Katie Haran – BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development
Name: Katie Haran
School: St. Josephs Community College, Charlestown
What key skills did you learn while studying at ATU Sligo that have influenced your career?
While studying at ATU Sligo, not only did I learn academically but also gained important skills such as time management, working within teams, communication and project management. All of which have contributed to my working life to date.
Can you share some detail of your career path to date
I began my career with Abbott when I completed an internship in June 2018 between third and fourth year. As part of my course, it was a requirement to complete a minimum of twelve weeks placement. I worked in different areas of Abbott’s Diagnostics business in Longford before returning to complete my fourth year in college. In June 2019 when I finished my final exams, I began work in Abbott’s Nutrition business as a Quality Assurance Processor. In August 2019, I moved to Abbott’s Diabetes Care business in Donegal where I worked as a Quality Engineer within the Complaints/CAPA team. In June 2021, I started a new role in Abbott’s Diagnostics business in Sligo as a Senior Quality Professional, in Supplier Quality Assurance.
What does your current role involve?
On a daily basis, I complete complaint-handling activities including working in a Cross Functional team with Operations to determine the outcome of a Complaint Case. I take part in different projects to streamline our processes. I have completed my Six Sigma Yellow Belt training.
What advice would you share with our current students considering a career in your field?
I would advise any student who wishes to pursue a career within the medical device/pharmaceutical field to complete an internship in a company where you think you would like to work as there are so many different areas within medical device/pharmaceutical area.
The Medical Device world is a challenging but rewarding place to work with plenty of opportunity for development and growth within the company.
What did you like best about your course?
Throughout the duration of the course, there are many different modules which introduce you to different areas such as Quality Systems, Validation, Lean Management etc. All these modules gave me a great head start when I began to work in Abbott as I was already aware of Iso Standards, validations etc. We also had the opportunity to part take in different lab-based sessions to support classroom-based learning in modules such as Micro-biology, Biopharmaceutical analysis, Organic Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.
What did you like best about ATU Sligo?
The fact that all your lecturers knew you personally it is a great advantage compared to larger colleges where you appear as just a number to them. All lecturers and staff are very helpful and have you best interests at heart.
What advice would you give a first-year student starting in ATU Sligo?
For a student beginning first year I would advise them to hit the ground running, attend all lectures especially attendance-based labs. Always ask questions, there’s no such thing as a stupid question in college. The time will fly so enjoy it!
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