#GradStories Declan McEnroy, Senior Specialist, Technical Engineering, MSD
What’s your name, job title and employer?
My name is Declan McEnroy, I'm a senior specialist in the technical and engineering department at MSD Carlow.
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
The work is a product lead in the new biologics team. What we do and what we look after is the tech transfer and introduction of new products into the MSD site in CRLOW and what that involves on a daily and weekly basis is working with cross functional teams both on-site and across the departmental teams off-site to plan and organise any activities that are involved in the tech transfer of a new drug into the site in Carlow.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
When you're a product leader and when you represent the team or Department, I think it's really important that you can effectively communicate and make sure that your message is given across and people understand your message. Another skill that really is important in the role is organisation and project management. There's a lot of inputs from a lot of different people and then it's a lot of different activities needed to be able to bring a product from introducing it on-site to be able to get up to a commercial manufacturing scale.
What do you love about your job?
Firstly, it’s the people that work there. I think there's a really diverse mix of people and a diverse mix of experience and it's a really great culture down there. I do think people are really willing to teach you on the job there so the experienced people are really willing to teach new people that have come in straight from college which is really important if you're an intern or a graduate .I'd say secondly then is the opportunities that are available in MSD Carlow. From when I started as an intern to where I am now in my role, I've been given so many different development opportunities or been given so many different ways to show my skill set. Lastly but most important is at the heart of any decision that's made down there or any big decisions is the patient focus. When you get to meet someone and hear how your day-to-day work has actually changed someone's life it's really motivational and not something that you're not going to forget anytime soon.
What did you do as a student that has helped you most in your career?
During my degree and during my course something that I could really put into practice when I came to MSD Carlow was project management. A really key thing is to be able to organise those activities that are needed; a tech transfer processes is a long and extenuating process so you really have to be able to understand what are the key needs of the process and to understand where the resources need to be in and what time they need to be there. The one piece of advice that I would definitely give my younger self is not to worry as much and be a bit more open-minded about where I’m going to fall into and what job role I’m going fall into. When I was in DCU before I started my internship program, I had no idea what drug product manufacturer was or what sites like MSD Carlow did. I sort of pigeonholed myself where I thought that I'd fall into a role and now I’m doing something that I never heard of in college.
What was your career break?
It started when I was in Dublin City University, I did my undergraduate degree in biotechnology. I first was introduced to MSD in Carlow during my internship program in third year so I spent six months down there as a placement and then after I graduated from DCU I returned to MSD Carlow as a graduate. I enrolled on the two-year graduate program which involved three eight-month rotations in different departments across the site. My first rotation was in the technical engineering departments where I was introduced to the new biologics team and the tech transfers so began working on that and got to know what was involved within the job and the process and then I stayed there and further progressed on to the role that I am in today.