We Are Randox | Sarah Casey wins Southern Regional College Science Competition
There are many different science roles at Randox which require many different skillsets – and there are as many different pathways to get to them! One such pathway is the Higher Level Apprenticeship offered by Randox in collaboration with Northern and Southern Regional Colleges.
Sarah Casey is both a Randox Higher Level Apprentice and a student at Portadown Southern Regional College. We caught up with her fresh from her win at the Southern Regional College Science Competition in January 2019.
Sarah, congratulations on winning the science award at Southern Regional College!
Please tell us more about the Science Competition you took part in – and won – at Southern Regional College.
The competition was held at the SRC Newry Campus and consisted of two experiments. I competed against other students from Randox, Almac and Norbrook.
For the first experiment, I had to find the concentration of an unknown sample of copper sulphate. I carried out a serial dilution using a known concentration of copper sulphate and then found the absorbance of each of the standards. I then found the absorbance for the unknown sample as well. From this I was able to plot a graph and determine the concentration of the unknown sample.
For the second experiment, I had to carry out a titration of iodine against sodium thiosulphate. I added the sodium thiosulphate to the iodine solution until the solution appeared pale yellow. I added a few drops of the starch indicator and continued titrating until the solution appeared colourless. I recorded the titre and then repeated the titration two more times to find an average titre. I then had to complete several questions relating to this experiment.
What did you study before you applied for the Higher Level Apprenticeship?
I previously studied A-Levels at St. Joseph’s Grammar school, undertaking Biology, Chemistry and Digital Technology. I always had a keen interest in science when I was younger so after studying Biology and Chemistry for A-Level I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in this field. In school I enjoyed the practical aspect of subjects which lead me to want to take part in this Higher Level Apprenticeship.
Where are you currently studying and what do you like most about your course?
I am studying the Life Science pathway of Applied Industrial Science at Portadown Southern Regional College. This course is based on biology and I have just finished semester one. I enjoy learning about buffer solutions, oxidation and redox reaction. For semester two, I look forward to studying physiology and continue to gain more knowledge about biology.
How did you hear about Higher Level Apprenticeships at Randox?
I heard about the higher level apprenticeship from my Careers teacher at school. He highly recommended that we tried out for the apprenticeship. After I applied after carrying out some research online. I was then offered a place here at Randox and started in September 2018.
Could you give a brief description of a typical day at Randox for you?
At the moment, I am based in the QC Serum department carrying out value assignments for Randox products. On a typical day I will come into work and carry out the daily maintenance on the RX Daytona and Imola. I will then have a look through the assignment folder to check what lots need to be assigned a value. I will gather the calibrator, controls and test lots in order to reconstitute them. While they are rolling, I will collect the necessary reagents. The test is then carried out. Afterwards I will type up the results into a spreadsheet to check if the lots have passed. I can carry out nest tests, two-day assignments and calibrator validations for chemistrys, lipids and cardiac. In between runs, I check sheets that are sent to customers.
What qualifications will you have when your Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox ends?
I will finish my apprenticeship in September 2020. Since joining Randox only a few months ago I have already gained so many invaluable skills. By the end of this apprenticeship I hope to be competent with most or all the analysers used at Randox while continuing to exhibit good laboratory practice. At the end of the apprenticeship I will gained a foundation degree in Applied Industrial Sciences. I can then progress onto year two of Biomedical Science at Ulster University.
Would you recommend a Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox to someone else and why?
I would highly recommend the higher level apprenticeship. It is a great experience and provides all the necessary skills required to pursue a career in this industry. Also, it allows you to earn while you learn so it’s a win-win situation as a student!
For more information about Sarah’s story or to hear more about the Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.
On Tuesday 23rd January 2019, a new three-part documentary series, The Search, aired on BBC Northern Ireland, featuring Randox’s very own Dale McGall.
By day, Dale is a Regulatory Compliance Officer at Randox making sure that all our products are of the highest quality and comply with all quality regulations before they are shipped all over the world to our customers.
Outside of work, however, Dale takes on a very different role when he volunteers as a Search and Rescue Technician (SarTECH) with the Community Rescue Service organisation in Northern Ireland (part of Lowland Rescue). Community Rescue Service is a team of approximately 130 people with units spread across the country on a 100% voluntary basis.
We caught up with Dale to hear all about his work as a SARTech volunteer;
Congratulations to CRS on the documentary, Dale! Can you tell us a little more about the work of Community Rescue Service and the role you play as a volunteer?
The Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) is an umbrella organisation that enables Search and Rescue teams throughout the UK. It coordinates provision of Lowland SAR services, sets national standards for the teams and develops and shapes Lowland SAR policies.
In Northern Ireland, the team is known as the Community Rescue Service with units and personnel from all parts of the country. Presently there are units in Strabane, Coleraine, Portglenone, Broughshane, Antrim, Belfast, and South Down, amongst others.
Training is a key part of being in CRS. Before being allowed out on a Search, personnel are required to conduct training on map reading, radio communication, first aid, search techniques and water awareness. Over time, people can take part in additional training; from being part of a boat crew and use of kayaks, to water rescue and advanced first aid.
Within CRS, I am a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) and have completed several first aid courses.
How long have you been involved with Community Rescue Service?
I have been with CRS since 2017 when I was looking for volunteering opportunities outside of work. I saw some social media posts about the work of the Community Rescue Service and decided to get in touch.
The rest, as they say, is history!
I train weekly with the Antrim, Portglenone and Broughshane units. This training involves reinforcing existing knowledge, familiarisation training, and inviting third party organisations to give us specialist advice.
Can you describe a typical day/operation in the life of a CRS volunteer?
It may sound cliché but no two days are the same with the CRS! As well as the operational role of Search and Rescue, I have also found myself supervising street collections, marshalling for cycling clubs, and giving talks to other organisations.
What would a typical rescue involve?
Our rescues most often involve vulnerable high-risk members of society. Typically, this could be children, elderly people living with dementia, or those with mental health issues.
A call can go out at any time of the day or night and to any part of the country. I’ve been involved in searches that have lasted weeks and have had massive resources invested in them. Just as often though, I’ve had call-outs for which I’ve arrived at the meeting point and then been given the order to stand down as the missing person has been found. In either situation, our focus is locating the missing person as soon as possible and returning them to a place of safety.
It can a very busy lifestyle volunteering with CRS. While I can’t leave during working hours, as soon as I clock out from Randox I am ‘on duty’ with CRS because a call can come in at any time. Being flexible with your evenings, weekends and annual leave is a must as time is of the essence when a person goes missing.
On one occasion, I was involved in an overnight search in County Down, returning home around 09:00. A quick shower, change of clothes and I was back out to another rescue based in North Antrim. Is this compulsory? No, but as an operational SARTech, you are part of a team and there is a strong teamwork ethos where we support and help each other.
Is there anything you would like to share that you think isn’t commonly known about the CRS?
Something I wasn’t overly aware of before joining CRS is how dementia can affect people. People with dementia can regress to a period of their lives many decades ago. One search involved an elderly gentleman with dementia who had gone missing. Approximately thirty SARTechs were deployed across a wide area with a helicopter flying overhead. About an hour later, the call came to stand down as the gentleman had been found. What I found amazing about this particular search was the gentleman, who was not steady on his feet and used a zimmer frame to walk, was found roughly five miles away from his house!
As volunteers, none of us get paid but knowing you helped return a missing person to their loved ones is beyond any form of financial reward.
How does being a SarTECH volunteer compare with working in your day job at Randox?
The two roles are very different but there are a number of transferrable skills which have proved useful! The main one is attention to detail. In my role at Randox as a Regulatory Compliance Officer, I am often auditing performance and processes across the company. Not only do I review new and existing compliance legislation but I am also involved in assisting with the implementation of corrective and preventive actions.
My role as a SarTECH calls for a similar level of attention to detail. You never know where someone could be, or where there may be unknown danger for the missing person or the Search and Rescue team, so it’s important to always be on-your-guard and alert to even the smallest noise or change in environment when out on a rescue mission.
What do you hope The Search will achieve on BBC NI?
I’m hoping the series being aired will raise awareness of some of the challenges that we as a country face. The Search will help to showcase our people, capabilities and our professionalism. The Community Rescue Service is a vital service in Northern Ireland, but is 100% run by volunteers on whom the organisation very much relies.
If anyone would like to find out more information about the work I do with the Community Rescue Service, please visit https://www.communityrescue.org
You can watch The Search on BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0byhv18/the-search-series-1-episode-1
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For further information please contact Randox PR by emailing email@example.com
One of our favourite things about our We Are Randox series of staff interviews is the opportunity we are given to find out about the unique and interesting talents of our colleagues.
From creative bakers to melodious musicians, motivated Girl Guide leaders to athletic sportspeople, many of our staff are just as busy outside of the office as they are in it.
Take Tender Coordinator Stefan Campbell for instance. By day Stefan spends time identifying potential business for the company – conducting local and global searches, collating technical specifications and compiling financial information – but in the evenings and weekends he’s impressively one of the forwards for the Armagh Senior Footballers, a Gaelic Football team that competes at an all-Ireland level.
We caught up with Stefan to find out about his intense training regime, his goals for the future of his GAA career, and of course his advice for the newly-formed Randox GAA team!
Here’s Stefan’s story.
I suppose Gaelic Football has always run through the different generations of my family so it was only natural that I began playing at a young age. My brother John played for our local club Clan Na Gael, so after having played for St. Pauls Lurgan, I then moved to Clan Na Gael where he played. I’ve now been a member there for 16 years.
Our County Club, Armagh, then won their first All-Ireland Championship in 2002, with a team that included two players from Clan Na Gael, and so I was inspired to try out for my county myself. The rest as they say, is history.
I’m currently in my 7th season with the Armagh Senior Footballers, after having played for the U18 and U21 squads. My position is usually full forward, alongside two other team mates, however I do often rotate amongst the total line-up of 6 forwards.
Obviously being a forward I am expected to score in each game, and to give you an idea of figures I have had two games in the last week in which I scored 8 points against Antrim and 3 points against Monaghan. I therefore have to make sure to refine my skills in terms of scoring, passing, and timing of the tackle, but there is also quite a lot of emphasis on just simply working hard and putting in the effort to train, as it is an incredibly physical game. Typically, a county team trains 4 nights a week with 2 sessions being in the gym and 2 on the field, at the Callanbridge facility in Armagh.
I’ve played in the opening 3 games of The Dr McKenna Cup (a Gaelic Football competition between counties and universities in Ulster) thus far, and need to make sure I keep up my training so that I remain in the team for the upcoming matches. There is a lot of pressure coming from other very talented squad members, looking for their opportunity to impress, so I have to be on top form.
In the short-term, we have The Dr McKenna Cup Final against Tyrone this Saturday (in which I’m obviously hoping for a win!) and in the longer term I’m really hoping I can win an Armagh Championship with Clan Na Gael. I would also love to secure an Ulster Championship win with Armagh, which is a title I’m still searching for, even though I won the Railway Cup in 2017 playing for Ulster.
The Railway Cup is an annual tournament steeped in history, as it dates back as far as 1927. There is such a large pool of players to choose from when forming an Ulster team, so I know my family was very proud when I was selected, and even more so when we went on to defeat Connaught in the final. I loved the opportunity to play alongside teammates I’m usually competing against.
Another highlight of my GAA career was when I played Gaelic Football in New York, over the course of two summers. Although GAA is an Irish organisation, Gaelic Football is played all over the world in countries such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA, albeit at a lower level than it is played back home. Local players are poached and asked if they would be interested in playing for a particular team in the summer, while they set you up with a job and accommodation. In 2015 I was asked to play for Kerry New York and in 2017 for Westmeath New York, and I found the temptation to spend 3 months abroad, basically free of charge, too good to turn down.
For the record though, GAA is an amateur organisation and therefore as players we don’t get paid to do what we do. Don’t get me wrong, it has its perks, like the unique opportunity to play live on Sky or on the BBC, but ultimately, we play for the love of the sport, while representing our families and communities. It’s this passion that drives me each week to train consistently and improve my skills, even after a day’s work at the Randox office. I do often have long days during which I leave work, go straight to training, and arrive home at about 10.45pm, but it’s something I’m used to and prepare for accordingly. I will say though that it’s extremely difficult to get out of bed on Mondays having played a game the previous day!
As luck will have it, joining Randox means that I now have the opportunity to bring my two careers together, as the company has recently established its own GAA team, which recently competed in the FinTru Ulster Inter-Firms Competition. I don’t see any reason, that with a bit of luck, and the experience we now have from last year, why we can’t get bigger and better and reach this year’s final.
My advice would be to get the squad together as often as our other commitments will allow, to give us more time to polish up our skills, but also, importantly, to become more familiar with our teammates from other departments. I have often found that the most successful teams are not always the most talented, but those with a tighter bond – as they understand their fellow players, can anticipate their game play, and are willing to work that bit harder for one another.
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For further information please contact Randox PR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Newsletter 2018 Edition
We are delighted to be able to share with you the bumper 2018 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!
Click here for a range of company and staff news from the past year – including the world’s greatest steeplechase The Randox Health Grand National, Randox Teoranta’s Open Day in Donegal and, of course, our annual Christmas Raffle and Santa Visit– at which we raised an impressive £3,380, taking our fundraising total to £8,846.98 from July to December 2018!
** Please note that image links work most efficiently in your Google Chrome browser**
On Saturday 17th November 2018, hot on the heels of the Randox GAA Ladies team’s glorious competition début, our Men’s team took to the field at the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence, to compete in the Junior Men’s category of the FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms competition.
With our Ladies team having successfully reached the Semi-Finals of the competition the week prior, the pressure was on!
The two Randox Men’s teams were pooled in separate groups with strong opposition in both. Randox Team One faced a tough task with FinTru, Citi and South West College, whilst the second Randox Team were pitted against the GAA Store, Premier Electric and Belfast Lawyers.
Our Randox teams battled hard during this group stage and thanks to a creative team effort as well as some fantastic individual performances, they both made it to the knockout stages of the competition and into the quarter finals. Unfortunately though, the effort put in to make it out of the group stages had claimed a few key players to injury, which left the remaining men with a near impossible task ahead of them in the next stage of the competition
Team One was drawn against FinTru and Team Two against Belfast Lawyers. Regrettably, on the day both teams came out on the wrong side of the results in very competitive games against very experienced and seasoned teams.
John James Fallon, Randox Electrical Engineer and GAA Bainisteoir / Coach, commented;
“As newly-formed teams, who prior to the Inter-Firms competition had never played together before, both the men and ladies should be extremely proud. Fielding players who ranged from experienced to novice, and with only 5 weeks training, to have reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals of our respective categories has been exceptional.
“On behalf of the organising committee I would like to say thank you to Randox and Dr FitzGerald for their assistance in getting the team started, and to St James GAC Aldergrove for the use of their facilities and equipment over the course of the training sessions, as without their help this would not have been possible. Finally, a huge thank you has to go to the participants themselves, as without you there is no Randox GAA club. I’m looking forward to our next season together already.
“This is just the beginning.”
On behalf of everyone at Randox we would like to wish both our Ladies GAA Team and our two Men’s GAA teams a massive congratulations on their impressive performances at the FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms competition.
Their commitment, perseverance and teamwork has been truly inspiring and we are very proud of how they came together to form three very capable and motivated GAA teams. Well done!
For further information on our Randox GAA teams, please email email@example.com
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
On Saturday 10th November 2018, Randox Ladies GAA team took to the field at the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence, Garvaghey, to compete in the FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms competition.
Catering for all levels of skills and fitness, the Inter-Firms competition is a tournament open specifically to workplaces across Ulster, in which teams can represent their workplace in Gaelic games.
On the day of the tournament, the Randox Ladies were placed in a group alongside Premier Electric, Options IT and FinTrU, and the first 7-a-side group match saw the ladies up against Premier Electric, who from the start proved to be very tough and experienced opponents.
Team Randox met the challenge head on however, and were leading the game from start to finish until a second goal against the run of play narrowly denied the Randox Ladies the win in the last minute of the game.
For their second match of the tournament, the Randox Ladies showed great character and hunger to bounce back and defeat Options IT 2-6 to no score, in what was an outstanding performance. This victory was not without cost though, as the ladies were forced to battle on in spite of a few injuries.
The final group game against financial services company FinTrU proved to be the toughest match for the Randox Ladies. Having played two games back to back, with numerous injuries gained along the way, the game was always going to be a difficult one, but once again the ladies showed a fantastic attitude, battling hard in all areas.
With their exceptional performance in the group stage, the Randox Ladies found themselves in the semi-final of the cup competition against last year’s winners South West College. From the first whistle, the ladies put everything on the line, running themselves into the ground despite injury and fatigue.
SWC picked up a few early points and then scored two goals against the run of play which would have finished off any experienced team, but with minutes remaining Randox admirably battled up the field to score two goals of their own to bring the game to within a score. In the end though the SWC ladies survived to hang on for a narrow win and went head-to-head in the final against eventual tournament winners FinTrU.
Randox Ladies emerged from their GAA début in an impressive third place.
John James Fallon, Randox Electrical Engineer and Bainisteoir / Coach for Randox Ladies GAA Team, commented;
“What the Randox Ladies have done in such a short time is a fantastic achievement. Most have never played Gaelic football before so for them to go out and to be able to keep up with the pace of very experienced players is nothing short of amazing. They should be extremely proud of themselves and with the men’s competition this Saturday the bar has been set extremely high indeed. Well done team!”
The 2018 FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms Junior Men’s Competition will take place on Saturday 17th November at the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence. We wish our Men’s team all the best!
Left to Right: Christine Maybin, Ciara Shaw, Ashleigh McKinstry, Maria McLaughlin, Rachel Walls, Rebecca Molloy, Maeve McAllister, Rachel McCloy, Amy Best
(Team members missing from photo; Claire Donnelly and Jeanette Doherty)
On Sunday 21st October 2018, a team of brave Randox colleagues faced their fears and took part in a ‘freefall’ abseil from the dome of Victoria Square, Belfast. Scaling the heights of the 147ft, almost 45m drop, our fourteen daring Randox thrill seekers enjoyed views over Belfast before they stepped over the edge of the lilypad and ventured down to the ground floor of one of Belfast’s most recognisable structures.
The event took place as part of Randox’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Month throughout October, which sought to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing among staff members while fundraising for our two charity partners – AWARE NI and Ulster University’s Mind Your Mood. Events in the month have not only included a Victoria Square abseil but also a Wear Yellow Wednesday for World Mental Health Day, a fundraising coffee morning and internal fundraising bake sales along with yoga and relaxation class offers for staff members.
Congratulations to those all abseil participants! While this may be something else ticked off your ‘bucket list’, it also, most importantly, is a fantastic effort in raising awareness and funds for the work of AWARE NI, Northern Ireland’s depression charity.
Well done to everyone with your fundraising. You have all worked very hard and raised a fantastic amount – around £2000 so far and counting!
We hope you enjoy the photographs from the day. If you would still like to donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/RANDOXAWARE
Once again, many thanks on behalf of both Randox and AWARE NI to the Randox abseilers for their enthusiasm and fundraising efforts on behalf of both Randox and AWARE NI.
For more information about the abseil or Randox Mental Health & Wellbeing Month, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.
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.
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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 current vacancies in Randox Australia, visit careers.randox.com