights for breaking through barriers.

The PhD who has it all together doesn’t need the MSL Acceleration Key.

The MSL Acceleration Key Is Yours For The Taking

We’ve said a lot about the MSL Acceleration Key membership. But the decision is ultimately yours. This is an opportunity to connect with the MLS Consultants and the Cheeky Scientist Team in a way that you never have before. This is an opportunity to accelerate your MSL transition. This is an opportunity to bring fresh insights to your MSL job search.

Be sure you don’t simply understand the “what.” Be sure you give the “how” of landing an MSL position your attention, too.

Double down on your transition with the MSL Acceleration Key.