From University to Grünenthal GmbH

06 July 2018


Tobias Gladbach

Recently, we spoke to Tobias Gladbach a passionate Biotechnologist, who recently attained his Master of Sciences degree and started working in the pharmaceutical industry at Grünenthal GmbH. We talked about his experiences and how he ended up in this industry.

At the moment, Tobias holds a position as Lab Expert in the Pain Innovation Research Unit of Grünenthal, where he is responsible for iPSC-based technologies in the field of pain research together with a team. But before he got here, he gained different experiences.

Firstly, he spend a year at the University Hospital Aachen in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry to work on his bachelor thesis in the field of oncology. Tobias was doing a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology. Tobias: “I learned to work on my own, to plan my projects and I realised the importance of cooperating with people to achieve the best results.”

Nevertheless, due to the disadvantageous working conditions in such institutes and the fact that he appreciated a more result-driven and focused research, he decided to do his master’s thesis within the pharmaceutical industry at Grünenthal GmbH. “There I deepened my previous gained skills, but got also more insights in company politics and what it means to do results-driven research and project work. I encountered a completely different world with another complexity compared to what I knew from the institute and university. Therefore, I strongly recommend gaining some experience in this field – it is really exciting!”

After his experience at Grünenthal, he wished for a direct entry in the pharmaceutical industry without adding a PhD, but he got more and more concerned if he could accomplish this goal. Luckily, he encountered various possibilities, he only had to figure out what way he would like to do first. “Jobs as e.g. Sales Manager, Research Associate and Consultant were offered to me and for this reason this process turned out to be the most difficult period of time for me. On the one hand, there were so many options and on the other hand, I realised my lack of experience to actually know what I could expect. In my current state of experience adding a PhD is useful in case you really go for a leadership position in the research area. It was challenging to get my current position at Grünenthal and I was also declined by traditional research companies like Merck or Boeringer Ingelheim with “just” a master’s degree in Germany. But every other area like sales, marketing, consulting and project management is very good accessible for master graduates, offering also good possibilities for further development. Recruiters from the mentioned areas were interested in me, but that was mainly supported through my experience in the pharmaceutical industry at Grünenthal!”

At the end, Tobias found his way by being confident, focused and open-minded. Therefore, he recommends to get in touch with people without hesitation and be honest about what you want and feel. In the future, he is planning to gain some experiences in other research based companies and also in the sales sector, because he is still curious about other areas and options, and want to get to know as much as possible.

Thank you Tobias for sharing your story with us.