Thomas Keaveney – BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development
Name: Thomas Keaveney
School: St. Mary’s College, Ballisodare
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choose your course?
I gained a fascination with developments in Science and Technology during my teenage years. Due to this, I was unsure what area in science I wanted to go directly into, so I choose to start with the General Science course at ATU. From there I gained a taste of different areas of the science and choose to go into Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development in my 2nd year.
What specifically about the course do you particularly enjoy?
I enjoyed the smaller class sizes and that there is a nice split between theory and laboratory-based classes. Coming from a small school, I was not the keenest on joining a course with a hundred students. I find laboratory classes very enjoyable, as getting hands-on experience is how I feel like I learn best rather than theory only.
What is the best thing about your course that you think new applicants should know?
The best thing about the course is getting to go out on placement in 3rd year. I was fortunate enough to join the Quality Department in ADC Donegal for a 12-month placement and it was a great experience. It gave me a great insight into what is expected when I complete college and gave me an insight into different roles within the industry that I could enter once I completed my studies.
What are your favourite modules on the course?
My favourite modules are Pharmaceutical Operations Management in my 4th year and Biopharmaceutical Analysis. I find Pharmaceutical Operations Management very interesting as it’s about continuous improvement and taking in lean thinking. This might involve making small incremental changes that can greatly input into improving performance and processes within a manufacturing industry. Biopharmaceutical Analysis I found very interesting especially when it came to learning about immunoassays and analytical techniques used in protein purification.
If you were speaking with the first year, a student about to start your course, what advice/information would you give them?
I would advise the first year to try and attend all classes. It can be okay to miss the occasional lecture due to circumstances but try and make all classes, especially the attendance based ones! Don’t be afraid to ask questions no matter how silly you think it sounds as the lecturers are there to help you.
If you are involved in Sports, volunteering, working or have other passions you pursue outside of your academic life, can you tell us about that? Especially mention any Teams, Clubs or Awards.
I enjoy running and badminton as well as a bit of Astro football. I have been treasurer of the Badminton Society while in my 3rd and 4th Year of College and it has been a great experience meeting new faces through the society. I completed my first marathon in 2021 and that was a great experience and has pushed me to sign up for another 2 marathons this year. I also have an interest in golf (not that I am any good at it) and love to watch all types of sports!
What are your plans after ATU Sligo and any long term goals you are aiming for?
After completing my degree, I hope to work in the industry for a period and save up money to travel across the world! I have a keen interest in experiencing different cultures whether in Europe or further afield. Long term, I hope to return and complete a master’s degree whether in person or online and hope to progress in my working career!
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