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Student Success: Órnaith Ní Fhearghail

Órnaith Ní Fhearghail

Blag

Órnaith Ní Fhearghail is ainm dom agus is mac léinn mé in Ollscoil na Banríona. Tá mé i mbliain na céime, ag déanamh buncéime i gCaidreamh Idirnáisiúnta agus sa Ghaeilge. An seimeastar seo, bhí deis agam modúl úrnua a ghlacadh mar chuid den chúrsa Gaeilge, Gairmeacha le Gaeilge (CEL 3010). Cuireadh an modúl ar fáil den chéad uair riamh i mbliana, agus is iontach an deis í do mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ag obair trí mheán na Gaeilge sa todhchaí.  

An modúl  

Gach Aoine, téann an rang uilig ar thaithí oibre sna háiteanna éagsúla atá roghnaithe againn, agus gach coicís, bíonn seimineár againn le comhordaitheoir an mhodúil, Dr. Síobhra Aiken. Sna seimineáir seo, bíonn plé á dhéanamh againn faoin taithí oibre go dtí seo, faoi dheiseanna fostaíochta atá ann agus an Ghaeilge agat (mar shampla, bhí ceardlann faoin aistriúchán againn leis an Dr. Órla Nic Ruairí, a oibríonn san Aontas Eorpach), agus faoi na scileanna éagsúla a bhaineann leis an domhan ghairmiúil.  

An próiseas cuardaigh  

I rith an tsamhraidh, bhí ar an rang uilig ár dtaithí oibre féin a eagrú go neamhspleách le gnó éigin a mbaintear úsáid as an Ghaeilge ann mar theanga oibre. D’aistrigh mé mo CV ón Bhéarla go dtí an Ghaeilge agus sheol mé ríomhphoist chuig áiteanna oibre éagsúla a raibh suim agam a bheith ag obair iontu, agus murar sheol siad freagra chugam, chuir mé scairt orthu. Ba thaithí ar leith í an próiseas cuardaigh féin, agus bhí sé tábhachtach a bheith daingean.  

Sa deireadh, shocraigh mé le Raidió Fáilte – an stáisiún lán-Ghaeilge atá lonnaithe i mBéal Feirste – go ndéanfainn mo thaithí oibre leo.  

Raidió Fáilte – cad chuige?  

Roghnaigh mé Raidió Fáilte toisc go bhfuil suim ar leith agam sna meáin, agus chun fáil amach an bhfuil oiriúnach do phost sna meáin Ghaeilge. Anuas air sin, ní raibh mórán muiníne agam as mo chuid Gaeilge labhartha, agus b’iarracht í an taithí oibre seo feabhas a chur uirthi.  

An sórt taithí a fhaighim  

Níl mo thréimhse i Raidió Fáilte críochnaithe go fóill, ach fuair mé neart deiseanna agus traenála ann cheana féin. Bhí mé beo ar an aer mar agallaí dhá uair sa chéad lá a bhí mé ann, baisteadh tine gan amhras! Ach taithí mhaith a bhí ann, agus ón tseachtain sin amach, bíonn seans agam (agus ag an chailín eile atá i mo rang agus a dhéanann a taithí oibre in éineacht liom) a bheith ar an aer i rith an chláir ‘Beo ar Maidin’. Ar dtús, bhí muidne mar agallaithe, ach le déanaí bhí deis againn a bheith inár n-agallóirí – bhí sé sin i bhfad níos deacra, ach ba thaithí thábhachtach í, más rud é go mbeidh mé ag leanúint ar aghaidh le cúrsaí na meán amach anseo. Is deis foghlama í gach aon mheancóg a dhéanaim!  

Chuir mé mo chlár ceoil féin le chéile fosta – d’fhoghlaim mé caidé mar a bhaintear úsáid as na cnaipí uilig agus as an chóras atá in úsáid ar ríomhairí an stáisiúin. Ní shílim go bhfuil mórán suime agam sna gnéithe teicniúla sin, ach tá sé riachtanach an buneolas sin a bheith agam, agus úsáideach, cinnte. Bíonn mórán saoirse agam mo smaointe féin a fhorbairt maidir le cláir; faoi láthair tá mé ag obair ar chlár a chuir mé le chéile liom féin faoi roinnt ceoltóirí Éireannacha éagsúla a bhfuil Gaeilge acu (mar sin bhí siad ábalta agallaimh a dhéanamh liom). Ba mhaith liom clár eile a dhéanamh faoi thionchairí na Gaeilge chomh maith, ach seans mór nach mbeidh an t-am agam roimh chríoch mo thréimhse i Raidió Fáilte.  

Tairbhe an mhodúil  

Tá mórán buntáistí a bhaineann leis an mhodúl seo. Mar a luaigh mé thuas, bíonn neart deiseanna foghlama ar fáil san áit féin a ndéanann tú do thaithí oibre ann, agus faigheann tú léargas ar an tslí bheatha a bhfuil suim agat inti. Sna ceardlanna, faigheann tú léargas ar shlite beatha eile nach mbaineann leis an taithí oibre atá roghnaithe agat, ach, b’fhéidir, a bhfuil suim éigin agat iontu. Is féidir leat tuairim níos feasaí a bheith agat, mar thoradh, faoi na poist a bheidh uait amach anseo.  

Bíonn deiseanna aga naisc a chruthú, fosta, le daoine ón phobal Ghaelach a mbuaileann tú leo i rith na taithí oibre. Ní hamháin go bhfuil na naisc sin úsáideach faoi láthair agus mise mar bhall de choiste an Chumainn Ghaelaigh, ach beidh sé tábhachtach amach anseo gan aon agó.  

Blog

My name is Órnaith Ní Fhearghail and I’m a student at Queen’s. I’m in the final year of my undergraduate degree in International Relations and Irish. This semester, I had the opportunity to take a brand new module as part of my Irish course, Gairmeacha le Gaeilge (Professions in Irish; CEL 3010). The module was made available for the first time ever this year, and it’s an excellent chance for students who are interested in working through the medium of Irish in the future.  

The module  

Every Friday, the whole class goes on work experience in the various places that they’ve chosen, and every fortnight, we have a seminar with the coordinator of the module, Dr Síobhra Aiken. In these seminars, we discuss our work experience until now, employment opportunities that are available when you can speak Irish (for example, we had a workshop with Dr. Órla Nic Ruairí, who works in the European Union, about translation), and the various skills relating to the professional world.  

The searching process  

During the summer, we (the class) had to organise our work experience independently, with businesses in which Irish is used as their working language, I translated my CV from English to Irish and sent emails to a variety of workplaces that interested me, and if they didn’t send an answer, I rang them. This searching process was a particular experience in itself, and it was important to be determined.  

In the end, I decided with Raidió Fáilte – the Irish-language radio station situated in Belfast – that I would carry out my work experience with them.  

Raidió Fáilte – why?  

I chose Raidió Fáilte because I have a particular interest in the media, and I was hoping to find out whether I’m suitable for a job in Irish-language media. On top of that, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my spoken Irish, and my work experience was an effort to improve it.  

The sort of experience I get  

My time at Raidió Fáilte isn’t finished yet, but I’ve already gotten a wealth of opportunities and training. I was live on air as an interviewee twice on my first day there, a baptism of fire without a doubt! However, it was a great experience, and since that week, I get the opportunity to go on air during the programme ‘Beo ar Maidin’ (as does the other girl in my class who does her work experience there with me). At the start, we were the interviewees, but recently we’ve gotten to be interviewers – that was a lot harder, but it was an important experience, if I’m to continue on in the media in the future. Every mistake I make is a learning opportunity!  

I put my own music show together as well – I learned how to use the buttons and the sound system that’s used on the station’s computers. I don’t think I have much interest in the technical aspects, but it’s necessary to have that foundational knowledge, and useful, of course. I have a lot of freedom to develop my own ideas relating to shows; at the moment, I’m working on a programme I put together by myself about a few Irish musicians who speak Irish (which meant I was able to interview them). I would like to put a show together about Irish-language influencers, but chances are I won’t have time for that before the end of my time at Raidió Fáilte.  

Benefits of the module  

This module has a lot of advantages. As I’ve discussed above, a range of learning opportunities are available in the place where you do your work experience, and you can get an insight into the career of your interest. In the seminars and the workshops, you get an insight into the other careers that don’t relate to your work experience but, maybe, still interest you somewhat. You can have a more informed opinion, as a result, about the jobs you’d like down the line.  

You get opportunities to create links, too, with people of the Irish community that you meet during your work experience. Not only are these links useful to me right now while I’m a committee member of An Cumann Gaelach, but I have no doubt that they’ll be important to me in the professional world, too.  

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Career planning Employer Engagement Employer events Employer Insight Employers Graduate success motivation Strengths-based interviews Student experience Uncategorised

6 things we learned about resilience from our Employer Hotseat

Beth MacDougall, EY

Beth MacDougall from EY delivered a session on Resilience. Here are the top takeaways.

Its normal to be nervous

“The one thing that terrified me literally more than anything was what am I gonna do for work. How am I gonna go into the workplace with this really strange title, this really long list of symptoms? And a degree that I don’t know how to be of use anymore and no experience. I was completely shook. I was absolutely terrified because all I wanted to do was work.”

But Beth goes on to say…

“I wish that I could go back to myself six years ago and say it’s going to be okay. It’s gonna be fine.”

Challenge = Change

“I learned that it is absolutely OK to challenge things in a process or on an application form, or in a procedure that you feel like you’re going to make you feel disadvantaged or unfair. There were plenty of times in an application form that actually will ask you to disclose a disability way before the ‘do you have a disability question’…that was my first lesson that it’s okay to challenge things. And that it’s the only way that we’re going to change things, by challenging and by asking the questions.”

People’s opinions are not your reality

“I remember the first time that I spoke with someone about my disability in a workplace, they actually told me that I was a health and safety risk, and it was selfish of me to be wanting to work in a workplace environment, after speaking to me for all of 2/3 minutes. I just wanted to have a conversation and explain, you know, but I can do this! But then why do I have to explain something? Why am I defined by this label that I have attached to me?”

Beth then speaks about how working as a recruiter allows her to speak to a range of people from all works of life

“We can learn from so many different people by having those conversations and again as recruiters we are in that position where we can constantly speak to a diverse group of people and learn from every single one of them. Giving someone a voice, really means that person is going to be able to bring their true authentic best self to the workplace.”

Play to your strengths (and find out how to play to your strengths!)

“Strength-based recruitment was definitely my friend…We might not have as much experience as persons who don’t have disabilities because it’s been harder for us to get that 0r maybe we’ve needed to take a break at times”

“So strength-based recruitment for me was so powerful in terms of I knew I didn’t have the experience that probably everyone else applying for this job did. I actually had no recruitment experience. I had plenty of student experience, plenty of mental health, well-being, events, development – but it was all dotted around different areas. I could only get small different bits of experience in different ways. I didn’t really know how to combine that. Until, I spoke to someone who help me do that”

Be proud and honest of who you are

“My interview at EY was actually the first time I ever disclosed my disability in an interview, outright. First question, “what are your motivations for EY” – well I have a disability. Straight up there. I’ve heard about this and this is why I did it because EY’s brand was all about a culture of belonging – our world your way. And I really truly believe that. I could see the images I could see the stories and I could see the things EY were doing to support people like me.”

“70% of people with a disability actually have an invisible disability which brings its own challenges. You can hide that until you get into your workplace, but if without disclosing a disability it’s very hard to get the support that you might need to be able to thrive and employ yourself the way that you want to.”

Who you are will show in what you do

Beth speaks about how people with different disabilities are often overlooked for employment and workplace stigma towards those disabilities

“People with disabilities are the largest pool of untapped talent. And that is because we do have, again those natural barriers, and sometimes that natural stigma of – traditionally disabled has meant something that someone cannot do.Whereas I would challenge that… people with disabilities are nature’s greatest problem solvers. We have to learn to live in a world that isn’t actually built always for us. We have to find different ways to do things. Which kind of brings me to my final point in terms of people with disabilities are some of the most valuable workforce that you can bring into an organisation. Those qualities of resilience communication, because you’re constantly having to communicate things, and ask for things and explain. Problem solving, creativity innovation, you name it, a person with a disability has to show that every single day in their life.”

Categories
Canada Global Opportunities Go Global Go Global ambassadors international experience Student experience student success Student success stories Uncategorised

Student Experience: My Research Internship in Canada

Emily Bond

As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.”

Departing London Heathrow, bound for Toronto Pearson.

Canada has always been on my travel list; known for its great outdoors, safe multicultural cosmopolitan cities, and friendly people. Engaging with people who had visited, Canada was always described to me as one of those places thats experience is nearly impossible to describe and after visiting once you’ll want to return.

So when the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship was released, it posed as an opportunity to spend up to 12 weeks researching in a country on my bucket list. And when people ask why I applied, I say why not, because I had so much to gain from this opportunity and little to lose.

I first applied for the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship in 2020 however was unsuccessful in my application. Fortunately, due to a change in my degree programme I became re-eligble to apply and reapplied in August 2021. Receiving, notification in September that my application had been nominated for the programme I began the process of filling out the application form, detailing experience I had gained from work experience the year before and what skills I could bring to the programme. With my application submitted it, I was left to wait to see if any Canadian professors would contact me. I was fortunate to be contacted by two professors in November to further discuss their projects and my suitability.

Outside the engineering building where I spent 10 weeks

By December, I had been selected and confirmed my place on the 2022 Globalink Research Internship.

From January through to departure in May, I organised my flights, housing, visa, starting/ finishing dates for the internship, and a small amount of currency. Connecting with my supervisor during this process made it feel less intimidating as I was able to ask questions or express queries.

Before I knew it May had arrived, and I was stood at the airport waiting to depart on one of my biggest adventures yet. An 8 hour flight, and 2 hour immigration wait later, I was in Toronto.

The first week, I was provided with a tour around the faculty, opened up a bank account, and familiarised myself with the campus. I was able to meet my supervisor and research team in person as well as start on my project. Over the next 10 weeks I was able to develop a general research topic of Micro-structural analysis of advanced composite structures, into a working conference and journal paper focusing on Investigation of impact response of 2D braided hybrid composites using Micro-CT. Throughout the project I was able to develop my knowledge of braided composites, non-destructive analysis, and composite sample manufacturing.

Emily in the lab with a manufactured sample

Alongside researching, I took the time to explore the city of Toronto through events such as Toronto Pride, Canada Day at Woodbine Beach, and a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre. These formed some of the key highlights of my internship in addition to trying different foods and visiting the key tourist attractions such as the CN Tower, Casa Loma, and the Aquarium.

As the end of July approached, I realised I had learnt more, made international friends, gained new experiences, and stepped out of my comfort zone to my growth zone. It’s an experience I will always look back on fondly and would encourage people to take as many opportunities to develop themselves personally and professionally.

Top Tips

  • Ask for help
  • Take time to explore where you are, it’s easy to get stuck in work
  • Keep in contact with your support network back home
  • Take lots of photos and videos
  • Plan in advance especially housing, visas, flights, packing.
  • Don’t give up

Search and find Global Opportunities via our online search tool.

Categories
Alumni Development Insight into Management Leadership Skills Student experience student success Student success stories

Eimer’s Story: My Experience with Insight into Management

Portrait of Eimer Henderson, Queen's alumna and Insight Participant.
Eimer Henderson

Working as a team

Insight into Management is a program that allows you to experience and understand what it’s like to work in industry. You’re given a case study and told to come up with a product that will solve a problem. It’s a great opportunity to work with people from a diverse range of University degree backgrounds on a common goal, in order to solve a complex problem that interests you and your team! 

Getting creative

It’s a chance to be creative, express your ideas and learn from other people’s ideas that, you don’t usually work with on University group projects from within your own degree area so, you really get an insight on how other people think and approach problems.

Perfecting your sales pitch

The highlight of the program for me was the sales pitch at the end of the program. Sales pitch sounds like a scary word, but it was more like an exhibition where you got to see what all other teams had been working on for the past few days. It’s also an opportunity for you and your team to come together one last time to create your stand to show off what you had been working on too!

Solving problems

The programme was challenging, but in a good way that will definitely help you to grow as an individual. You learn so much, from being able to quickly establish a common ground with people you’ve never met before to solving a problem within a quick timeframe.

Learning to manage

I developed lots of skills during the programme. The title ‘Insight into Management’ is very well fitted as I feel you 100% develop the skills required to manage a team and a project as well as skills that leaders have; active listening, creativity, team building, communication, patience, empathy, flexibility, product development, innovation, persuasion, time management, presentation skills to name a few.

Using the skills after Uni

I’ve used the skills I developed on Insight into Management many times since I finished the programme. Firstly, it helped me with my final year project as my final year project required me to work as part of a team and develop a solution to a problem. In my job now too, I work with other companies on projects, and this requires me to be able to understand other people’s points of view and not be shy when meeting new people. I regularly present in my job now too, so having to do the final sales pitch in the programme helped me develop presentation skills in front of people who I may not know. I think all the experiences and skills you learn through this programme will help you in one way or another in your future career.

Advice for students

Give it your all for the 3 days! Be immersed in the programme and try develop the skills that you may not be so confident in because it’s the best place to do it. Be open minded and learn from people who you might not usually interact with (people with different degree backgrounds to yours).

Find out more about Insight into Management and other development programmes offered at Queen’s Careers Service.

Categories
Alumni Business Analytics Gradfest2021 international students KTP Student experience student success Student success stories

“Never hesitate to apply even if you think you won’t make it – I ended up getting the job I always wanted.”

MSc. Business Analytics graduate Sneha Parajuli is now a Strategic Management Analyst at KTP. Here is how she got there…

Sneha Parajuli, QUB alumni

Describe your career path to date.

After finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from my home country Nepal, I was working as a Data Quality Analyst over there. My original plan was to complete my Masters and then go back to Nepal to apply my learnings. I had multiple job offers there, but right after I submitted my dissertation, the KTP role caught my       attention. The role was somewhat related to my dissertation, so I decided to give it a shot. Through a series of virtual interviews during the pandemic, I was able to get more info about the goals of KTP partner company SDG and how my analytical, marketing and data-science skills align to drive that goal. Soon after the interview, I was told I had been successful, and I would be starting in January next year. The job began with few weeks of university and company inductions and product trainings. With plenty of support from both my company and university supervisors, I feel like I have adjusted well to the role now and I love my new job!

Why KTP?

The idea that I will be able to solve the business goal of the company all while being supervised by expert faculties is what intrigued me. On one hand, I had the fresh ideas from my graduate program that I was hungry to apply in the real world, and on the other hand, the fact that I would be under the supervision of the faculty with the proven records; and that is exactly what I need at this point. Owning and managing a challenging project which is central to the strategic development and long-term growth of the business all while receiving full support from brilliant supervisors at Queen’s? COUNT ME IN! 

What is your current role like? What about it makes you want to get up in the morning?

Currently I have been working mostly on capturing the overall view of how things currently work within the business, analysing it, developing, and recommending new models/strategies which requires a lot of interaction with the team. The amount of support I have received from the team here at SDG and my supervisors is incredible and I am always motivated to do more.

What does an average week look like for you?

My main goal has been about providing strategic analysis on different areas of SDG. That goal has wider scope, and my week is all about solving a subproblem from that big scope of work. This means I take part in the thoughtful discussions and meetings with the respective stakeholders, and design data-driven models as needed. Moreover, KTP has this amazing program for personal development, which I constantly use to improve my leadership, management, personal effectiveness and more through online courses throughout the week as a part of my mandatory KTP module.

What is the most challenging part of the job?

Because I “own” my own project, sometimes this can be stressful as I have to work under tight deadlines and get the work done on time. The project I am working on is something entirely new to the business and the business is changing rapidly which means it doesn’t always work out as we want it to. But with the support of my supervisors both in SDG and Queen’s as well as the team at work, we manage to get the work done.

What is the most rewarding?

Even though it has only been about four months into this role, I feel like being able to take charge and manage my own project ultimately working towards bringing a transformative, long lasting change within the organisation all while implementing what I have learned throughout my academic journey has been the best experience of my KTP journey so far. Not only this, I have also met so many talented individuals through KTP network where associates working in different companies across the UK share their experiences which is really exciting.

What are your career aspirations? What are your goals?

I believe I have a long way to go and want to keep learning more and keep developing my skills. I hope to continue working as a Strategic Analyst at least for a few years as I really love what I do. I would also love to learn more project management skills and work in a higher-level position someday.

In what way do you feel like you’re making a difference in your job?

I have received a lot of feedback about how my project, with new and innovative ideas, has brought a positive change in the business. I can also see how the business has started to incorporate a lot of my recommendations and is slowly changing to smarter ways of working and I feel like getting to be a part of this is very rewarding.

What expectations did you have about this career path that you have found differed from reality – either good or bad?

I have some experience of working a corporate job for a big company in Nepal and I felt like working for KTP is going to be somewhat similar. But I was so wrong in this regard as KTP offers so much more. KTP encourages the associates to spend approximately 10% of their time on training and development activities to help them gain valuable skills for their personal development and prepare for the future. In fact, we are also given a separate training and development budget which I think is huge.

What skills did you learn at Queen’s that have helped you in your career?

During my time at Queen’s, both as a student and working as an international ambassador, I learned a lot about time management, working under strict deadlines, teamwork, and most of my analytical skills from my course.

What advice do you have for students and graduates wanting to apply for a KTP?

Always keep being updated with the KTP openings and keep an eye out to something that interests you. Never hesitate to apply even if you think you won’t make it as there’s always a possibility that you will. Coming from someone who didn’t even think of working in the UK, I ended up getting the job I always wanted, and I am so happy I applied. KTP is much more than just a regular job, you will learn so much throughout your journey, hone your skills in so many areas and it will definitely be worth it.

How did your Queen’s experience help your personal and professional development?

Getting a master’s degree from Queen’s has been an added bonus for me in so many ways. Not just the technical knowledge from the course, I also undertook multiple leadership courses like Master your Leadership, Inspiring leaders, and Leadership in Practice which definitely helped me develop my personal skills, improve my communication and also enhance my leadership capabilities which I think instilled so much confidence in me.

What’s the one thing you’ll never forget about your time at Queen’s?

Actually, there are two – Sleepless nights during dissertation (which became so much rewarding to me later) and Graduation day as it was the day I finished my degree and was so happy!

Interested in KTP at Queen’s? KTP will feature on our @QUBCareers Instagram during the week commencing 19 July talking about creativity and lateral thinking. Visit the Gradfest2021 site to find out more.

KTP are proud sponsors of Gradfest2021

Categories
Alumni Gradfest2021 Randox Student experience student success Student success stories

“I’m proud to be involved in COVID testing and to be making a difference in the community”

BSc Hons Biological Sciences graduate Laura Cummings is now a Laboratory Manager at Randox. Here is how she got there…

Laura Cummings, Queen’s alumni

Describe your career path to date.

I studied Biological Sciences at Queens University Belfast and then worked at ALS Environmental in England for a few years as a Senior Organic Chemist. I was fortunate to be able to move back home and find a job not just in my field of science but in a company that has made such an impact in the fight against coronavirus. I’m grateful that the team at Randox have recognised my skills and achievements and given me valuable opportunities for career progression, including my promotion to manager for the COVID labs.

Why Randox? 

I have always had a passion for science from an early age and recognised that the opportunity that science can give you is incredible. It is a career path where I knew I would have a very fulfilling life with constant opportunities for learning and career progression.

I always wanted to do something valuable- something that genuinely helps others and makes the world a better place. I knew that Randox was the biggest innovators in Diagnostics and knew I had to get involved- I am proud to work for a company that is dedicated to improving healthcare and am excited our advancements for the future. 

What is your current role like? What about it makes you want to get up in the morning?

As the UK and Irelands largest COVID testing facility, Randox is critical to the national response to the pandemic. We run up to 120000 daily tests for the UK Governments National Testing Programme so the timely release of accurate and reliable results is key. We have a big focus on quality and are always looking for ways to improve our policies and processes. We have, for example introduced a range of innovative robotic systems which automate the unpacking and racking of samples before they get tested by our scientists. All this takes very active management. 

What does an average week look like for you?

Our staff work 24/7 and my role as a laboratory manager is to make sure that they have everything they need to do their job. I ensure that the labs run smoothly, provide solutions for any issues that may arise and monitor the performance of the testing process. 

What is the most challenging part of the job?

Diagnostics is constantly evolving, and we are always developing and streamlining current processes- currently we are expanding to mobile testing sites over the UK and Ireland therefore sometimes it can be a challenge to keep up but this is also one of the most exciting parts of my job. There is power and confidence in adaptability and to be given the opportunity to bring staff along with the processes through training is very fulfilling. 

What is the most rewarding?

Randox has employed more than 850 new staff into the COVID labs and to work with and learn from such a diverse and multi-disciplined team has been really rewarding. Everyone has risen to the challenge this pandemic has created and I am proud of how we have all pulled together as a team in a time of great need. 

What are your career aspirations? What are their goals? 

I am very fortunate to say that my current position as a laboratory manager has always been an aspiration of mine. Randox has provided me with opportunities which have been invaluable and I can only hope to continue to improve to become more involved in the growth at randox

In what way do you feel like you’re making a difference in your job?

I’m proud to be directly involved in COVID testing as it plays such a vital role in the effort to contain and reduce the spread of the virus and be to be making a difference for the sake of our family, friends and communities.

What expectations did you have about this career path that you have found differed from reality – either good or bad?

I thought a job in science would be very structured with little variability however, after starting my career with Randox it couldn’t be any different. The environment is such high paced with constant movement in terms of people, projects and patterns. 

What skills did you learn at Queen’s that have helped you in your career?

My time at Queens taught me core technical skills both practical and analytical that were essential to my career development. 

What advice do you have for students and graduates wanting to move into this area?

I think the future of the diagnostics industry is very bright and those thinking of a career in this area should definitely get involved. My advice would be to broaden your skillset, as long as your are willing to learn and put in the work you will find the career best suited to you. 


How did your Queen’s experience help your personal and professional development?

Queens taught me to be proactive in regards to building my resume both with personal interactions and experience. There was always a wealth of support from university staff who enabled me to develop in areas of practical, analytical and interpersonal skills. 

How did the people you met at Queen’s inspire you?

I found all the people I interacted with inspired me to succeed, one in particular was Dr Leonid Kulakov whose extensive experience, talent and rapport genuinely motivated and set a platform as to what I wanted to achieve in the future. 

What’s the one thing you’ll never forget about your time at Queen’s?

All of the people I met! 

Interested in Randox? Randox will feature on our @QUBCareers Instagram during the week commencing 28 June talking about commercial awareness. Visit the Gradfest2021 site to find out more. 

Randox are proud sponsors of Gradfest2021 

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Queen's Accommodation Student experience

‘My experience in student accommodation during the pandemic’

To mark Development Weeks, Chloe Buckley, a Residential Life Assistant in Queen’s Accommodation reflects on a year like no other.

Chloe Buckley

In celebration of getting through this challenging academic year, we have been reflecting on the newly evolved meaning of ‘making connections’ and examples of how we have adapted to overcome the difficulties posed by the pandemic in making connection with others. I think it is fair to say that we have all had enough Zoom and Teams calls to last us a life time; from quizzes, to classes and from virtual gym sessions, to simply catching up with a friend, but these tools have been instrumental in allowing us to continue to make connections, and preventing us from feeling disconnected in uncertain times.

Staying connected

Being a Residential Assistant in Queen’s Accommodation this year, ensuring students’ did not feel isolated, lonely or unsupported was a major concern for me from the first day of training, as University can be challenging in so many aspects at the best of times, never mind contending with lockdowns, isolation periods, Covid-19 tests and online learning. Despite all of this, as an RA team, I think we have triumphed in the face of the impossible task of coming up with original online events which would entice students to join, over watching the latest crime documentary on Netflix; and managed to build and maintain connections with students, even behind the masks and screens at the Coffee Bar. It has been so rewarding to help students connect with others as well, as even that small amount of social interaction, in a time where making friends has been limited and policed by restrictions, is imperative to happiness. It has also been incredible to see the work of the Wellbeing Team throughout this year, connecting with and supporting students in their personal and academic endeavours; as well as the Residential Life Team in assisting us to do our jobs in bringing some fun and relief from the monotony of lockdown-life.

Memories of an unusual year

My best memories of connecting with students this year are often from Grab and Go events, where, although students have not been allowed to stay and socialise, we mastered the act of ‘catching up’, all within the time it takes to make a toastie and I try my best to remember everyone’s names despite the short introductions made behind masks many weeks prior. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of the RA team this year, as the fundamental importance of making connections in university was truly unambiguous, and a delight to help orchestrate.

If you have a story about making connections this year, we would love to hear it! Email the Development Weeks team.