What does a normal week for you involve?
My current job is a Quality Engineer with Abbott Vascular in Clonmel. A normal week for me would involve a morning meeting each day with other people involved in Quality and Engineering and we discuss any current issues on the line and manufacturing floor and any ongoing issues and how we can address them. Also, a big part of my job is process monitoring, I'm always aware of the quality of the product which we are delivering, this involves working with the Quality Contol Lab and also includes Data and Technical Analysis. In addition I'm involved in a lot of continuous improvement projects between operations and engineering, so this would be a cross functional team, as we're always looking to improve our process and our products.
How did you get your job?
I did a Science degree in UCD, specialsing in physiology and neuroscience. I always knew I wanted to work in the healthcare sector. At a STEM fair in UCD I picked up a gradireland publication and read about Abbott. I did the online application and I was successful in the interviews. A lot of the other graduates I work with have come through the graduate programme via the internship programme that Abbott have. So if you're able to do an internship it really adds to your CV.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
Communication is really important, and mutual respect with your colleagues. Teamwork and leadership are also very important, and you definitely need a get up and go attitude.
How is your graduate programme structured?
The Abbott Programme is done over two years, during which we have four different six-month rotations. I've been lucky enough to work in each of Abbott's different divisions. I started in Abbott Vascular in Donegal as a technical services engineer, then I went to Abbott Diagnostics in Sligo where I worked as a supervisor on night-shifts, with 12 people reporting to me, so that was a great experience. I was then lucky enough to go to India to a pharmaceutical plant there, which was an amazing experience in a different culture. I'm currently on my fourth and last rotation in Abbott Vascular in Clonmel as a quality engineer.
What's the best thing about your job?
What I love about my job is that although we're not in hospitals caring for people we're still working on things that are changing people's lives
What skills would you advise a first-year student to develop?
Definitely get involved, whether it's societies, sports, the Students Union or your classes, just be part of something. A lot of companies these days place an emphasis on your extra-curricular activities, so showing you can do extra activities alongside your classwork and a part-time job shows your leadership, teamwork and communication skills, which companies really value.