Animal Health and Pharma Sales Internships

A dapple gray looking out a barn window, a black cat next to it, Middle Franconia, Bavaria, Germany, Europe
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The field of veterinary pharmaceutical sales is known as a highly competitive career path in the animal industry. While they are difficult to obtain, positions in this field offer exceptional compensation to successful sales representatives. Candidates can increase their chances of finding employment by completing a relevant internship during their college years. Here is a sampling of internship opportunities currently available in the animal health industry:

Elanco, the animal health division of the Eli Lilly company, offers internships at its corporate headquarters in Indiana. Internships are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students studying biology, animal science, marketing, sales, or a related area. Internships run 10 to 12 weeks, beginning in May and ending in September. Interns are paid and housing/moving assistance is possible.

Pfizer Animal Health offers internships to graduate and undergraduate students through their University Relations program. The Summer Student Worker Program hires students as contractors from late May to mid-August. A veterinary medicine option has been offered in previous years, and opportunities with Pfizer are available in a number of states. Applicants must be at least 18 and have a 3.0 grade point average to be considered. Another option is the Pfizer Scholars Program, a fellowship position where students can pursue research while earning either a stipend or academic credit.

Merck offers a Future Talent Program for college students, either as summer internships (9 to 11 weeks) or as co-ops (assignments of four months occurring throughout the calendar year). Students receive competitive compensation, and housing or transportation allowances may also be possible.

Nestle Purina offers a Veterinary Channel Sales Internship focused on developing sales accounts with veterinary offices for Purina animal nutrition products.

Internships are offered to college undergraduates during their junior year. The internships last 10 weeks during the summer and interns receive a salary, mileage reimbursement, housing assistance. Successful interns are offered employment with the company after graduation.

Accelerated Genetics offers several internships including a Sales and Service Internship. Interns are involved with artificial insemination of dairy or beef cattle, market research studies, and servicing retail sales routes. Internships are based out of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Accelerated Genetics also offers internships in Marketing and Communications, Genetic Services, and Information Systems.

Alltech offers a Marketing Internship Program at its international headquarters in Kentucky. Marketing interns work in public relations, species management, brand management, and more. Interns also complete a project during their time at Alltech. Both full time and part time internships are available for undergraduate and graduate level students. Research internships are also available.

Bayer Animal Health offers a variety of animal related internship opportunities, and their Human Resources department can provide a current list upon request.

Bayer manufactures a wide variety of pharmaceutical products for both the livestock and companion animal markets.

Monsanto offers summer internships or semester long co-op opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. Interns receive a salary, travel reimbursement, and relocation assistance. Internships are offered in disciplines such as supply chain management, agribusiness, biotechnology, and more. A sales and marketing internship position in 2010 gave students the chance to gain hands on experience selling a biotech product (bovine somatotropin). Compensation for this specific internship included salary, company car, notebook computer, and expense account.

ADM Alliance Nutrition offers internships in a variety of areas including field sales and national account sales.

Applicants must have junior status in college and have a 2.8 grade point average. Interns go on sales calls, collect marketing data, and work on special projects as directed by supervisors.

Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica offers internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in many areas including pharmaceutical marketing. Applicants for these internships must be at least sophomores in college with a 3.2 grade point average. The company offered a dairy sales internship in 2011 where interns worked with territory sales managers and assisted on sales calls.

Those hoping to pursue a field in veterinary pharmaceutical sales may also find valuable internship opportunities in related areas. Other internships related to animal science, equine science, or veterinary medicine also add strength to a candidate’s resume. Information on these internship opportunities may be found on the following internship listing pages: equine internships, pre-veterinary internships, marine mammal internships, wildlife rehabilitation internships, and zoo internships.

Working with a veterinarian also provides hands-on experience that pharmaceutical companies will look upon favorably. Veterinary assistant experience will also help during the application process for pharmaceutical sales internships down the road.