What drew you to joining us at Bath ASU?
I was doing well in my A levels and my school suggested that I could go to university, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. To give me some time to think, I decided to have a year out. I wanted to chill out, but I was nudged quite firmly by my parents to look for a job. Bath ASU was just up the road, and a few people I knew said it was a good place to work.
I also really liked science, so I decided to give it a try. During the interview, the company suggested I do an apprenticeship. This was more than just something to do for a year – it was a good alternative to going to university, as well as the chance to begin a career that could go somewhere.
I started as a science manufacturing technician and my apprenticeship lasted two and a half years. I then spent two and a half years as compliance lead, and I’ve spent the last year as a quality assurance lead.
What were your first impressions?
I was nervous at first – there were lots of people looking like they were in space suits, and controls and flashing lights everywhere. Everyone was really welcoming. There’s a good sense of camaraderie and teamwork here.
I was given a two-week induction, which eased me in, and I had a day a week for training and studies, which helped me to keep up with all the new things I was learning. I felt out of my comfort zone to start with, but coupled with the support, it encouraged me to learn.
There have been lots of training and developing opportunities too – whilst being a manufacturer I had the chance to meet people and spend time in other departments, including Quality Control and Compliance. This helped me understand why we do things in certain ways and learn so much.
What changes have you seen since you started?
There have been massive changes in the six years since I started. There are a lot of new people in the management team, and the company is expanding. We as employees are given the opportunity to do more, to stretch ourselves and to grow with the company.
I’ve changed too. From not knowing what I wanted to do, I’m now doing a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance at Manchester University. The lectures reflect my job really well, so what I do every day supports my studies and what I’m learning validates what I’m doing at work. I’ve learned a lot, and it’s going to give me a lot of opportunities. A lot of my course mates work in the NHS, so I’m networking and creating strong alliances for the future.
What keeps you going to work every day?
I’ve been in my current role, as quality assurance lead, for just over a year, and I really enjoy it. I’m working on process improvements, so I’m problem solving, doing research and looking at ways that we can do things better.
The gravity of what we do is also really important to me. It gives me a good feeling, that we are making a difference to people’s lives by delivering the drugs that they need.
What would you say to someone thinking of taking a job at Bath ASU?
Give it a try! It’s a great place to work, and I’ve gained lots of transferable skills that would be of use in other regulatory environments. Take all the opportunities that you can for training and development, and visit as many other departments as you can.
The importance of the job we perform here is something to be proud of. I think deciding to work here and not go to university was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and the people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, they’ve made me who I am today.