Brendan Gleeson, QC Analyst, Servier (Ireland) Industries Ltd

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Degree subject Chemical Instrumentation and Analysis
Job title QC Analyst
Employer Servier (Ireland) Industries Ltd.

I've been in this job for four months and am enjoying every minute of it. I work in semi-finished products, which means I test the purity of drugs (mainly for high blood pressure) and approve them for packaging and distribution.

The laboratory supervisor allocates me different tests each day, which I conduct alone or with another analyst depending on the nature of the tests. These could involve high-performance liquid chromatography equipment or infrared instruments.

I received one-to-one training on joining and am assessed throughout my first six months. This is challenging but my colleagues are always on hand for advice.

My favourite aspect of my job is that it's never the same thing twice. This means I need to be flexible – if a test doesn't work out the way it should or the manufacturing plant steps up production, I work overtime to complete my workload.

The transition from study to work – being punctual for an 8.00 am start, for instance – takes some getting used to. At interview I was asked about my ‘soft skills' and technical knowledge, and I've found that both aspects are important in my job: I've already honed my technical skills and developed my communication skills. Although the work is similar to that of college, it's different in that it has important implications for patients. I'm now part of the life-saving community.

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