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My name is Grainne Dunne. I graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Pharmacy Degree in 2012 and completed my M.Pharm through the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) in 2013. I spent six months of my pre-registered training year working in the pharmaceutical sector and can confidently say it was the best career decision I could have made. It opened my eyes to the career options available to a pharmacist beyond the traditional roles in hospitals, retail, and long-term-care.
I joined AbbVie in 2013 as a Pharmacist on the Operations Development Programme (ODP). AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company. The company is spread across five sites in Ireland. Alongside three manufacturing facilities in Sligo and Cork, two offices in Dublin serve the needs of the company’s Commercial and Operations activities.The ODP is a two-year training programme offered by the company with three eight-month assignments in different areas of the Operations business.
My first assignment as an Industrial Pharmacist was in AbbVie’s pharmaceutical site in Sligo. During my time in Sligo, I worked on many projects from technical transfers to the design and co-ordination of development trials. I was encouraged to seek out opportunities and to get involved in any project or business area I thought would be of value to me and my career.
For my second rotation, I worked in AbbVie’s Cork site. The ODP requires that you complete an elective assignment in a functional area outside your field. I chose Business Excellence and Supply Chain. The programme has allowed me development opportunities in areas that would have previously been outside the realm of possibility for me as a pharmacist.
My third rotation, I moved to our biologics site in Boston, USA. I worked as a Biologics Manufacturing Support Engineer. This was another incredible opportunity to broaden my experience as a pharmacist.
By the time I finished the ODP, I had completed three totally diverse rotations at three different sites globally. I secured my post-programme position in Chicago, working in Human Factors Engineering Division. I work directly with R&D, Commercial, Supply Chain, and Regulatory and now live in the US permanently.
In 2015, I won the Gradireland Graduate Employee of the Year prize in recognition of the work I have done with AbbVie.
Joining AbbVie has shown me that career possibilities for a pharmacist in industry are vast. I work as a part of a global team that makes a remarkable impact on patients’ lives around the world and that is incredibly rewarding.