We Are Randox | Software Developer Scott McPeake on life in the Randox IT department
Have you heard about our IT Open Evening on Tuesday 20th November? We’re offering those interested in Software Development, Information Security, Web Design and IT Support the opportunity to have a look around our state-of-the-art IT facilities at the Randox Science Park.
But as a company known throughout the world for its high-quality health diagnostic products, you may have been surprised to hear that we have such wide-ranging roles available in Information Technology.
“Randox? Isn’t that just for scientists?” we hear you say.
We turned to Randox IT Software Developer Scott McPeake for the answer. This is what he said.
“I imagine if you were to ask my friends from my Computer Science course at university, if they previously knew that Randox offers jobs in IT, they would say no.
But really, it’s not surprising when you think about it. Technology underpins everything we do in life. Everything is moving digital, and everything digital involves software in some shape or form.
Even jobs which you assume are predominantly tech-free – let’s say for example, a bus driver – use technology every day. A bus driver relies on technology to administer tickets and to plan their travel routes. It truly is everywhere and it’s only going to expand more.
Without an innovative IT department, Randox wouldn’t be the successful and reputable company it is today. If there was no IT team, there would be no lab equipment, no websites, no apps. Even organisations who don’t specialise in IT still have it as a core function of the company.
In the Software Development team, in particular, we design and develop the software used in laboratories to compare results from instruments and samples against other laboratories, to see how these results compare.
It’s important work, as all our scientists rely on us to be able to do their work in providing blood test results to patients across the world. Our software needs to be operating perfectly to ensure people are getting the correct results and therefore the correct diagnosis. And that’s what makes Randox so reputable.
Access to technologies
Being part of a company that is so well established and successful also means that we get exposed to the latest innovations. With IT influencing so much of what we do here, we’re at the forefront of all projects and developments, and are given access to the most up-to-date technologies to make sure we’re providing the best possible products and user experience for our customers, and can stay head of our competitors.
We’re able therefore to bring to management our ideas about what new software we would like to try, to suggest how it would improve our work. So new software is coming in all the time. I’m currently working with MVC architecture which is a key software framework used widely across the world. It’s definitely something good to get experience in, as is typescript, which although not used as much, is really interesting, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the opportunity to try something new.
And of course, working in Randox, we also get the opportunity to learn about the science of diagnostics, and in particular the machines on which we’re implementing our software designs, which carry out blood testing in hospitals and laboratories. It’s good to challenge yourself to learn something new.
Teamwork and collaboration
The chance to expand your knowledge and improve your skills repertoire is probably one of my favourite things about working here at Randox. Everyone works really collaboratively and we help each other out when we need it. So if you don’t know something, no one is going to chastise you. Asking for help and advice is actively encouraged because we each have our own strengths and weaknesses and we can help each other to be a better team. Everyone in the Randox IT team is really willing to help and makes time for you if you need it.
I remember on my first day here I was really nervous and I arrived at the door unable to get in because it was locked. Someone in the team immediately came to the door, asked me if I was new and welcomed me in to the building. That instantly set the tone. Everyone was really welcoming, friendly and professional.
And this ability to work together is so crucial. Most days we will be working on the same site but perhaps on different pages so we have to talk to each other to make sure my page doesn’t break theirs and vice versa. Quite often we’ll design the layout of the software collaboratively, and most days we’ll have a morning meeting to discuss our progress.
If we’re creating something new, we’ll draw up the design based on user requirements and create the software to those designs. Or if an existing site doesn’t work properly, we’ll write up the problem, how to solve it, and then push it up to the production server to fix the bugs.
So communication is fundamental, as is problem solving. Being able to keep calm under pressure is also an inherent skill for programming. Deadlines happen; they’re a real thing. You can’t take all day to do something. But it keeps things challenging for us, which is vital, as you don’t want to put your brain to sleep. The work is challenging but solvable, and as I said, you have the team there to help you out and support you.
We all get on really well and the more experienced software developers in the team have been such great mentors to me. If you’re interested in working in IT I would certainly recommend coming along to our IT Open Evening on Tuesday 20th November so that you can meet all of us and have the opportunity to take a tour of our brand-new facilities in the Randox Science Park.
Working in Antrim
The site is really spacious, modern, and easy to get to. For me, coming from Coleraine, I’m just able to get the train to the Antrim station, which is right beside the bus station aswell.
And Antrim has everything you could need. Shops, supermarkets, nice affordable places to live, and plenty of cafés and restaurants. Sometimes we’ll head out as a team in to Antrim for lunch or dinner together, or if we fancy Belfast, it’s just a short journey on the train.
So if you’re interested in a dynamic career in software development, take the trip to Antrim to find out a bit more about what Randox has to offer during our Open Evening on 20th November.
You might not have thought of Randox as a software house but we’re here and we’re working hard to improve healthcare globally!”
To attend the Randox IT Open Evening on Tuesday 20th November, register for tickets on EventBrite by clicking here.
For further information please contact the Randox PR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 028 9442 2413
Healthcare diagnostics company Randox has today announced 25 new specialist IT roles ranging from Software Development and Information Security to Web Design and IT Support.
The roles, which will span a variety of career pathways, including placements, graduates, apprenticeships and permanent positions, will be based at the firm’s new headquarters, the Randox Science Park in Antrim, which will host an IT Open Evening on Tuesday 20th November.
Those in attendance at the Open Evening will be invited to enjoy a tour of the Randox Science Park, which, following purchase by Randox in 2015, is being developed into a manufacturing and research facility in an investment totalling £161m. The ongoing renovation plans, when complete, will have created a total of 540 high value job opportunities at the site, with an average salary of £30k per year that will generate £16.2 million in annual salaries.
Stephen Fawl, Randox IT Manager, commented;
“Working at the cutting edge of technology and innovation, the Randox IT department design and develop a range of web-based applications and software, support the tech infrastructure of more than 1400 employees worldwide, and implement the very latest in security protocols. It’s no surprise therefore that we’re seeking the very best talent to join our team – offering competitive salaries, career progression, personal development and the opportunity to work in an incredibly forward-thinking company. We invite anybody who is interested in a dynamic career in IT to visit us from 6-8pm on the 20th November for our Open Evening at the Randox Science Park.”
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, added;
“As a global leader in healthcare diagnostics, we must continue innovating, through our people, through our world-class R&D, and through our infrastructure. With technology heavily influencing so much of what we do, the Randox IT department remain at the forefront of our capability and have a critical role to play in the delivery of cutting-edge innovation. The newly-refurbished IT facilities at the Randox Science Park in Antrim give the team there the platform to engage across a broad range of projects, to make a real and important impact upon global healthcare.”
Randox, renowned for the placement and employment opportunities it provides students and graduates at both Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, has recently launched an ‘Earn As Your Learn’ Higher Level Apprenticeship in Computing, with Northern Regional College.
Through the ‘Career Encode’ programme, Randox is offering three-year apprenticeship vacancies in the IT department, in addition to a range of senior roles for the more experienced IT professional. The apprenticeship scheme is equivalent to a foundation degree and provides a clear progression route for apprentices to train to the highest level whilst gaining a professional qualification.
Councillor Paul Michael, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, commented;
“The creation of these specialist IT jobs for the Antrim community, as a direct result of Randox’s ongoing investment and expansion is further proof, if needed, of their commitment to the regional economy. To be able to offer both experienced and aspiring IT professionals, whether students, graduates or full-time IT specialists, the opportunity to work in such high-calibre roles so close to home is an incredibly unique opportunity and I look forward to welcoming new IT staff to the fantastic Randox Science Park facilities.”
Randox Laboratories currently employ 1400 employees globally, 800 of which are based in its Northern Ireland sites in Crumlin and Antrim.
Register your interest for the Randox IT Open Evening by collecting your free tickets here.
For further information about the Randox IT Open Evening, please contact Randox PR by emailing email@example.com or phoning 028 9442 2413.
Randox IT Manager Stephen Fawl and Senior Recruitment Consultant Lyndsay Rodgerson are pictured with Councillor Paul Michael, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, at the launch of Randox’s 25 new specialist IT roles
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!
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For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com