<p>How might one go about becoming a business executive at a company like Genzyme?</p>

<p>After hearing all the horror stories about being a premed, I think something like this would be a better career choice for me.</p>

<p>In any case, I'm not sure if this would fall under business or medicine since it seems to have some characteristics of both. Would a MBA or MD be necessary?</p>

<p>i don't know much about Genzyme.. but probably both. You need to know medicine to know what you are selling, and you need to know business to know how to sell it.</p>

<p>May I ask what is Genzyme? (btw I love your sn OP:p)</p>

<p>Genzyme is a biotech/pharmaceutical company based in MA.</p>

<p>To be successful at management at Genzyme (or any biotech for that matter), an MBA will probably be the most helpful. MD degrees useful, but are actually not required, principally because biotechs are engaged in cutting-edge research, and not day-to-day medical care. For that same reason, PhD's are also somewhat valuable.</p>

<p>You can see here the backgrounds of the officers at Genzyme. Far and away the most prevalent graduate degree is the MBA. There are only 2 people who hold MD's, and 3 who hold PhD's (including Georges Gemayel who for some reason chooses not to list PhD after his name, but his bio clearly indicates that he has one). You also see quite a few people who hold JD's as well. </p>

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<p>Thanks for the reply, sakky. What sort of college preparation do you think is necessary for such a job? I'm assuming that biology, chemistry, calculus, and the business school requirements are a must, right?</p>

<p>The specific college requirements are not as stringent as you might think. After all, as you can see, the CEO of Genzyme got his bachelor's degree in economics. I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if he never took a single natural science course while in undergrad. In any case, it doesn't seem that he has any significant academic background in the sciences. He has a strong professional background in the sciences (an extensive professional experience working for various medical-devices and health care companies), but not an academic background in the sciences. Yet he's the CEO of Genzyme.</p>

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<p>Or take a gander at all the lawyers that Genzyme has as officers. For example, we got Mary McGrane, Vice President, who has a law degree and an MA in political science. I would strongly suspect that Ms. McGrane's background in the sciences is rather limited. </p>

<p>The point is, there are no 'musts'. Genzyme is a well-established company, and hires from across the gamut, just like any other well-established company does. </p>

<p>The path you take is dependent on what area of the biotech industry you want to enter. If you want to enter the research side, then obviously a strong technical background is essential - possibly up to the PhD level. If you want to enter the business side of things, then a business orientation is important, and of course it depends on what part of the business side you want to enter - finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, business-development, etc. The business side is a vast field. If you want to enter the legal side (all companies need lawyers, and this is especially so for a strongly regulated industry like health care), then you want to prepare yourself as you would for law school. </p>

<p>Having said that, I would recommend that you take a broadly-based education that encompasses all of the sides, until you know which side you want to enter. I would also, even more importantly, try to secure a summer internship at Genzyme or some other biotech, even if it's unpaid. If it turns out you don't like biotech, better to find that out now than later.</p>