Alan Ronan- MSc in Quality (Online)
Name: Alan Ronan
Course Name: MSc in Quality (Online)
Job title: Senior Process Sciences Specialist
Can you share your career path to date?
I graduated with a first-class honours degree from the University of Limerick in 2016 with a BSc in Industrial Biochemistry. I now work in Regeneron and have been here since 2017, in the roles of Process Sciences Associate I (2017-2018), Process Sciences Associate II (2018-2020) and Senior Process Sciences Specialist (2021-Present).
What does your current role involve?
My current role involves a laboratory-based role working with small-scale mammalian cell cultures. Primarily involved in small-scale investigations, process characterisations and model development.
What motivated you to start studying?
I wanted to further my career in the Biotechnology industry, particularly in areas such as project management or statistics.
Why did you choose this course from ATU Sligo?
The MSc in Quality offered a unique selection of modules that were well suited to my career aspirations. The modules in Advanced Experimental Design, Value Stream Optimisation and Applied Project Management were of particular interest to me as they applied to my current career path.
How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?
Having never studied an Online course before I was impressed by the systems in place in ATU Sligo. The small class sizes helped with lecturer and classmate interactions.
How did you balance work and study?
Allocating a set time each day to dedicate to study or assignments as well as having a dedicated location to avoid distractions. The combination of exams and continuous assessments also helped to spread the workload more evenly across each semester.
In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer?
Yes, the company hugely advocates for further education. I had to form a proposal for my employer for the course I wanted to undertake. The areas covering statistics and quality principles were of particular interest to them given the industry
What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?
There is never a good time to take on further education and you will always find a way to convince yourself the time isn’t right. Do your research into the available courses that interest you, and if possible, get in contact with someone who completed the course.
In what way has studied online with ATU Sligo benefitted your career?
The Advanced Experimental Design aspects of my course enabled me to undertake a leading role in large process characterisation projects within my department. This was a key element in my career progression and has expanded my horizons in statistics and experimental design within my current role.
Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role?
The use of project management principles has been beneficial in organising and executing short and medium-term laboratory studies.
What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU Sligo?
The key skill was the development of my statistical and DOE knowledge which I have been able to leverage in my day-to-day work.
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