A World View
Touro Pharmacy Alum Shalon M. Jones, PharmD, MPH, Tackles Global Disease Strategy and Tactics at Bristol Myers Squibb
Shalon Jones, TCOP Class of 2016, is part of a high-profile team at the multinational pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb. She loves the challenges and fast pace of her job, which involves conferring with physicians all over the world to advance understanding of rare diseases and treatments.
How did you become interested in a career in pharmacy?
During high school I worked as a pharmacy technician, an experience that gave me a first look at how influential the pharmacist is in supporting patients with their healthcare. This is really what began my journey within the pharmacy field.
Why did you choose Touro?
I liked that Touro was one of the few pharmacy schools nearby that primarily took students who had already finished their first four years of college. I was an older student and appreciated having classmates who were in school but also had families with real-life daily responsibilities. We supported each other in this.
What is your current position, and can you describe a day in your life on the job?
My current position is Associate Director, Global Medical Affairs, Myeloid Diseases. I collaborate with key global physicians on better understanding rare hematologic diseases and ways to treat patients. I work alongside cross-functional team members on disease strategy and tactics as the global medical lead. I am currently leading a recruitment and engagement project to support one of our company’s priority clinical trials. My daily job consists of lots of meetings - now on the phone but prior to the pandemic I traveled all around the world, spending most of my time in Europe meeting with physicians, attending global congresses and internal meetings.
What are some of the challenges and what do you like about it?
My group is a high-profile team with lots of visibility. Because a number of the company’s priority brands sit within my team, there are many big projects that always need immediate attention and execution. Managing your time and projects efficiently is a must, and can become a challenge when you are part of so many projects, spending most of your day on the phone talking about those projects instead of working on them. Although this is a challenge, this is also the reason I love my job. It is super-fast paced and our group is great at making sure the work one does is seen and heard.
How did TCOP prepare you for your professional role?
One of TCOP’s biggest positives in comparison with other traditional schools is its openness to non-traditional pharmacy careers. TCOP spent time making sure we knew the number of avenues we could take utilizing our professional skills and did not thwart students from taking paths that may be considered outside the box. It is because of this approach that I am where I am today.