We Are Randox | Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week with Monique Uprichard
Did you know that it’s Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2020?
The new initiative from the Department for the Economy offers an opportunity through a dedicated week of events and promotional activity to demonstrate how apprenticeships work for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy.
To mark the week we spoke to one of our Randox apprentices, Monique Uprichard, to find out more about her role, what she enjoys about the apprenticeship, and her advice for young people considering a career in science.
Name: Monique Uprichard
Job Title: Science Apprentice
Department: Quality Control Serum Production
Monique, can you describe a typical working day?
“The apprentice roles at Randox are really hands-on, so each day I have the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects and manage important laboratory processes. I get to use the Randox analysers that conduct our health tests – for example for diabetes and cholesterol – and run maintenance on them every day. This involves checking they have the right amount of testing chemicals, filling in logbooks which detail what tests have been run, and then processing and analysing the results.”
What has been your educational career path to this post?
“I have always had an interest in science, studying both Chemistry and Biology at GCSE and A-level at Bloomfield Collegiate School. I enjoyed the practical aspect of these subjects, which was the main reason I applied for the Higher-Level Apprenticeship with Southern Regional College and Randox. I also get paid and have no student debts to worry about, which was a massive selling point!”
What are the most valuable skills for your job?
“Time management is vital for apprentices because you must make time to study and complete coursework when you’re not at work. Attention to detail is also key, as is being able to work independently. Being part of a real working laboratory is great because I’m not only developing my core scientific knowledge, but also learning some crucial professional skills like effective communication with my colleagues, and the ability to work to a deadline. Then at college I get to focus on academic skills like essay writing and how to create a good presentation.”
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
“Working at Randox is really rewarding because I know what we do makes a real difference to global healthcare. By ensuring that hospital tests are accurate and reliable, I’m making sure that patients get the correct diagnosis, so they can get appropriate and effective treatment as soon as possible.”
What are the future job prospects in your industry?
“The STEM industry is booming and new roles are emerging every day. In the field of science, nothing ever stays still and there is always a new discovery or challenge. My colleagues for example are working on a test for the latest strain of coronavirus, which is having a huge impact globally. The variety of jobs is matched also by the variety of career pathways you can take. At the end of my apprenticeship, when I gain my foundation degree in Applied and Industrial Sciences, I have the option of either progressing into my second year of Biomedical Science at university, or taking up a permanent job within Randox.”
What is your advice to a young person starting off in your industry?
“Never be afraid to ask questions! This will help you stay up-to-date with current research and trends, and demonstrate your enthusiasm. If you’re interested in science I would definitely recommend the Higher-Level Apprenticeship as it is a great learning experience and equips you with all the necessary skills to pursue a career in this fast-paced industry.”
We are delighted to have Monique with us at Randox as part of the Higher-Level Apprenticeship Scheme.
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 about Apprenticeships at Randox please email RandoxPR@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413.
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