Alumni Spotlight – Hamdi Abdo
Meet Hamdi Abdo; BDC and Master of BDC alumni student, and former BDC Society President. As he reflects on his experiences so far, he shares how his multidisciplinary education and professional training has prepared him for the next chapter of his post-grad journey as a Medical Affairs Associate, and law student:
“Three years ago, when I entered the BDC program, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I would be surrounded by a brilliant and talented group of students. The program’s emphasis on problem-based-learning, critical thinking and collaboration changed how I viewed the world. Before BDC, I always had to reconcile my love for science and my interests in economics and business. The traditional model of education makes these two things mutually exclusive. After going through both programs, the experiences, and skills that I gained help me today in my professional career. Whether it was the full-year senior thesis, scholarly paper, BDC Engage (case competition) or experiential business projects, I learned to tackle hard science and business problems and communicate solutions effectively.
As an alumnus, I would like to share some of my insights and reflect on my professional journey to-date.
During my Master’s, I interned at Boehringer-Ingelheim Canada, a research-based global pharmaceutical firm. Here, I worked in the Medical Affairs division in specialty care and rare diseases. In this role, I worked on several exciting projects, including launching a national medical education program and assessing potential business opportunities on pipeline therapeutics.
Following my 8-month internship, I leveraged the skills and experiences at BI Canada to pursue other opportunities. One of these opportunities led me to management consulting in a boutique consulting firm, Optimal Innovation Group. Working as a consultant, I used my formal education and training to help clients (i.e., start-ups, SMEs, and global corporations) get the full support and expert advice they needed to grow and diversify their businesses. After some time, I was also hired as a Medical Affairs Associate at GlaxoSmithKline (more famously known as GSK). At GSK, I support the medical brand and work cross-functionally with the Commercial and Government Affairs & Market Access (GAMA) team to lead the strategic development of the specialty care therapeutic area. Working in the pharma and consulting industry, I developed a strong appreciation for scientific analysis, business development, policy regulation and clinical research.
At every stage of my career, I began to ask questions about broader ethical, legal, and regulatory policies that affect private and public institutions, especially in the health, biotech, and technology sectors. I realized that policymakers at the federal and provincial levels influence Canadian lives in very subtle ways. For that reason, I am interested in working in regulatory, policy development, and law reform. In the upcoming year, I will be attending Osgoode Hall Law School. Following a legal education, I hope to serve in public office as a policymaker, where I can leverage my science, business, and legal expertise and advocate on behalf of Canadians for a better future.”
We wish you continued success Hamdi, as your educational and career goals are realized in this next, exciting phase of your post-grad life!