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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Ever wonder how motivated and successful people stay so calm at work? Here at Randox, we know that even the most enjoyable careers can get stressful, even for the most motivated employees!
According to a CIPD Absence Management Survey the number one cause for long term sickness is stress. When the paperwork begins to pile up and to-do lists become longer it can be difficult not to let the mounting pressure get to you. But, there’s good news! Exercise is not only for the body, but the mind too. Exercise at work can improve our mental wellbeing improving our ability to deal with the pressure/stress in our working lives. So, if you want to keep your cool like John from H.R., here’s some tips on how you can make some changes today towards improving your mood (even on Mondays!)
1. Get up a go. We all realise how important exercise is but making the time for it in our busy lives can be difficult. Why not make simple changes increasing the amount of physical activity you can squeeze into your day. Take the stairs whenever you can. Perhaps even park your car in a space further away meaning more time to stretch your legs.
2. Stretch at your desk. Research by the NHS says Adults in the UK are sitting for 7 hours a day! Find yourself staring at your computer screen all day? Alternate your tasks at works. Why not even try the CIPD suggested “chairobics”…stretches you can do without even leaving your chair such as rotating your shoulders. Chairobics is so widely praised there’s even sit-down aerobics classes based on teaching people how to get moving at their desk!
3. Clear your head. Don’t be afraid to take a screen-break every now and again. I know it can seem like you’re wasting your precious work time, but clearing your head of the stresses you accumulate at work will give you a clearer perspective on things ensuring you remain motivated and more productive. There is a long history of research into breaks and the correct amount of time for a computer-break. Employers first began offering the break because of its effects of revival on work quality. Not only does it revive your work, however, it revives you! Physical activity goes a long way contributing to improving your own mental well being. Any activity that makes you feel good does well. Feeling good boosts your productivity in work and as the saying goes “Nothing will work unless you do”.
4. Sit up straight. Good posture at your desk will improve your breathing making you feel calmer and therefore less like likely to get stressed no matter what work related task is thrown your way. Bad posture, on the other hand can cause many problems such as pains, and headaches. Try this. Roll your shoulders back and straighten your spine. Lift you chin up. How much better do you feel? More motivated and ready to take on the world of work? Don’t question the power of good posture on your mood!
In conclusion, we quote Ziggy Marley; “Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.” We all want to be as cool as a cucumber in stressful situations at work so the next time you’re feeling under pressure try some of these tips and smile! It’s Friday, afterall!
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.
Have you been asked to make a presentation as part of a job interview? No need to worry!
The word “presentation” can strike fear and panic into anyone, but you can overcome a mild case of Glossophobia in just 6 simple steps!
1. Find Your Technique!
Everybody’s different. Therefore, no one’s preparation or presentation techniques are the exact same. There are plenty of ways for preparing for presentations. To determine your perfect technique, you need to identify your problems. Get some feedback from peers if you’re not sure! After this, you can use your problem-solving skills to try and find a solution. For example, if you find you panic when you forget words and sentences, learn a much “looser” version of your presentation. Learn your slides back to front, but leave the verbal message up to improv! This may be a much better technique to convey passion, if you know your topic well.
2. Communicate a clear message
One of the main reasons you are making this presentation is to communicate a particular subject or field. Make sure that you know what you’re talking about and focus on the topic at hand. It will make you come across more focused in the eyes of the interviewer.
Practice, practice, practice. When you are conducting a presentation that hasn’t been practiced, it’s obvious. Take some time to prepare your presentation beforehand so you have more time to practice. Practice in front of others, they’ll be able to give you feedback to improve your presentation in a way you’ve never thought of before! The more you practice, the more familiar you come with you presentation which will help you eliminate your nerves!
4. Do your research
There’s nothing worse than a candidate making a presentation who hasn’t done their research on the company. Have a look at the company website, read up about the products they sell and the events they take part in. This will impress the interviewers as it looks like you care about the company you’re applying for and that you want to be a part of the organisation.
5. Watch your timing
The last thing you want to do in your presentation is have your interviewers fall asleep. If you feel like you have too much information to get across in a short space of time, don’t worry – it’s better to keep it shorter and more interesting than bombard them with information. Less is more, so a helpful rule to follow when making a presentation is one slide per minute.
6. Deep breaths
Nerves before a presentation are completely normal. Arrive early, drink some water and take deep breaths to calm yourself down. Just remember that pressure can help you perform well!