We Are Randox | Charlie Graham tells us about her time spent volunteering in Ethiopia
Here at Randox we are celebrating our creative and talented work force whose fresh perspectives and world experience help Randox operate on such a global scale.
Recently, Charlie Graham, a member of the Randox Food Diagnostics Marketing team told us about her time spent in Ethiopia, volunteering with Volunteer Service overseas (VSO) as part of the International Citizenship Service (ICS) Programme.
Charlie sat down with us to tell us her story.
“I first heard about the ICS program when I was studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. My friend who was also studying Business Management with Marketing alongside me, had pre-warned me about the intense application process, and although it seemed quite daunting at the time, I have always been interested in volunteer work and international travel so I felt up for the challenge.
To be considered for a place on the program I had to firstly complete an online application. Then if you passed this initial stage you were invited to attend a group interview that took place in London. Here I undertook both group and individual assessments throughout the day that tested my knowledge of international development, conflict resolution and team work skills. Surprisingly, I found the interview process extremely rewarding as there was a strong focus on personal development and feedback. It was also interesting to learn about the possible charities that we could be placed with based on our skill sets.
I was excited when I finally received the news eight weeks later that I been matched with VSO and would be placed in a livelihoods development programme in Addis Ababa. To finalise my place I had to raise £800 that would go towards the work that I would be doing when I arrived in Ethiopia. I decided to host a bake sale in the foyer of Caledonian University and also compete a 5KM run to help raise the money.
As a group, we underwent pre-departure training before our flight from London. Once I landed there was a week of in-country training where I met up with the Ethiopian volunteers that I would be working alongside for the next three months. We also met our new families that we would be staying with throughout the duration of the program.
One of the first projects that I worked on was with the Women’s Income Generating Activity Groups. This Government funded program provided both training and guidance for local women who had received a small loan which enabled them to start up their own business ideas. One memory that has stuck with me from working with this group was the power of knowledge. Almaz, the project leader, highlighted that for many of the women learning how to read and being able to sign their own names was truly empowering and allowed them to become financially independent for the first time in their lives. This really brought home to me how valuable the work of ISC is, and how much I as a volunteer was able to impact the lives of these women by teaching them this simple act.
I also organised community action days during my time in Ethiopia. I visited a rehabilitation centre called Mecadonia that housed 170 people aged between 10 – 94 who are bed ridden or elderly. As this centre runs solely on donations we provided meals and clothing for all the residents. I even got a local newspaper to come and write about the centre to help raise awareness and potentially generate new sponsorship for the future.
One of the residents of Mecadonia was called Addis, he was 26 and was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He had been suffering from kidney problems for five years and his family could only afford to treat him with traditional remedies – nothing had worked. As his health deteriorated he was unable to live with his family as he needed to attend the hospital for weekly dialysis. The evening that I met him, he was trying to fundraise 1 million birr which is the equivalent of £25,000 to secure a kidney transplant. His story really opened my eyes and put into perspective how blessed we are in the UK to have the NHS. After meeting Addis I felt very fortunate for the health of my family and myself.
During the time I spent in Addis Ababa one of the other projects I worked on was capacity building for a charity called Redeem the Generation which focused on the potential of young people and women. I worked on developing and improving their facilities to ensure they were providing a good service for the local community. One of my biggest achievements during the project was organising ICT training programme for women which was attended by 15 women and several community elders.
The three months I spent in Addis Ababa were truly unforgettable: I learnt a new language, experienced a new culture and made life-long friends. What’s more I got the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
Since my trip I have become a real advocate for international development and female entrepreneurship. My experience has not only helped cement the importance of being a team player but also developed my leadership skills – which has really helped me here at Randox.”
We hope Charlie’s story has inspired you to grab new international opportunities that will help improve the wellbeing of others. Randox is committed to revolutionising healthcare through its diverse and multi-talented team.
Key to Randox’s ongoing success is having a loyal and dedicated team.
Last week Environmental Manager and Land Steward, Susan Kinkead, retired from Randox after committing 31 years to Randox’s vision of revolutionising healthcare.
Susan was a dedicated member of the Randox team and will be sadly missed, so we sat down with her to hear a little bit about her time working here at Randox and what memories she will be taking home with her.
Hi Susan, when did you start your career with Randox?
I started working at Randox in 1985 when it was still situated on the Randox Road. I had just moved home from South Africa and my father had seen in the local paper that Randox were recruiting. The next day my husband rang up and spoke with Peter who told him to send me up the next day for an interview. So the next day I went down to meet Peter and he told me I could start in the morning.
Where did you work when you first started?
When I first started I did a bit of everything. My first job was centrifuging fetal calf serum believe it or not, but there weren’t very many of us at this point. I distinctively remember Mrs FitzGerald coming out to us with wheaten bread and cheese and chatting to all the workers. After a while we moved everything up in horseboxes to headquarters here in Ardmore. This is when I moved to Quantity Control and after a while I changed positions to Packaging and Dispense Manager. In between this I left for a few years, but I came back, worked in the Training Department and then into Quality Assurance. Peter moved me onto Environmental Manager and a few years later I was given the role of Land Steward.
What is your best memory from working at Randox?
My best memories is when I got the opportunity to travel with the company. Peter and I got to go to Karachi Lahore in Pakistan back when I was Packaging and Dispense Manager. If you are prepared to work and put the hard graft in then you will get fantastic opportunities. I got to develop systems and was given free rein to do what I thought was best. You don’t get those sort of opportunities these days in many companies.
What will you miss the most after you leave Randox?
I will miss the people that I worked with. I believe that if you have a good team behind you then anything is possible. It’s a lot of hard work but you don’t get things done unless you have a good team behind you. I always felt a sense of worth working here at Randox and I got to accomplish a lot of things so I think I will miss that feeling.
What plans do you have for your retirement?
I hope to spend time on my garden and my house I am also looking forward to taking time out to set up my beehives, making honey and maybe putting my feet up!
We wish Susan all the best for the future and a very happy and relaxing retirement!
For more information please contact Aisling in our PR team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a global company with over 1400 employees of 44 different nationalities, we know that the key to success is having a diverse and multi-talented team.
We’re passionate about celebrating the talent and creativity of our Randox employees who make Randox as great as it is today, and who each have their own unique and interesting story to tell.
This week, we had a quick Q&A session with our Lead Graphic Designer, Anne Smith, to hear about her role in Team Randox and what makes her job so exciting.
Spoiler Alert: She’s designed the logo for the world’s greatest race…
Anne, tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be Lead Graphic Designer at Randox.
I studied Art for GCSE and A-Level before choosing to study Graphic Design and Illustration at Ulster University’s Belfast Campus. My course was really interesting and it allowed me to get to grips with using digital design software, including the key Adobe software packages; Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I particularly enjoyed studying the more niche design areas of Typography and Illustration, and learning these new skills instilled in me the ambition to work in a fast-paced, international company with a wide range of different design projects on offer. I wanted to not only utilise my current design skills, but also have the opportunity to learn new ones. So that’s what motivated me to apply for a job at Randox when I graduated!
How did you originally find out about roles in Graphic Design at Randox?
I found out about opportunities in Graphic Design at Randox through the Job Centre NI. Randox has always been a name that people in Northern Ireland know as a key business and employer, but I never really thought about there being Graphic Design jobs in a diagnostics company! I suppose most people think of Graphic Design jobs being in Design or Marketing Agencies, but it’s important to know that many major companies have their own in-house Design Teams. Randox is one such company and has provided me with an incredibly dynamic, exciting job because there’s always something new going on here.
What are the different Graphic Design roles across the company?
We currently have a team of seven Graphic Designers here at Randox and we work across a range of our product divisions. We each have a dedicated product group which we look after – so that could be Randox Quality Control, Randox Biosciences, Randox Health, Corporate Events, or anything in between. As the company grows and the demand for more design material increases, we will want to expand the Graphic Design Team even further.
What does being a designer at Randox involve on a daily basis?
Graphic Design is so varied – one minute I could be designing brochures for a new Randox product, and the next presenting a storyboard concept to our Marketing Managers for a new corporate video. Within each product group we work on producing promotional material such as brochures, pop-up stands, social media graphics, and newsletters. I also look after corporate design such as employee business cards and recruitment adverts.
What has been your proudest achievement while working with Randox?
That would definitely have to be when my design for the Randox Health Grand National logo was officially finalised and released to the public! A lot of hard work and creativity went in to designing the new logo for the world’s greatest race and I’m proud to say that it’s my design.
How did the opportunity come about to design the Randox Health Grand National logo?
We’re very proud of the fact that at Randox we have such fantastic talent in our Marketing teams, and as such we like to keep all elements of our Marketing in-house. When Randox Health and our partners at The Jockey Club decided to create a new logo to accompany the new sponsorship, our Graphic Design Team were given the opportunity to come up with our ideas for the new logo. The final decision was then a two-step process – we presented our logo ideas to our Randox Marketing Managers, and The Jockey Club Team, and we also let all Randox employees vote for their favourite logo. I was delighted when my design was chosen!
What’s the creative process involved in coming up with a new design?
Every piece of design is different but in this instance there were a lot of key messages we wanted to get across with the Randox Health Grand National logo. When we’re asked to produce a new design we’re usually given a brief with the key messages, and in this case it was the speed, agility and excitement of horse racing. So I went away and came up with a few different concepts that I felt portrayed this speed and excitement, and after much consideration chose my final design!
What does it feel like knowing your design will be seen by 600,000,000 people across the world during the Randox Health Grand National?
Really exciting! Our team went to the Grand National 2015 in April, and the site is incredible. The racecourse and the surrounding site is so expansive, and to think that my logo will be displayed across it, and therefore seen by the world, is just amazing.
Between now and April when the Randox Health Grand National takes place, what artwork will you be creating?
There’s a lot of branding that needs to be done – for the racecourse, the Aintree site, the Liverpool area, and additionally lots of adverts, editorials and online branding such as for our website and social media. We won’t be short of work to do!
Do you have any advice for people considering a job in Graphic Design?
There are many challenges that come with working in Graphic Design. Quite often the creation of a new design can be a lengthy process, as you will have to make several changes and amendments to a design before a final concept is chosen. However, it is important to appreciate the huge amount of thought and consideration put in to each and every element of a new design, and to know that all the hard work will be worth it in the end! There is no prouder feeling than seeing your hard work going to print. I never thought that I would be the Designer for the Official Randox Health Grand National logo, but here I am, and I couldn’t be prouder.
As a global healthcare diagnostics company, we know a thing or two about health. And we know that taking time out from our busy lives to relax and unwind is important to stay healthy. Whether that’s taking your dog for a walk, meeting up with friends, getting lost in a good book, or playing your favourite sport.
Playing a competitive sport brings a wealth of benefits – it’s the perfect way to socialise and look after your health at the same time! Not only is it good for your physical health, but can go a long way in maintaining your mental wellbeing too.
There is great value in exercise and fresh air. However, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that most 9-5ers just don’t have the opportunity to indulge in this pleasure very often.
Randox, being a company serious about health and wellbeing, like to know we’re giving our employees the best opportunities to be as healthy as they can, and live their lives as fulfilled as possible.
Amongst many sports in which Randox encourages employees to take part, we encourage our employees to regularly take the time to engage in some friendly competition of 5-a-side rugby against each other. The County Antrim countryside, in which our Randox headquarters are located, is the perfect setting for an informal game of rugby – our rugby players can let off some steam and take in the scenery at the same time!
The team was banded together by Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, who occasionally joins in on the games himself! Dr. FitzGerald is a strong advocate of teamwork and camaraderie in the workplace.
Jonathan Acheson, Randox Health Sales Executive, who plays for our Randox Rugby Team, commented;
“At Randox we work hard but we play hard too! Our work can often be very fast-paced and Randox is expanding phenomenally – for example we’re all working towards our 5 year sponsorship of the Randox Health Grand National, beginning in 2017, which is keeping us all very busy. So it’s important that we take time to unwind and recharge our batteries. We’re lucky that we’re able to take advantage of being in such a lovely area of Northern Ireland – right beside Lough Neagh – and so we can get outside after work and have a good run-about!”
Follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox
Randox employees put the ‘fun’ in fundraising last Friday with a water balloon fundraiser in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support!
Randox employee, Gary Laverty, initiated this fantastic fundraising event and allowed colleagues to throw water balloons at him in efforts to raise money for this worthy charity. Raising an impressive £409.38 for the charity, Gary spoke of great admiration for Macmillan;
“When my father was ill last year, Macmillan offered tremendous support to both him and my family. Their commitment to helping cancer patients is incredible, really life-changing. I debated a few fundraising ideas but thought that the water balloon idea was something unusual so I hoped people would see it as a really fun event. The fundraiser went really well and I am delighted at the amount we raised for such an amazing charity! My colleagues got really involved and it was a really fun event, thankfully it wasn’t too cold on the day!”
The Macmillan Cancer Support charity aim to improve the lives of everyone living with cancer. They are committed to ensuring no one faces cancer alone by offering support and assistance right from the beginning of a diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, including support to the wider family circle.
We were delighted to welcome Margaret Young from Macmillan to Randox HQ in Crumlin yesterday to present a cheque from Gary’s tremendous fundraising efforts;
“We were absolutely delighted to hear of the water balloon fundraiser and hope that Gary and all the staff at Randox enjoyed themselves. Thank you to all those who took part and donated, especially to Gary!”
Well done Gary!
Our Randox employees are multi-talented – not only in their roles as world-class scientists, software developers, engineers, marketeers and sales people, but also in their lives outside work. At Randox we have swimmers, cyclists, dancers, musicians, horse riders…the list goes on! And at Randox Teoranta, we have a group of Randox employees who work together as a team not only in the labs, but also on the pitch!
This weekend, our Randox Teoranta football team took part in a number of challenging football games at the Mary from Dungloe Annual Soccer Tournament. The tournament kicked off on Saturday 30th of July at 10.30am and continued on throughout the day, with six teams from across the County taking part; Gweedore Celtic, Glenea Utd, St. Catherine’s, Strand Rovers, Randox, and the Keadue Rovers.
The Randox Teoranta team comprises of a number of experienced football players, some of whom already play for prestigious clubs in the area;
- Ciaran Ferry, Lead Manufacturing Operator – currently plays for Gweedore Celtic in the Donegal Soccer League
- Shaun Boyle, Manufacturing Operator – currently plays for Keadue Rovers in the Donegal Soccer League
- Kevin Boyle, Manufacturing Operator – former Keadue Rovers player
- Daniel Melly, Mechanical Design Engineer – currently plays for Keadue Rovers in the Donegal Soccer League
- Darren McGeever, Mechanical Design Engineer – currently plays for Glenea Utd in the Donegal Soccer League
- Ryan Kettle, Biochip Formulation Operative – currently plays for Drumkeen Utd in the Donegal Soccer League
- Daryl Devenney, Scientist – currently plays for Keadue Rovers
- Mal Mc Fadden, Stores Operative – former Keadue Rovers player
- Aidan O’Donnell, Stores Operative – currently plays for Strand Utd in the Donegal Soccer League
- Robert Farrell, Stores Operative – former Home Farm player
Team Manager and current Chairman of Keadue Rovers Football Club, Ben Boyle, commented;
“The Mary from Dungloe soccer tournament was the first competition for our newly formulated Randox team, and we were all excited to represent our company. As you can see, a lot of our players were playing against their own respective clubs such as Keadue Rovers, Gweedore Celtic, Glenea Utd and Strand Utd, who all took part, so there was certainly some friendly rivalry on the day!”
The Teo team successfully won one of their four matches during the tournament which saw Glenea Utd of the Donegal Senior League take home the coveted Perpetual Cup. Randox lost to the eventual winners of the tournament in their first game by a narrow 1 goal margin. In their second game they lost 2-0 to Strand Rovers but hit form in their third encounter against Gweedore Celtic. Teo emerged as winners when the whistle blew at 3-0, with goals from Darren McGeever, Mal McFadden and Daryl Devenney. The Teo team unfortunately lost their fourth match 1-0 after a very close encounter with Keadue Rovers.
A victory against Keadue would have seen Teo reach a play off to make the final but it just wasn’t to be on this occasion. The final then saw Glenea Utd and Keadue rovers go head-to-head, leaving Glenea victorious on penalties and emerging the victors of the tournament.
The tournament on the Shorefront pitch followed a week jam-packed full of activities during the Mary from Dungloe Festival, including a visit from the Marys to Randox Teoranta for a guided tour of the facilities.
On Sunday, Eva Ni Dhoibhlinn was then officially announced as Mary from Dungloe at a Crowning Cabaret which was televised on Irish TV.
Shaun Boyle, Randox Teoranta Football Team Captain, enjoyed taking part in the tournament, which he described as a much-loved and eagerly anticipated event during the Mary from Dungloe festival;
“All of us in the Randox team gave it our all. During such a popular event as the annual Mary from Dungloe Soccer Tournament, we were of course up against top quality opposition, but played our absolute best. We may need a few diagnostic kits to analyse our injuries from the tournament – especially for the older players in the squad!”
Ciaran Richardson, Head of R&D at Randox Teoranta, congratulated the team on their efforts and is looking forward to seeing the team play in their next big game;
“From everyone at Randox I’d like to say a big well done to all the players in the Randox Teo football team. They played exceptionally well and it was great to see their teamwork in the workplace transfer on to the pitch.”
Recognised by Randox for his efforts, Rajneesh Mathur has been the recipient of multiple awards. And this year, his actions reflected the true team-spirit of Randox’s US team. Here’s his story…
With a workforce of over 1,400 employees, and careers spanning 145 countries, Randox teams from all across the globe benefit from a strong support network of colleagues who work together to realise our vision of saving and improving lives. In recent months, we believe one employee has illustrated this value perfectly. This employee is Director of Business Development for Randox USA, Rajneesh Mathur.
Rajneesh is a truly inspirational leader, frequently being recognised for his professional abilities within the Randox team. Earlier this year, Randox awarded Rajneesh with the ‘Exceptional Achievements Award’, for his hard work and impressive selling prowess in the US market. Later in the year, he was awarded again in recognition for his ‘Special Endeavours and Loyalty’ to Randox; an award which also included a generous bonus.
However, Randox could never have anticipated the kindness of what Rajneesh did next. In an outstanding gesture of team spirit, Rajneesh volunteered to fund a mini-break for employees of the Randox USA team in West Virginia. He wanted to acknowledge that his success relies upon the commitment of the USA Office Staff who support his endeavours, and to highlight that without a supportive team, even the greatest of leaders cannot achieve great things.
We wanted to know a little more about Rajneesh’s story, so we sat down to talk about the successes of the US team. He commented:
“Our success in the US market this year has truly been a team effort. Without a strong support team in place, the Sales Staff would not be able to do their job, and so I wanted to make a token gesture that highlighted our cohesion and support for one another. Success for one person in our team, is success for all of us. Recognition of everyone’s hard work helps strengthen our bond and commitment to Randox.”
During their outing, Rajneesh and the other members of the Randox USA team attended the Charlestown Races on Saturday 23rd July, funded by Rajneesh’s altruism. All the staff members then stayed at Hampton Inn and Suites Hilton, and each of the US team was even able to bring a friend or family member to stay!
Rajneesh continued to tell us about the celebratory events the Randox USA team enjoyed together;
“We decided to continue with the Randox Health Grand National theme by going to the Charlestown Races. We had an epic buffet dinner, and then enjoyed the horse races. It was a good opportunity to mingle in a relaxed setting and get to know each other better. We all enjoyed a wonderful evening and it was fantastic to be able to celebrate our success together. Randox is such a fantastic place to work – there is such a great sense of comradery. It was great to be able to recognize that.”
Rajneesh was given yet another award following this act of kindness. Instead of for his brilliant sales and business skills, this time he was recognised for his display of generosity. Rajneesh was awarded the ‘Special Recognition Award’ at our Global Sales Conference, which took place in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick, earlier this month, making this event a truly celebratory time as he joined Randox in celebrating £1 billion in sales!
Thank you, Rajneesh, for truly showing the meaning of the word “teamwork”! We feel incredibly lucky to have team members like you on board!
Randox’s Public Relations Executive, Amy McIlwaine, tells us about her time in New York State, working in Camp Wakonda (Homes for the Homeless)
We’re celebrating the bright and vibrant lives of Randox employees, and the way in which these inspiring individuals have helped to make Randox as great as it is today. Stay up to date with the #WeAreRandox hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to hear more stories.
We were discussing our most inspiring moments with Amy McIlwaine, Public Relations Executive of Randox Laboratories, this week. She told us a story of her time volunteering with children in New York State that we knew we had to share! We hope her story inspires you as much as it did us:
Here is Amy’s story:
“During my years at school and at University I worked as a part-time lifeguard in a local pool. I’ve always been quite ambitious, so, when the time came to graduate and I decided to do some overseas work, I applied to be Waterfront Director at a camp in New York State, called Camp Wakonda.
When I say the words ‘Summer camp’ to people they usually picture expensive facilities with music suites, maybe some horse stables and jet-skis, with a love-able rogue Joe Jonas lookalike thrown in for good measure, but Camp Wakonda wasn’t quite like that!
Camp Wakonda is a Summer camp that is run by the Homes for the Homeless organisation, and accepts children between 6 and 10 years old who are homeless and living in New York shelters.
The camp has limited resources, cabins with no electricity, and various (sometimes) friendly camp companions such as bears, chipmunks and rattlesnakes (we were in the middle of the woods). Children came to camp with very few belongings – sometimes even without a decent pair of shoes. But in spite of all that, it’s one of my favourite places on this earth. Being free from the stresses of everyday life (mind you, working with 90 children at a time brings a different kind of stress!) is wonderfully liberating and living in the middle of nature brings a certain serenity.
Although we had such limited resources, we had the time of our lives! You learn to be really creative – we had themed days throughout the summer like a Harry Potter banquet, a ‘Fairytales of Wakonda’ pantomime, and even Christmas on the 25th July! That one was probably my favourite – some of the children had never had a real Christmas before. I’m happy to admit that I welled up when I saw how incredibly excited they were at receiving just one small gift.”
Smiling from ear-to-ear, Amy went on to highlight the importance of the camp she worked in, in offering homeless children from New York the opportunity to just enjoy being kids, and how this inspired her:
“The spirit of the children, and the counsellors, at Camp Wakonda is something that I had not come across before, and have not come across since. For children who have had such a difficult upbringing, they came to camp with the biggest smiles on their faces, and the smallest things like three hot meals a day meant the world to them. It was great to see them free from the stresses of their unfortunate circumstances. For me, as their swimming teacher, nothing made me smile more than when a child came running up to me shouting ‘Miss Amy, I learned how to float today!’ or when a camper who had been so scared of the water finally got in and had a beaming smile from ear-to-ear when I handed them a swimming certificate. Many of the children had never left the city, and so had never experienced some of the things that we take for granted – like being able to see the stars in the sky at night.
I lived and worked in Wakonda for three months during 2014, and went back again in 2015, as Unit Leader of the older girl’s unit. I was responsible for counselor training, and the welfare of both the girl campers and the female counselors. When you’re practically working 24/7 for three months, the children become your entire life – everything that you do is with their needs in mind. Because of this, the children are so grateful of the time and attention that the counselors give them.
The work that Homes for the Homeless does for those kids is amazing, it really makes a difference to their lives, and I’m so glad that I have been part of it.”
Find out more about Camp Wakonda in this NY 1 News coverage video, here.
Randox wouldn’t be the innovative and caring healthcare company it is today without the hard work of young people with fresh perspectives and world experience like Amy – so we’re delighted that she has brought her enthusiasm to our team! We hope her story inspired you to take part in your community through volunteering. For us, we never stop. We’re helping to improve healthcare and diagnostics through consistent hard work, because for us, this means saving lives.
If you’re looking for a career in Business, Science or Engineering, let Randox be the next step in your adventure!
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox. Visit our website to view our careers opportunities at Randox Laboratories.
We’re sure you’ve heard of “Speed Dating”, but what about “Speed Networking”? Randox’s R&D Scientist, Dr. Dwaine Vance tried it out to spread the word about Randox Careers in STEM!
Dr Dwaine Vance visited Omagh High School to represent Randox Careers. He sat down with us, and we discussed the importance of the event. Dr. Vance told us:
On Wednesday the 15th June I represented Randox Careers at a ‘speed networking’ event at Omagh High School. This involved groups of students moving from one employer stand to the next for a 5 minute ‘mini network’. There was two sessions during the morning involving GCSE level pupils. The aim of the ‘speed networking’ event was to provide pupils with opportunities to meet local Northern Irish companies within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors, of which Randox Laboratories play a pivotal role.
We, at Randox, want to inspire students to think about their own career plans and to allow them to gather information about the local job market. By doing this, we’re also giving them the opportunity to be aware of the jobs that are available and the importance of STEM related subjects, as well as letting them see how employers value their other curriculum subjects and their personal skills and attributes. My objective as a employee of Randox was to showcase a range of careers for all abilities within the company with a focus on STEM careers e.g. science and engineering.
The importance of spreading awareness of the opportunities in science and engineering from a young age is imperative, as many students are unaware of the vast range of differentiation in different careerpaths, stemming from one subject or degree class. Dr. Dwaine Vance went on to discuss the events of the networking conference:
As part of each ‘mini network’ I provided students with a brief overview of Randox. Students were given the opportunity to watch videos depicting our expertise and to ask questions about how their interests could be incorporated within Randox. The training department at Randox provided me with pop-up stands, recruitment pathway brochures, merchandise e.g. pens, stopwatches, mug coasters and even Biochip Array Technology key rings!
Overall the students gained a good knowledge of Randox, they were particularly keen to learn about the local and global opportunities available at Randox. In addition, students were keen to know more about the veterinary aspect of Randox. It was comforting to discover that the majority of pupils had previous knowledge of the Randox brand from the press (as we have recently experienced a great boost in brand visibility through Grand national sponsorship), Randox health (television adverts) and Confidante (local radio stations).
The pupils at Omagh High School were keen to ask me about my role within the company and what my day to day roles and responsibilities are. I was happy to provide students with my research and development activities and they were interested to hear that I was involved in the development of a genetic test that aims to predict your future risk of heart disease by investigating your own DNA.
At Randox I am part of a small team of experienced research scientists that are developing a genetic risk prediction test for heart disease and myocardial infarction. This test aims to simultaneously genotype 20 genetics variants that have been previously associated with increased risk of heart disease. This Randox molecular test is in collaboration with leading University academics and will help reduce the burden of heart disease throughout the world by providing an accurate risk assessment of disease so personalised treatment can be provided to those who require it most. To quote Randox Health, “Prevention is better than cure”.
From everyone at the Randox Careers team and from Dr. Dwaine Vance, we’d like to thank Omagh High School for inviting us to attend this incredibly beneficial Speed Networking event, where we feel we have truly impacted the young minds of tomorrow. We look forward to the future of diagnostics, with you!
Randox employees are adventurous and strive to live a healthy life full of laughter and excitement. So, we do our best to encourage individuality and value these vibrant employees! Here’s Scott’s story of his Journey to Antarctica.
Recently, Scott Paulin, a member of the Randox Clinical Chemistry R&D and manufacturing team from our Apprentice scheme told us about his time exploring the harsh terrains of Antarctica, intensely studying human response-based research before he joined Randox.
Scott sat down with us to tell us his story. Here’s what we talked about:
“My postgraduate degree involved me travelling to Antarctica on a 3 month expedition as part of a multi-disciplinary support team to conduct some novel research. The study aimed to profile stress and immunological responses in athlete’s skiing 500 miles before finishing at the Geographical South Pole. The ultra-endurance race was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Captain Robert Scott’s ill-fated attempt to become the first man to reach the South Pole. The finding from the research study have since provided useful insight into the physiological stress and responses associated with an Antarctic ultra-endurance race and nutritional counterstrategies to help maintain immune responses, function body weight and reduce stress markers. A number of papers have been published in peer reviewed journals.”
After Scott’s exciting journey in Antarctica, he began to tell us of life when he returned home, where he found it difficult to settle back in to normal life:
“Following the completion of my MRes, I found it difficult to gain employment in the science industry in Northern Ireland. Now, I am participating in the apprentice scheme at Randox where I am working in Clinical Chemistry R&D and manufacturing which has provided me with invaluable experience and allowed me to continue working in a laboratory setting. I am hopeful of securing a full time role at Randox in the near future and hope to build a career within the company.”
Randox’s propensity to invite only the most motivated, and forward-thinking young minds to join our team meant Scott was given the opportunity to continue his journey with us! If you’re looking for a career in Business, Science or Engineering, let Randox be the next step in your adventure!