We Are Randox | Randox mentor recognised at QUB 2018 Placement Awards
A senior manager at global healthcare diagnostics company Randox Laboratories has been recognised by Queen’s University Management School with a prestigious award.
Presented with the accolade at the Management School Placement Awards Event 2018, Financial Controller Mary McAllister was nominated by QUB student Bronagh McCarron who had completed her placement year at Randox in the company’s finance office.
Mary McAllister, Senior Financial Controller at Randox Laboratories, and recipient of the QUB Management School Mentor Recognition Award, commented;
“As an incredibly hard-working, diligent and enthusiastic placement student, Bronagh was a valued member of the Randox Finance Team. I’m delighted therefore, that this Mentor Recognition Award represents that equally, Bronagh really valued her time with us at Randox. With extensive training, support, trust and encouragement, we’re proud to be playing a significant part in the development of the next generation of QUB graduates.”
The Mentor Recognition Award seeks to acknowledge individuals within QUB’s placement employer partners who establish an organised, supportive and beneficial placement environment, which engages, motivates and inspires students during their time in industry.
Bronagh McCarron, Randox Finance Placement and Student at QUB Management School said;
“Throughout my placement year Mary was always incredibly approachable for any problems or queries I had. Asking questions was always encouraged and I never felt like I couldn’t speak up to seek guidance on any of the tasks I had within the Randox Finance department. It’s thanks to Mary and all of my Randox colleagues that I enjoyed my placement year so much and now have more faith in my abilities as I return to university for my final year of studies.”
The Queen’s Management School Placement Programme has been running for more than 25 years, with the aim of empowering students to develop their employability skills. Students are encouraged to identify their career aspirations, reflect on their skills, and find areas of development in order to meet the needs of an ever competitive graduate labour market.
“During my time with the Accounts team at Randox, I worked on both the Accounts Receivable for our headquarters office, and on the Accounts Payable for our Randox Teoranta site in Dungloe, Donegal. This variety of work gave me plenty of exposure to the different aspects of Accounts Management. I was involved in communication with both customers and suppliers from a wide range of companies, from which no one query was the same. It has massively increased my confidence working in a business environment.”
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“At Randox we are great advocates of placement during a student’s time in education. It gives Randox the opportunity to work with ambitious and bright young people from across Northern Ireland and in turn we can help to nurture their potential and provide them with industry experience. I’m very proud therefore that Mary’s dedication and commitment to the placement students placed in her care has been formally recognised by Queen’s University Belfast and on behalf of everyone at Randox would like to pass on our congratulations for being awarded this impressive prize.”
For further information about the QUB Management School Placement Awards please contact Randox PR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 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
At Randox we take pride in the high calibre of placement students we have as part of our team.
Not only do our students develop their business knowledge and acumen while they work here, they also grow personally during their year with us.
The acquisition of skills including time management, problem-solving and professional conduct goes hand-in-hand with the development of confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness.
And just as our students benefit from their times spent with us, so too do we as a modern and innovative healthcare company benefit from the fresh perspectives and forward-thinking ideas our students bring to Randox.
These students make real and valued contributions to our global organisation, and no one seems to demonstrate this better than our Business Placement Student of the Year 2015-2016, Meghan Semple.
Meghan joined Team Randox in September 2015 as a Marketing Placement Student from Ulster University Business School.
Fast forward just over a year, and Meghan has received a Highly Commended Marketing Award from The Ulster University Business School, at the Excellence in Placement Awards, as recognition of the contributions she has made to Randox!
Speaking at the Excellence in Placement Awards, she explained why.
“When I joined Randox last year I was appointed a Marketing role in the RX Series, which are Randox’s range of clinical chemistry analysers.
“For the first few weeks in my new role I spent time getting to know the brand, and making sure to gain an in-depth understanding of its key communication channels and messages.
“The RX Series was already present online in the form of a website, social media platforms, and through various mail campaigns. However, I identified the company’s potential for higher engagement and better recognition as a leading technology brand, by conducting some competitor analysis and thoroughly researching our own perception amongst our target audience.
“This resulted in an opportunity to present a content marketing strategy to Marketing Management. This included strict guidelines to ensure consistency through all graphics, language used and tone of voice. I also managed the implementation of this content marketing strategy via mail-campaigns, social platforms, web pages, insightful clinical market articles and whitepapers.
“In November 2015 my strategy was implemented, increasing online engagement by a staggering 1,200%. We also increased our web traffic by 256.91%. By quarter 3 of 2016, 100% of RX sales to distributors and end-users came from my Digital Marketing campaign.
“My work within the RX Series holistically changed the face of the brand, and for my efforts I was awarded the Pinnacle Business Placement Student of the Year award from Randox.”
Eamon Lenehan, Global Marketing Manager from Randox, commented;
“The effect Meghan had on the RX Series business is extremely impressive given the short time she was with us. Her input in to our online presence cannot be underestimated and her dedication to increasing our band awareness has had a considerable impact on the Randox brand.
Our digital presence has never been stronger, and that is thanks to Meghan. Her creation of creative and original content as well as her collaboration across all channels has truly injected a new lease of life in to the RX Series and subsequently in to the Randox brand as a whole.”
We are extremely grateful to Meghan for all her hard work during her placement year at Randox and are equally proud of her achievements at the Ulster University Business School Excellence in Placement Awards.
The positive changes seen throughout the company are testament to the value of student placements and we are proud to be a key student employer within Northern Ireland. In fact, this year, we had our largest ever intake on our placement and graduate programmes, with 71 new team members having started work with us in September.
And it’s easy to see why so many students and graduates choose to come to Randox.
“There is only so much you can learn within the walls of your university classroom. What’s most important is putting that knowledge and learning in to practice in a work environment. When I started Randox I had 2 years of university studies under my belt, but I still hadn’t decided what area of marketing I wanted to go into.
“From working in Randox I have found my passion. The team there were so supportive – their trust and encouragement is what enabled me to get so involved in the company’s digital marketing activities.
“With their guidance I was truly able to make a huge impact within the RX Series brand and I felt as much a part of the team as the full-time members of staff.
“I would highly recommend taking a placement year with Randox. There is no better way to learn how a global organisation operates than to work in one, and I am confident that my time there will help me secure a full-time job when I graduate. If I could do my year with Randox all over again, then I would!”
Congratulations Meghan, we’re delighted to have been able to join you at your awards ceremony yesterday!
For more information about the Excellence in Placement Awards, or about placement opportunities at Randox, please contact email@example.com
Make sure to follow Randox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox for more stories about the amazing team we have here!
Pictured at the Ulster University Business School Excellence in Placement Awards are;
(L-R) Randox Global Marketing Manager Eamon Lenehan, Randox Business Placement Student of the Year Meghan Semple and Randox Human Resources Officer Jolene Jamison.
Every year Randox offers university students exciting placements with an innovative and rapidly growing company.
These placements are specifically designed to unlock the potential of high quality candidates and provide them with the opportunity to truly make a difference to our business and our customers, and with the opportunity to gain the needed experience to pursue a career in their chosen fields.
Ross Meikle took the time to tell us all about his placement year working within the I.T. department here at Randox.
If you’re interested in a placement year with us, read on!
Hi Ross, what are you currently studying at University?
I am currently studying Computer Games Development at University of Ulster Magee.
Why did you choose to go down this career path/what attracted you to engineering?
During the first and second year of my degree I decided that Game Development wasn’t for me, and I had a much more keen interest in the Software Development modules that I had been taking. I have always been interested in computing and technology. To be in a position where I am using new technologies to design and develop software solutions appealed to me most.
How did you first hear about Randox?
I found the Randox placement through the University’s Placement searching tool, which then led to my application. After applying I contacted Randox to enquire further about the position and obtained an interview.
Why did you choose to carry out your placement year with Randox?
The description of the role given to me at my initial interview really appealed to me and the fact that I already had a little experience using some of the tools that the development use was encouraging. I was familiar with Visual Studio, and had completed one module using the programming language C# – which is the main language that the team here use. During the interview the Project Manager asked me a few technical questions and asked me to do a little coding which I felt very comfortable doing. He also talked to me about the language they use here at Randox and gave me a broad overview of what my responsibilities would entail. After leaving my interview for the placement position, I felt very positive about the whole experience and felt like I wanted to be a part of the team.
How have you found the experience so far?
My placement experience at Randox has been excellent. I completed my initial year of placement and then I was extended for an additional three months afterwards so that I could work right up until I went back to University. I am very happy that the company were prepared to continue my employment and allow me to develop my skills further. Since then I have also been brought back to do my final year project alongside Randox. I have made many friends during my time here, and I have learned significantly more during my placement than I have in any University year.
Have you been working in a supportive environment?
I have been working with the IT Software Development team during my placement. When I started the department was named Acusera 247. There isn’t a single person in this department that hasn’t helped me in some way or another, including the operations team. My team leader has always been able to provide the answer to any issue or question I have had along the way and provided those answers in an informative way that helped me to learn. My Project Manager has also supported me by providing me with all the opportunities I have had throughout my time here, including the final year project I am currently undertaking.
What do your main duties include? Have you been given much responsibility?
After the initial training phase and once I had become more settled within the team, I was made to feel like an equal and capable full time member of staff. I was working alongside other full time developers of varied experience, developing projects that were important and under tight time constraints. I was also tasked with completing a Security Project for the company’s IT department. For this I had to create an Outlook Security Add in which the IT security officer Craig requested. The add in requires all company communication mediums to be given a security level which would ensure that only users with the required access level could read emails or access the files. I have been given a lot of responsibility throughout my placement and it has definitely made me a much more capable and confident person.
What do you enjoy doing the most?
I think the highlight for me during my placement was the Web Development that I did alongside the team in the last quarter of my placement. I was working on Acusera Verify alongside the other developers to a strict deadline. I was given a list of bugs which had been identified in the website and I had to identify the issue in the code and fix it. This process was very rewarding and it made me more confident knowing that my manager/team leader trusted me to be able to provide what was asked.
Have you been met with any challenges? How have you overcame them?
When I started my placement I felt that my coding ability was not what it should be, and I felt that I would struggle whenever the work became more complicated. What I found however was that being tasked with complicated work was the best way for me to learn. It encouraged me to learn fast and it encouraged me greatly to communicate with my team and improve my understanding. I was also challenged initially with the individual assignment I was given, the Security Application for IT. It was challenging, but through hard work and a supportive and extremely knowledgeable team behind me, it became more than achievable.
How has your placement experience with Randox compare to that of your friends who have also had a placement year in engineering?
The two friends that I lived with in my first and second years in University had very different paths than myself during their placement year. One of them was unable to achieve a placement and he ended up walking away from his degree. The other enrolled on the Erasmus program and did his placement in another University in Finland. Other people that I know have been placed with companies and have had both good and bad experiences. I feel very privileged to have had my placement with Randox and comparatively I seem to have gained a lot more from it than quite a number of others.
How has Randox worked with you to ensure that you are still able to work part time at Randox since finishing your placement?
My Project Manager has assisted me in contacting the right people within the company in order to propose the project and get it started. I wrote up a Project Initialization Document which detailed the design, drawbacks, benefits and costs of the project and it was reviewed by my superiors. I was recently sent a full offer pack and given all the information I required, along with a Staff identity/Clock Card to access the building. I have also been provided with a company computer and submitted a purchase order for the components I need for the project.
What you have learnt/skills you have developed from your placement?
What have you been working on recently?
Since I returned as a part time employee, I have been working on the project I am using as my final year project, but I can’t give away too much detail on that yet.
Have you seen the Science Park? What was your first impression?
When I returned as a part time employee I was in the Randox Science Park and that is where I am located now. It is a significant change from where I was previously and I am both impressed by it and very comfortable here. The working environment that we have now feels much more professional. We have ready access to facilities we didn’t have before including dedicated storage areas, a build room for the connects and access to meeting rooms with interactive technologies – it really is a first class facility. I am sure it has and will continue to improve the quality of the work produced here.
What was the highlight of your placement year with Randox? Do you have a favourite memory?
There have been a lot of great experiences throughout my placement year, but the memory that stands out most was my last day. The team set up a lunch for me and all said their goodbyes. My Project Manager then gave me a conditional Job offer which is what I had wanted most all along. It summarised the year for me and ended things on a very positive note.
We are delighted that Ross enjoyed his placement with Randox and we wish him the best of luck for his upcoming dissertation project!
For more information on our student placement or graduate programme please contact Randox HR team or check out our website Randox Careers.
Randox recently celebrated the contributions of its placement students at the annual Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards.
At Randox we work closely with a number of universities throughout the UK to support the professional and personal development of students, by providing work placements in our world-leading Engineering, Science and Business departments.
Students, past and present, have come from far and wide to work at Randox – from universities such as Queen’s University, Ulster University, St Andrew’s, Strathclyde, Imperial College London and University of Brighton.
This year, at the 2016 Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards, the top three students within each discipline have been rewarded for their outstanding contributions and this week were presented with certificates of merit and prizes to mark their achievements.
Receiving special recognition for his work was 21 year old Dean McGonagle from Limavady. The Aerospace Engineering student from Queen’s University, was awarded the Best Overall Placement Student, for his valued contributions to Randox.
Dean redesigned the Biochip storage module on Randox Evolution machines, and the changes he made are now being implemented into production analyser machines across the company.
Receiving his award Dean McGonagle said:
“I have really enjoyed seeing my designs actually being used within the Evolution analysers and how that is having a positive impact on the business. A particular highlight of my placement year was getting to travel to England to observe the shipping crate I had designed for the Evolution undergo environmental and distribution testing. I have really enjoyed my time at Randox, I’ve been involved in many different projects and have received lots of help and guidance from the great engineering team here.”
Congratulating Dean and his fellow placement students, Linda Magee, Head of Human Resources at Randox said:
“At Randox we are great advocates of a placement during a student’s time in education. In a company such as Randox, with operations on a global scale, the student is provided with some very valuable work experience in their discipline. It’s not just the student who benefits – we have the pleasure of working with a dynamic generation of students who bring with them extremely fresh and forward-thinking ideas.”
The top students in the Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards were:
- Dean McGonagle, Queen’s University Aerospace Engineering – Mechanical Design Team at Randox
- Jordan Thomson, Ulster University Computer Science – Software Team at Randox
- Marc McKee, Queen’s University Mechanical Engineering – Mechanical Design Team at Randox
- Christopher McNally, Ulster University Biomedical Science – Immunoassay Development Team at Randox
- William Heasley, Ulster University Biomedical Science – Biochip Customer Unit Team with Philip Holmes
- Kathryn Watt, St Andrew’s University Medicinal Chemistry – Synthetic Chemistry Team at Randox
- Meghan Semple, Ulster University Marketing – RX Marketing Team at Randox
- Fearghal Savage, Ulster University Information Technologies – IT Enterprise Support Team
- Michael Boyle, Ulster University Interactive Multimedia Design – Graphic Design Team at Randox
The incoming 2016-17 academic year marks the highest intake of placement students for Randox, with over 70 students starting in the company over the next few months. Anyone interested in applying for the 2017-18 scheme should email firstname.lastname@example.org.