We Are Randox | Marketing Placement Student Thomas Adams on his year at Randox
It’s that time of year again at Randox when we must say a fond farewell to our placement students as they leave to embark on their final year of study at university. We’re proud to be a key employer of placement students in Northern Ireland, having welcomed a huge 50 students through our doors last year, and are always enthusiastic to see students grow and develop during their time with us.
One such placement student who has this month come to the end of his 50-week placement with us is Thomas Adams, a marketing student at Ulster University.
Thomas joined the Randox Food Diagnostics team in September 2017 as a Placement Marketing Executive. We caught up with him to hear all about his placement year with Randox.
Thomas, why did you want to forge a career in marketing?
I’ve always been a creative person. I remember taking note of advertisements on billboards and on the TV and thinking that creating something like that would be my dream job. Marketing specifically appealed to me because you can incorporate the creativity of advertising while also interacting with the public and assisting sales teams. Variety is the spice of life after all!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Creative, confident and chatty.
I’ve always known Randox as an NI-based global leader in diagnostics, particularly because I studied science at A-level and Randox would have been mentioned from time to time. Marketing at Randox, in particular, really appealed to me because of the scale of the company and all its divisions. I was enthusiastic to gain marketing experience in this high-calibre global company right on my doorstep.
Describe a typical day as a placement marketing executive.
When I come to work in the morning the first thing I do is check all emails and enquiries that have come in overnight to our Customer Relationship Management system and send out new enquiries to sales people stationed across the world. The Randox Food Diagnostics division has customers throughout the globe and there are many international queries that will come in throughout the night because of the different time zones.
The rest of my day is focussed on wine – and no, it’s not what you think!
I manage the marketing activities of the wine testing division of Randox Food Diagnostics. We’re working behind the scenes when you are enjoying a glass of wine with your meal, as have developed a range of high quality analysers and wine testing reagents which aid the wine industry. Quality is at the heart of what we do and we want to ensure the quality of your wine.
I spend much of my time creating fresh and exciting content for our website and social media channels. This could range from information on our wine testing kits, to current news stories in the wine industry.
I also manage the translation of this material into the languages of the various countries around the world in which Randox Food Diagnostics operate. I also take enquiries from our sales team for any new promotional material or market research they require to increase their sales.
How did you come to manage the marketing for the wine division of Randox Food Diagnostics?
When I first started, I was mentored by my team leader who gave me certain tasks specifically in the wine sector, and trained me up on everything I needed to know – helping to ease me in to what was for me, my first full-time job.
After three months, the wine division was then given to me to manage. This meant that I was in control of all marketing campaigns, materials and events for the wine sector. It was so exciting to be given this opportunity and I was delighted to hear that I was doing well, that my team leader was pleased with my progress and that he felt I could be entrusted with the division.
New wine tests need new advertising campaigns and market research and I was delighted to oversee this, as I was able to unleash my creative side in presenting my ideas to the rest of the team. I had to come up with the campaign strapline, the artwork, and the social media strategy, and make decisions about what advertising vehicles were best suited to our target audience – whether it be television, magazines, online or outdoor.
I also had the responsibility of staying up-to-date with the industry’s current market trends while organising our presence at wine events and conferences, such as ‘Unified’ in the U.S. I have found the experience of managing all the different activities of an entire marketing division incredibly insightful and rewarding.
How have you found your placement year at Randox?
I have found my placement year very enjoyable. I never felt like just a placement student – I was made to feel like an integrated part of the team from day one. Everyone is so helpful as well. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for twenty years or two weeks, anyone you ask will be willing to help you with whatever you need.
I have also really enjoyed the opportunity to travel while at Randox. I particularly enjoyed going to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, to see American marketing first-hand at the Eastern Winery Expo. I was involved in all aspects of the event’s management – booking the event, designing the booth, creating the promotional material and shipping it all across to America. It was fantastic to see all my hard work pay off at the event and to be able to chat to our U.S. customers face-to-face.
What is the best thing about Randox?
Definitely my colleagues. Everyone is so friendly and it didn’t take long to settle in at all. I’ve really enjoyed playing Randox football after work on a Monday night in Crumlin too as it gives you the opportunity to get to know people from the other Randox sites while having a friendly kickaround.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your time at Randox?
When I first arrived, I had a general overview of what Randox does and of some of its products, but I didn’t know anything about the company’s patented Biochip Array Technology. I had to quickly get my head around it and learn all about Randox biochips because it’s this innovative technology that Randox Food Diagnostics uses to stay ahead of competitors in the market.
Although initially challenging, I have enjoyed throwing myself in to this learning experience and turning what was once a negative in to a massive positive – I’m now as up-to-date on the newest technology as I possibly could be and that makes for the best marketing campaigns and promotional material. It’s been great for my own personal development to get stuck in to an entirely new area of science and to see my progress from the beginning of the year until now.
I’m a big believer of the importance of always learning and trying something new.
What do you do when not in the office?
I like playing sports, such as football. I’m also a keen cycler. My parents have always been in to cycling so I guess you could say its in the blood. In July I went to Fort William in Scotland for a week of mountain-biking. I love the thrill and the adrenalin rush!
What are your goals for the future?
I would like to secure a marketing role in a globally successful company like Randox, although I wouldn’t say for sure that I’ll always be in marketing as I wouldn’t mind branching out in to forecasting or sales. Fortunately, at Randox you have the flexibility to try a new role if you feel you’d like to expand your skillset. The careers team are really open to people moving about until they find their niche. That’s why the Graduate Programme is so great – you are able to rotate throughout different departments until you find the perfect role for you – one which you are passionate about.
Personally, one of my aims for the future is to travel more. I’d like to venture off the beaten track and see some of the more unexplored areas of the world such as Asia, the Arctic or areas of South America.
But for now, it’s time to get my head back into the books for my final year of studies at university. Wish me luck!
We wish Thomas, like all our placement students, all the best for the future as they head back to university. We look forward to following your budding career in marketing.
For more information on placements at Randox, please contact email@example.com for more information.
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.
Here at Randox, we’re a diverse bunch. We have more than 1400 employees of 44 nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers. Needless to say, the Randox family is a multicultural one!
We have four key manufacturing and R&D sites – in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland; Bangalore, India; and the Greater Washington DC area, in the U.S.
We also have additional sales and distribution offices spread over 145 different countries, ranging from France to Argentina, Italy to China, and Vietnam to Australia – the focus of this month’s We Are Randox feature.
To learn more about the country famous for Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef, and so many more natural wonders and landmarks, we sat down with Technical Sales Specialist Tanya Galewski at this week’s Annual Randox Sales Conference.
Read on to hear find out what it’s like to live in Australia, her tips for visiting the country, and of course, her top 5 must-see destinations!
Life in Australia is pretty much as you would expect – super relaxed and wonderfully warm.
But in saying that, we’re such outdoorsy people. We’re always out eating and drinking, and there are national parks and beaches everywhere, which means that we end up spending a lot more time outside than inside, which I think makes for a great atmosphere.
We’re just real go-getters!
My top 5 Must-See Destinations in Australia would be:
- Bondi Beach
(I live there so I have to say Bondi Beach!) But it certainly is one of Australia’s most iconic and most beautiful beaches. It really emulates the laid-back atmosphere of Australia, has wonderful cafés along the boardwalk, some beautiful shops, and of course the sand is totally pristine. If you like to surf the waves are incredible and the water itself is stunning.
- McLaren Vale
This is a beautiful wine region in the south of Australia which overlooks the ocean. Again, I may be biased as it is near my home town, but the wine produced there is totally world-class. You can take part in wine tasting events, visit farmers’ markets and enjoy live cookery demonstrations. It’s the perfect foodie destination.
- Noosa National Park
This is a national park in Queensland. It has the most gorgeous coastal walk where you can see dolphins, experience beautiful views of headlands and dunes, and go surfing. If you’re interested in Australian wildlife it’s also home to a range of animals including parrots, koalas, and frogs.
Moving away from the coastland, the next spot on my Must-See list would be Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). It’s in the centre of Australia and is the absolute epitome of the Australian outback. Not only is it a geologist’s dream, it’s also really spiritual and you can’t help but be in awe when you see this wonder of the world.
There is so much to see and do in the city of Melbourne. You could spend all your time there just eating and drinking and you still wouldn’t be able to visit all the wonderful cafés and restaurants!
The culture in Australia is quite diverse because it’s a multi-cultural country, meaning that our cuisine is also quite diverse. One of the good things about that is because there are so many people who specialise in what they cook, the food is exceptionally good. It’s helped also by the fact that we have such amazing home-grown produce.
Overall I would say that Australia is the perfect place for you if you love getting outdoors in the fresh air, enjoy trying new food, and like having the opportunity to take on new adventures.
With such a wide range of culture, climate and terrain all in the one country, there really is something for everybody.
We’re delighted to have had the chance to chat to Tanya, to learn about life in Australia and find out more about the country which hosts one of our international offices.
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 current vacancies in Randox Australia, visit careers.randox.com
Randox Laboratories and Ulster University have launched a £5 million skills development initiative to support up to 10 individuals annually through PhD level study in the Life Sciences sector.
The Randox-Ulster University-Industrial PhD Academy, which aims to encourage the development of advanced, higher level skills in key industry sectors, will further reinforce Ulster University’s position as one of the top universities for biomedical related research impact and, enhance Randox’s competitiveness in the growing global healthcare sector.
Up to ten PhD researchers will be supported annually, including Randox employees and individuals from the wider sector, who are working on a range of scientific projects, with the ultimate goal of new product development. They will have the opportunity to work on new research projects, driven by industry and jointly supervised by Ulster University and Randox, to enhance their own individual skill sets whilst delivering groundbreaking advances in the life sciences sector. Ulster University and Randox will each fully fund up to five PhD researchers annually.
To date PhD researchers enrolled in this new programme of Industrial Research have started exciting projects in areas of medicine including mental health, diabetes and cancer, with more projects being developed. All projects share the common goal of delivering new diagnostic approaches for early detection of disease and earlier intervention where possible.
Professor Alastair Adair Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ulster University said:
“Ulster University is renowned globally for research in personalised medicine, cancer, diabetes and mental health and this makes us the perfect fit for a global industry leader like Randox. Ulster University and Randox have a longstanding partnership built around research, knowledge sharing and collaboration which has placed both organisations at the forefront of diagnostics and health research globally.”
Ulster University Professor of Personalised Medicine Tara Moore, said:
“The life sciences sector is of critical importance to our economy and health. To truly maximise our contribution to the economy and to fully exploit new advances in science and technology we must focus on advancing the skills of our workforce, ensuring the most talented people reach their full potential by working with partners to tackle new challenges and drive new discoveries. A strong and growing life sciences sector ensures patients will continue to benefit from new technologies which will help to improve diagnosis getting them the treatment they need quickly.”
“This new Industrial PhD Academy is a further step forward in our commitment to respond to national priorities such as the Industrial Strategy, aligning the research community with industry to drive innovation, building on the world-leading reputation of Randox and supporting a new generation of researchers in this strategically important sector.”
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, said;
“At this time of rapid and significant change in the UK, it is critical that the next-generation can meet industry’s ever-changing demands. The current STEM skills shortage costs the economy £1.5bn/year and will only be resolved if all companies in the sector recognise they have a role to play now too.
“In the last 4 months, we have made significant investments within Northern Ireland, in both R&D infrastructure and now in helping aspirational scientists at Ulster University to develop the critical skills to make a positive difference to patient healthcare around the world. We are unapologetically ambitious in our determination to cement Northern Ireland’s reputation as a global hub for life sciences and our own position as a worldwide leader.”
For further information about the Randox UU PhD Academy please contact Randox PR by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 028 9442 2413
An Ulster University marketing student has won the top spot in global healthcare manufacturer Randox Laboratories’ annual Student Placement Awards.
Matthew Steele from Bushmills fought off stiff competition from fellow placement students in science and engineering programmes by attracting the judges’ attention for the work he carried out within two new and novel ventures taken on by the company.
In recent years, the founder of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, has extended his business portfolio to include the Bushmills-based Dundarave Estate and Cherryvalley Farm in Crumlin. Matthew’s focus has been to develop and promote tourism activities at the Estate, such as clay pigeon shooting, as well as Cherryvalley Farm produce. He worked with the company’s IT department and Finance team to complete various projects and created a digital communications strategy.
Additionally, when Matthew was faced with the familiar catch-all that employees may find themselves asked to carry out additional tasks, he won plaudits within the company for stepping in to dip sheep on one occasion!
Speaking after the awards ceremony Matthew commented;
“Placement has been amazing for me and I would encourage everyone to do it. The year has gone so quickly, because you get thrown in straightaway. You’re not seen as a placement student – you’re a member of staff right from the start. This experience has given me so much, widening my business knowledge and teaching me so many new skills. It’s been great.”
Department winners in the engineering and science placement programmes are respectively Ulster University student Dale Love from Ballymena and Jamie Boyd, a Queen’s University Belfast student from Cookstown.
Across the company, 39 university students took part in this year’s placement programme. Lasting 50 weeks, the initiative provides young people with the experience needed to pursue a career in their chosen field.
Linda Magee, Head of Randox Human Resources, commented;
“We are delighted for all our winners in this year’s placement awards. Matthew, in particular, impressed us with creative and successful strategies, and the wholehearted approach he brings to working with us. The Randox Placement Programme is one of our most important initiatives, because gaining industry-experience is now critical for young people. Randox is committed to developing meaningful ways of supporting them, and we are encouraged year after year by the calibre of students who apply to join us.”
For further information about the Randox Placement Awards please contact Randox PR by email: email@example.com or by phone: 028 9442 2413
This festive season, Dungloe-based Randox Teoranta has a message for ambitious students and graduates – that achieving your career dream is possible, and it might not be as far away as you think.
The global healthcare diagnostics firm today launched its annual recruitment drive by asking life scientists, engineers and software developers to reflect on the career dreams they had as children, and to consider the world-class careers on offer in rural Donegal. In previous years, these areas of industry have suffered most from mass emigration of the university graduates who have had to look elsewhere for jobs in their respective fields.
Randox Teoranta wants to let students, graduates and experienced professionals across the island of Ireland, and those further afield who have moved abroad to find work, know that they can find the career they’ve always dreamed of close to home.
Ciaran Richardson, Head of R&D at Randox Teoranta, commented;
“At Randox Teoranta we have scientists working on a range of research projects, including the development of innovative health technologies capable of diagnosing stroke, gastrointestinal disorders and chronic kidney disease. This is following ground breaking developments in 2016 where scientists in Randox Teoranta were involved in the launch of a pioneering new test used to determine a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“In addition to those interested in human health we also have scientists who when they were younger wished to pursue a career in the animal research and veterinary science world. These scientists within our veterinary department are involved in the development of novel multiplex tests used to monitor disease spread and improve animal welfare.
“We have software developers who are working with revolutionary technologies – augmented and mixed reality headsets for example – that in their youth they could only have dreamed of”.
“And we have engineers who, as children, loved to take apart their electronic toys and piece them back together. They’re now using their talent to engineer machines which detect disease and save lives. I can think of no better use for their skillset and I’m incredibly proud that our biotechnology hub right here in rural Donegal means that young people from far and wide can achieve their career dreams.”
If you’re at school and currently thinking about university choices, a school leaver, student, graduate, or experienced professional, come along to Randox Teoranta’s Open Day on Friday 22nd December 2017. Parents of students are also welcome to visit the state-of-the-art site in Dungloe, Donegal, where visitors will be treated to an opportunity to view the facility and meet members of the Randox team.
Come and view our hub of pioneering research and development, where cutting-edge science, technology and IT takes place. If you, or someone you know, is interested in a career in life sciences, engineering, software development or software testing, come along to Randox Teoranta on Friday 22nd December.
Don’t just dream it. Make it happen at Randox Teoranta.
The Randox Teoranta Open Morning is on Friday 22nd December 2017 from 10am – 2pm at Randox Teoranta, Meenmore, Dungloe, Co. Donegal.
To find out more tel: +353 7495 22600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No booking is required.
On Wednesday 15th November, Randox hosted a site visit at its state-of-the-art Randox Science Park in Antrim for Open University (OU) students who are studying a range of subjects including Business, Science, Engineering and Software Development.
Randox is a global leader in healthcare diagnostics, pioneering innovative technologies with major focus in research and development. Their products and services are used in hospitals, clinical, research and molecular laboratories, food testing, forensic toxicology, life sciences, and veterinary laboratories worldwide.
The visit allowed the students the opportunity to experience real life lab experiments in the Research and Development department and the Design Engineering department. They also had the opportunity to tour the different IT departments and see how the operations of a large company work.
Sarah Nicol who is studying for a BSc (Honours) in Computing and IT said:
“It was interesting to hear about the full scope of work taking place within the Randox Science Park and the level of investment confirms that there is a bright future here as an employee. The training and opportunities available were much wider than I had realised.”
Joanne King who is studying for a BSc (Honours) in Health Sciences said:
“I found the visit interesting and informative. I enjoyed meeting and hearing from the current Open University students and what they were getting involved with during their placements at Randox. I certainly found the experience motivating to complete my course as opportunities may be possible with Randox.”
The students were then able to hear from two OU students who are currently on a placement with Randox: Jenny Hope who is studying BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences and Aurelija Gainaite who is studying BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences. They are both on a one-year placement with Randox and shared with the students the importance of gaining relevant work experience in a chosen field and the potential opportunities it can lead to.
Jolene Carey, Human Resource Officer from Randox said:
“We were delighted to host The Open University students at Randox – this was a great opportunity for students to gain a valuable insight into the range of different departments within the company and to experience how they work together. We were delighted that OU students Jenny and Aurelija were able to talk directly to their fellow students and explain the benefits of gaining a placement opportunity. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with The Open University.”
For further information, please contact our Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 028 9442 2413
Global health diagnostics provider Randox has launched the third year of its innovative APEX Programme. The APEX Programme is a unique career package which offers first year students a paid 8-week summer work experience between first and second year, a paid placement year in their third year of study and, finally, a graduate job if they complete their degree with a 2:1 or above.
There are many different disciplines which are critical for Randox’s global operations, from pioneering research and development scientists to business strategists, savvy marketing teams to top-level engineering departments.
The APEX programme is open to all students currently studying biological sciences but also those studying business, marketing, maths, physics, graphic design, computer science and any form of engineering.
The APEX Programme is like no other in the UK and Randox were pleased to recruit 20 first-year students last year after a high number of applications. The difficulty for students trying to find work experience and a coveted graduate position has been highlighted in recent years. In 2016, official UK government figures reported that one-in-three young graduates were working in low-skilled jobs, being unable to find work which matched their skills. In the same year there was a 2.2% drop in the number of 21 to 30-year-old graduates in skilled worked compared with the year earlier.
The APEX Programme application process is as unique as the programme itself. No CVs or lengthy application forms needed – just submit a 15 second video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and 140 character cover note telling us why you are the one for Randox, including hashtags #IAmTheOneQUB or #IAmTheOneUU, depending on your university. It really is that simple! Submit your video from 27th November to 8th December 2017 to be in the running to join the Randox team.
Graduates often face tough competition for jobs in their field of study once they leave university. It’s a well-known cycle for budding young professionals ready to enter their first graduate job – how can I gain the vital experience needed when many roles cite a year or more work experience as an essential requirement?
Linda Magee, Randox Human Resources Manager, says initiatives like the Randox APEX Programme are essential.
“Graduates leave university and enter a tough environment, where expectations are high and competition is fierce. The ones who do best are those who can get the necessary real-life work experience in their area of expertise.
“Randox believes in giving young people a chance to make their mark by taking on real responsibilities right from the start. Undergraduates will work side-by-side with our top teams in science research, manufacturing, engineering, business, marketing and many other disciplines who are working on ground-breaking diagnostic innovations and campaigns which will make an impact globally.
“As a result, the APEX programme gives our recruits incredible confidence in their abilities. It’s also very important to us that the programme offers paid placements which last for the duration of their degree, so they are able to focus on their studies while working towards a graduate position with a world-leading company after graduation.”
Lee Armstrong, who is studying chemistry at Ulster University, completed his first placement with the APEX Programme in summer 2016 and is now back completing his placement year in the clinical chemistry team. He said:
“I was attracted to the APEX Programme because it was completely different from any other company’s placement – nowhere else do you get a summer placement, a year placement and then a job after graduating if I achieve a 2:1.
“I am currently on my one-year placement, which has allowed me to gain experience with real-life projects. I’m not treated like a student at all – I’m treated like another scientist in the team and I get to work on real projects.
“I would recommend students to apply for the APEX Programme because you gain invaluable experience throughout your degree, there’s the possibility of a job in your field at the end of it – and the application video is much easier than labouring over a CV!”
In 2015, 5% of the world’s population received a diagnosis using a Randox product. It is a world-leading diagnostics company which is developing state-of-the-art facilities at the Science Park in Antrim. It has 1400 employees and operates in 145 countries.
More information about the APEX Programme can be found at http://iamtheone.randox.com
Working in a global company like Randox opens many doors for our 1400-strong workforce, one of which being the opportunity to travel. For people who want to see the world, experience other cultures and meet new people, we have LOTS of opportunities to do so.
It’s no surprise therefore that we value ambitious and enthusiastic employees who enjoy the excitement of a new challenge, and a new adventure!
And that’s just what our Marketing Executive, Joel Woods, did this summer. After spending his placement year with us here at Randox, and then completing his final year of studies at Ulster University in Jordanstown, Joel was offered the opportunity to complete an internship in Beijing, the capital of China.
The experiences, new perspectives, and understanding of a different culture that he acquired during his time in China are just a few of the reasons why we love to hear from well-travelled individuals like Joel.
Here’s his story.
Given that I work in the Testing and Toxicology division here at Randox, it’s quite ironic that while I was at school I actually wanted a career in Forensic Science, rather than in Business. I even completed my lower sixth work experience with the PSNI.
I went to Ballyclare High School and studied Business Studies, ICT, Geography and Biology for A-Level. An encouraging and interesting school teacher during my GCSEs had made Business Studies more appealing, and so I decided to take it at A-Level. When studying it in my final year my mind had completely turned from forensics toward business, so I then went on to study Marketing at Ulster University.
During my time at university I completed a placement year with Randox within their marketing team. I worked primarily on Customer Relationship Management; providing support for sales reps and other marketing teams, running reports for top level managers, developing marketing campaigns and writing blogs. It was a fantastic experience getting to work on such a wide variety of marketing activities and was a great insight into the operations of a global company. It set me in really good stead for my final year of university because I had a point of reference in the real working world for everything that I was learning.
Come the end of my final year at Jordanstown I was presented with an opportunity to go to China on a two month internship based in Beijing. To have a funded internship by the British Council was an excellent opportunity to enhance my CV with international experience, and I had never been to Asia before so this was a chance I wasn’t going to let pass me by.
For the two months I was in China I worked in a small firm based in the western district of Beijing (Sanlitun). The firm was called PAPP’S TEA, a small tea manufacturer. My job title was Marketing Intern which involved updating their website, creating blogs, engaging audiences on social media, working closely with graphic designers about brand guidelines and supporting events for the launch of new products. Everything I had learnt during my placement year in Randox was put to good use!
The weather in China was permanently overcast and very rarely dropped below 30 degrees. Most of the food that I tried was incredible, but portions were always small. One of the interesting things about Chinese culture is that you never order a single meal for yourself, but rather a few dishes are ordered and everyone shares. I therefore had the unfortunate experience of sampling chicken feet…not tasty at all and they were more cartilage than meat! The language was also very difficult to understand but gradually as my time went on I began picking up words – a few greetings here and there, phrases used to order food from a menu, and how to pay for the bill at restaurants.
During my weekends I was usually free which gave a great opportunity to do all the touristy things. One of my favourite memories of China was camping on the Great Wall during my second weekend there. A group of us, mostly interns from the UK, got ourselves a tour guide and camping gear, hiked to the great wall and camped overnight. We had a barbeque, a campfire and watched the sun setting and rising. It was absolutely stunning.
My other main highlight from China was seeing Shanghai. We booked a hostel in the centre of Shanghai, from which almost everything we wanted to see was within walking distance. Walking around Shanghai felt like walking around London. The whole city was completely western, and so it didn’t feel like I was in China. Nevertheless, it was still an incredible experience visiting one of the most populated cities on the planet (26 million people).
The best moment during my time in Shanghai was using the public bicycles to see the city. Three of us chose to see the city by night and so we started our journey at midnight when the city was totally empty. It was so surreal. We got to see more of the city in one night than we ever did during the rest of the weekend!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in China and would recommend an internship with the British Council to anyone who is thinking about gaining international experience. It can only ever be a good thing to see more of the ever-advancing technological world we live in, especially if you are working in a global company like Randox.
Upon returning to Randox as a permanent member of staff I now deal with clients all around the globe, and so the experience gained from my internship has been of such great benefit. My time there has helped me understand how business is dealt from another culture and I can’t wait for my next big adventure.
We’re so delighted Joel had a positive experience during his time in Beijing and has returned to Randox full of enthusiasm and exciting ideas! Welcome back to the team Joel.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
What makes Randox the successful, innovative and forward-thinking company it is today are the passionate, hard-working and talented staff we’re lucky enough to call our colleagues.
Our staff are our best asset and across every division our team help to save lives – whether it be designing the newest Biochip to test for Alzheimer’s disease, developing the latest software for use in hospitals and universities, making food safer for people to eat, or managing our global offices, to ensure our pioneering health technologies make their way across the world to where they are needed the most.
Our headquarters are in Northern Ireland, but we have teams based all over the world, including in Portugal, where Cristina Zenha works as part of the Portuguese Finance Team.
2017 is a special year for Cristina. It marks 25 years since she began her job with Randox.
We sat down with Cristina to ask her about her time with us, to find out how she thinks the company has changed during that time, and of course to congratulate her on her exciting milestone!
Here’s Cristina’s story.
My name is Cristina Zenha and I work in the Finance team in Randox Portugal in Oporto.
For those of you who don’t know the area, the weather is very good here in Oporto. It’s not very cold in winter, nor is it very hot in summer. It’s just right! During the summer I love going to the Algarve for my holidays. There are beautiful beaches and the weather is excellent, so it’s a very popular holiday destination for both the Portuguese and for tourists.
In Portugal, Randox is based in Oporto City, which as one of the oldest tourist destinations in Europe, has a wonderful artistic heritage. The Port Wine, the vast spaces dedicated to leisure and culture, and the relaxed way of life are just some of the reasons I would recommend visiting the city!
We also have excellent cuisine here in Portugal. Seafood is very popular and we have several famous cod recipes. In Oporto specifically, we have a very famous dish called Francesinha, which is a Portuguese sandwich made with bread, ham, fresh sausage and steak, covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce, and served with french fries.
Before I moved into the world of full-time work I worked in my parents’ grocery store, which sparked my interest in business. Then I began my first serious job in Randox Portugal when I was only 19 years old, and studied part-time Business Management in Oporto Lusiada University. I took my university classes in the evening to work around my job with Randox.
When I had my interview I had a really good feeling about Randox. I could tell that this company, which was only just beginning to establish itself in Portugal, was going to go far. I could see myself developing both personally and professionally in what was evidently a globally successful organisation. I knew I would learn a lot.
When I started my job with Randox in Oporto I was involved in processing orders, documenting stock, and organising customer invoices and receipts. However in the 25 years I’ve worked here, my job, and the office itself have evolved and changed. My current responsibilities have progressed to additionally include office finances and accounts, and I also manage the logistics of our site.
How we work in the team has also changed drastically. I remember when I first started in 1992 there were no computers so everything was done manually. I had a typewriter to make invoices, receipts and letters. We created manual maps for everything and we updated everything manually.
The team itself has more than doubled in size, in spite of a number of economic crises in Portugal during that period. The infrastructure in Randox, and its offering of highly innovative diagnostics has meant that demand for our products has continued to increase. We have a fantastically passionate team in place who all want to see the business succeed and everyone works together to bring next-generation healthcare to hospitals and laboratories across Portugal.
I think that’s one of the reasons I love my job so much. Each member of the team here has an important role to play and we each contribute to Randox’s vision of saving lives. It’s fast-paced and challenging, but that’s what I love. I like the structure in place and I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with resolving issues and contributing to increased sales and overall business success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Randox. I know that the company will continue to grow and succeed and I feel privileged to be involved in its journey.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone with whom I have worked during my 25 years here at Randox. I love everyone I work with and you are such a big part of why I have loved my time here so much. I want to say a big thank you in particular to Bob Allan in Finance, who was one of the first people I met in Randox. He has always been on hand to support the work we do in the Portuguese office, and the way in which he made me feel so welcome and supported will always be one of my favourite memories of my first 25 years working in Randox.
Here’s to the next 25!
Congratulations Cristina on your 25 year milestone with us here at Randox. You are a real asset to our global healthcare company and we are delighted to have you as part of our team!
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 current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
Did you know that in partnership with Southern Regional College, Randox offers an industrial apprenticeship scheme?
This month our first group of Randox apprentices completed this Foundation Degree in Applied Industrial Science, and we’re delighted to announce that Grace Catney, an apprenticeship from our Quality Control division, has graduated with a first class degree!
We sat down for a chat with Grace to find out how she has found the apprenticeship experience, and what she wants to let students know about what it’s like to do an apprenticeship with Randox.
This is what Grace had to say:
After completing one year of my A-levels I applied for a BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science, having realised that doing A-levels wasn’t the path I wanted to take. For young students I think it’s so important to let them know that there is no one correct path to your dream job. Going directly into university isn’t for everyone, and completing the National Diploma was the best decision I made for my own education, as I gathered the hands on experience in the laboratory that I wouldn’t have had if I was to finish my A levels. During my National Diploma which lasted 2 years, I worked in my family’s chip shop and in Starbucks, which was also so fundamental in teaching me how to balance work, education and leisure.
Then when I gained a Triple Merit in my BTEC, my tutor from Southern Regional College made me aware of the apprenticeship with Randox, and so I went along to an interview which lasted around 20-30 minutes. Four people were chosen to take part in the apprenticeship programme, with three out of the four people having been on the BTEC course with me. The other apprenticeship came from a previous job and already had a masters degree. The apprenticeship programme is open to people from all walks of life.
The apprenticeship itself is a 2 year programme made up of one day a week in the Southern Regional College in Portadown, and four days a week working in Randox. At college I studied a range of modules including Biochemistry, Genetics, Professional Practice, Laboratory Procedures, Physiology, Cell Biology, Chemistry and Mathematical Statistics, and at Randox I completed 3 rotations working within Production, Biochip Quality Control and R&D Quality Control.
Carrying out the apprenticeship has helped me improve so much in many areas. Working and completing the Foundation Degree is very intense, as you are simultaneously studying for exams and learning new work skills within your department. But the benefit is that you can apply what you are being taught to your work as soon as you learn it, which makes understanding the concepts so much easier.
The most enjoyable part of the apprenticeship was the rotation through different departments. This helped me to learn a lot about the work that goes on – from the initial production of a Reagent, to Microbiology, Quality Control, Quality Assurance and then shipping to customers. Being in multiple departments has allowed me to see different stages along the production life of a product, while getting to know many incredibly talented employees throughout the company.
Working for such a globally successful company has given me the opportunity to see how science is changing the world, and to be a part of it, and it has also given me an advantage over full-time university students, because I already have 2 years’ experience in the science industry and a job secured. Education is important, but in the science industry experience is essential, and that’s what I am thankful to Randox for.
I have been treated as an employee, and not just a student. The responsibilities with which my managers have entrusted me with have given me a real insight into the role of an analyst, and the different rotations helped me to determine what area of science I would prefer to work in.
When I came into Randox all I knew is that I wanted a hands-on, practical job that would help make a difference in the world of healthcare. When I completed my final rotation in R&D Quality Control, I knew that it was the department I could see myself in permanently, and so I was delighted when I was offered a full time job.
Knowing that my work over the past few months in Quality Control has been to a level high enough to be offered a permanent job is a very good feeling. Many students come out of university with a degree but cannot find a job. I’ve done the opposite of that in some ways – I secured a job first before moving on to the next stage of my degree! The only condition of the job was that we had to pass the foundation course, and so luckily I got a first overall.
I feel a mixture of nerves and excitement knowing that I’m going to be completing my final two years of a BioMed degree while working at Randox. I think the distance learning will be an easier transition than maybe I had previously thought, given that during the apprenticeship we only had one day in class and had a lot of online classes throughout the week. I’ve never wanted to go to university as a full time student and so I’m am glad that this is available to me to complete while continuing my career with Randox. I have read a lot about the Biomedical Degree and the modules and am quite eager to begin the course.
It’s also reassuring knowing that over the past 2 years I have significantly developed my ability to prioritise work, and to balance my job and studies. This will set me in good stead for my BioMed degree. Having a full time job and completing coursework and studying for exams is very hard and can be stressful – but the end result is worth it.
It can be challenging, but that’s what I love about science – there are so many new reactions, materials, procedures, regulations etc. to learn. There can be a big workload at times, but that’s always going to happen when you’re part of such a fast-paced company, and at Randox we’re very lucky that the support is always there if needs be. Luckily, I enjoy the rush and challenge of my job, and knowing your employer is trusting you to work on their world-class products is an amazing feeling.
Although the apprenticeship is challenging, if you have the right mind-set and motivation, you will gain so much from it. I highly recommend the Randox Higher Level Apprenticeship Foundation Degree in Applied Industrial Science.
We wish Grace and her fellow Randox apprentices the best of luck on whatever path they have chosen to progress to the next stage of their careers.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com