Market Research in a Nutshell for biotech Students: My Brief Experience as a Research Analyst

Could a biotech internship be more meaningful than the one I just completed? Perhaps this year’s internship experience would be a life-changing one for me.

As a part of my University Journey, I need to go through an internship program. This program is mandatory to graduate at my university. This was when I found AcuBiz, which introduced me to a whole different aspect of biotechnology – much different from what I expected based on the experience of the field I was gaining at the university.

Before coming to AcuBiz, I have never even heard the existence of consultancy in Biotechnology. To me, consultancy is a world far from science, within the realm of economics, which I thought would be irrelevant to me. To my surprise, I realized that biotechnologists and other science savvy are an integral part of the consultancy field. Their expertise in Science is required to understand, analyze, and forecast the market trends in science-based industries that put any economist scratching their heads.

Through this 3-month internship, my perspective on the major I intended to take shifted-from a book-minded student to a more industry-oriented student. Now I’m always looking at how the knowledge I have gained in class could actually be used and utilized in an industrial setting. To put it roughly, how to make money from it.

I know it sounds terrible, but hey, this is the kind of thing that spurs the growth of science, right? Other than the noble motive to help humanity and for the sake of knowledge.

During my Co-Op placement, the cool term my university use to rephrase internship, I learned lots of valuable things. I was heavily involved in one particular project – Global Food Safety Testing Market. In this project, my supervisor divided the task among my team regionally. I was handling the North American Market. There, I really invested my time in researching the dynamics of North American markets.

One interestingly obvious thing I found is that, whatever the USA said, the rest of the world follows, in one way or another. For Example, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of US FDA was an important aspect of the report I made. During my research, I found that FSMA regulation has a profound impact both domestically and internationally.

Another important learning for me was the importance of analyzing market dynamics such as a market driver, market restraint, and market trends. These insights into the market act as a window for a reader to quickly get a grasp on what is happening right now in the industry. To actually understand and find these insights are not easy. The ability to ‘read between the lines’ and ‘insights from insider’ is sometimes necessary to tell what is going on. People who realize the trends quickly may gain the upper hand to utilize the opportunity available.

In Science-related industry, this is where the expertise of people with a science background is needed. There are insights that only these experts understand. However, they should be able to convey this information to normal guys, especially investors, for whom a biotech business proposal may look like some kind of an alien script.

I also learned that market research reports tend to be expensive since these kinds of insights provided in such reports are considered extremely valuable by industry. And for market strategy development, a well-studied market research report containing such valuable constituents makes it worth the price.

I also got a first-hand experience on market segmentation, which is an essential component of market research. The project I worked on demanded a detailed segmentation of the market. Market segmentation allows assessment of industry from different angles. For instance, the food safety testing market can be segmented based on different aspects- contaminant-wise, technology-wise, food type-wise, etc. This kind of dissection helps the reader to see the market individually.

For each market segment and sub-segment, market forecasts are made. This is the core value of a market research report, where numbers, usually million to billion starts to appear. Feeling rich yet? These forecasts given are not random numbers with blind estimation. They are numbers forecasted with so much consideration. There are reasons for every number typed. This is also where science experts are required. They understand things we don’t and they have considerations we may never have thought about. Care to dissect their head?

These are some of the things I have learned during my internship period at AcuBiz. They are valuable lessons that would help me thrive in the industry later.

As we know, it’s getting harder and harder to get a job nowadays. What quality do we have in us to actually stand out among our peers? Perhaps, this consultancy industry could be an alternative for all bright heads out there. The brain stuck inside our skull is something we can really depend on. Trained right, a mind can give you so much.

Probably, as your peers do the technical job they may love, you can be a consultant who can assess the value of their research and assist them in converting their research outputs into businesses. Moreover, if you are a highly skilled consultant, you will be highly sought after and you can work from any place you want.

Ever considered alternative career options in biotech industry after degree? Try out with a meaningful internship in the field. Alvin Cengnata, Market Research Analyst Intern

Biotechnology Undergraduate Student, UCSI University, Malaysia

January 24, 2019

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