We Are Randox | How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

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We Are Randox | How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

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22 June 2020

How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

 

We Are Randox | How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

In support of our new £30m COVID-19 laboratories, we are hiring 200 new staff across Engineering, Manufacturing and Science.

For an idea of what it’s like to be part of the COVID-19 testing programme at Randox, we spoke to Deputy Coordinator Manager Kelly Mon.

Kelly spoke to us about what a typical day in COVID-19 testing looks like, the career path she took to her current role, and her advice for a successful job search.

Name: Kelly Mon

Job Title: Deputy Co-Ordinator Manager

Department: COVID-19 Testing

Kelly, what did you study and where?

After secondary school, I studied a BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science (Medical) in Belfast Met in Castlereagh, and then moved on to study Biomedical Science at Ulster University in Coleraine. I later studied part time for an MSc in Stratified Medicine.

Give a brief outline of your career to date

I trained as a Biomedical Scientist in Antrim Area Hospital for one year to gain a recognized certification from the Institute of Biomedical Science. When I graduated I started as a Laboratory Analyst at Randox Clinical Laboratory Services, where I ran health tests on our patented Biochip Technology. After a short time, I became a Clinical Team Leader managing a number of clinical trials for companies and universities. Recently I have been promoted to Deputy Co-Ordinator Manager for our COVID-19 testing programme.

Kelly Mon

Are there alternative routes into the job?

For a job in Clinical Research you would ideally have a BSc in Biomedical Science, Biochemistry or Life Sciences, and a Diploma in Professional Practice. Alternatively, if you have a degree in another area we have a scheme at Randox that allows graduates the chance to rotate throughout departments, and many good candidates are offered positions at the end. There are also apprenticeships and student placements available.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day in clinical trials usually involves running patient blood or urine samples on Randox Biochips that have been custom-made to suit that particular project. We work to tight deadlines, have regular updates with internal staff and customers, and conduct data analysis and reports. A typical day working on COVID-19 testing involves lots of PPE, and constant communication between a wide range of staff and departments. In my role I oversee our quality control, create and communicate important procedures, and visit the lab to make sure my staff are doing well.

Is this what you always wanted to do?

Whilst I knew that I liked science, I wasn’t sure what job I wanted to do. No one in my circle had ever gone on to study at university so I hadn’t considered it an option. I couldn’t even imagine that I could become a scientist.

 What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job?

For me, the best aspect of any job is the people and at Randox I work with a great bunch. I also like the fact that there is career progression for people who put in the work to get it, and that you are trained to perform all tasks, not just one part of the work flow. The most challenging aspect of the job at times is the intensity of the workload, which is why organizational skills and the ability to keep calm under pressure are key in this job.

Why is what you do important?

There is that old saying that your health is your wealth and I’m proud to work for a healthcare company providing high quality health diagnostics. These products are used every day to assist in the detection of a wide range of diseases to provide the earliest possible diagnosis and improved patient outcomes. In my department the clinical trials we manage help to detect biomarkers of disease and determine treatment efficacy, which is important to identify less invasive methods of diagnosis, and more tailored ways to treat each patient.

What advice would you give anyone looking to follow a similar career path?

It’s important in any career to work hard and stick at it. I dropped out of two courses before I started the BTEC Diploma. I could have given up when times were hard, but I stuck with it and here I am sharing what I’ve learnt throughout my career. If you are planning specifically to study Biomedical Science, the advice I would give is to choose a course with a placement. My own course had a one-year placement in an NHS hospital, and the experience in a professional environment that gave me key laboratory skills was invaluable. It also gets you contacts in the industry which is always helpful.

If you weren’t doing this what would you like to do?

I love my job, I love my career and I love the people I work with so honestly, I wouldn’t choose any other career path!

 Describe your ideal day off.

My ideal day off work involves pyjamas, junk food and good old Netflix.

And finally, what’s the key to any successful job search?

Sometimes job searching can be tiresome and after a while you start to apply without properly researching, but the key to any successful job search is preparation. Start by giving your CV an update and get someone – perhaps your university careers team, or a friend or family member – to proof-read it. Or, if you don’t have any other help, you can begin by searching CV templates on the internet. Personally I would advise that you include some interesting hobbies to make your application stand out. You would be surprised how things seemingly unrelated to a particular job will keep you in the recruiter’s mind. Then come up with some possible questions and think of the answers you might give before you go for interview.

We are delighted to have Kelly with us at Randox as part of our COVID-19 testing programme.

 

For current vacancies at Randox please visit careers.randox.com

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For further information please email recruitment@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413.

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our Randox Careers

Find out more about Randox Careers

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