Anne-Marie Phelan joined the Q1 Scientific team back in May this year as a Stability and Operations Technician on work placement from University College Cork (UCC). Here Anne-Marie tells us more about her short time with us.
We were happy to step-in at the last minute when Anne-Marie’s other work placement fell through due to Covid-19.
To begin with Anne Marie completed our site GMP and SOP training all while maintaining a social distance. Once training was completed, Anne-Marie supported our busy Operations team with sample pulls and set-downs for stability storage.
Can you tell us more about your background and how you ended up doing a work placement with Q1 Scientific?
I am studying Nutritional Sciences at UCC and was due to do a work placement with another company in their microbiology laboratory. Unfortunately, that placement fell through due to Covid-19.
Once that work placement fell through an opportunity came up in Q1 Scientific as a Stability and Operations Technician. It all happened extremely fast, but I was delighted to secure a new work placement.
What advice would you give to someone in a similar position who is looking to secure a work placement?
Use your network of contacts! Talk to people you know within different companies to see if there any opportunities coming up. You really have to put yourself out there, use your connections and gain introductions to the right people. For example, if you have an upcoming interview, do some research to see who else you might know that is working within the company for some interview tips. Do plenty of research on the company using their website or social media channels, this will help during the interview.
Also, think outside the box about where you could do a work placement. For example, it was useful to have a science background for my time with Q1 Scientific even though I was not working in a lab environment.
What attracted you to pursue a career in food science?
In school I really enjoyed biology and home economics. Initially I considered a career in teaching, but I quickly realised that it did not really suit me. Following that I investigated different course options before deciding on Nutritional Sciences. I am really interested in the impact nutrients can have on the body and in the prevention of major diseases.
I was lucky enough to do well in my Leaving Certificate. Through my results I gained a place on the Nutritional Sciences course at UCC. The course blends basic sciences, food science, human biology and nutrition in a unique and interesting way.
What have you gained from working at Q1 Scientific?
I have gained valuable experience working within a GMP environment that has a strict quality management system and SOPs. The GMP experience will be invaluable for my future career development.
In addition, I have gained experience working with leading pharmaceutical, medical device and food science companies.
What does a typical day look like for a Stability and Operations Technician in Q1 Scientific?
Every day at work is different depending on if we have any sample pulls, set downs, quality paperwork or checks to be completed. I set down and pull samples for a wide variety of pharmaceutical, medical device and food science clients who all have different temperature and humidity storage requirements.
Q1 Scientific have a custom Electronic Sample Tracking System, known as ESTS, to manage stability samples. Through scanning bar codes, I can manage all client studies, sample set downs / returns and track the location of samples.
Usually the day before I check the schedule for samples that need to be pulled from stability storage and sent back to clients. That way I can plan my morning or week ahead and I know what needs to be achieved.
First thing in the morning I pull all scheduled samples before 11am so that they are delivered back to clients within the same day.
From 11am onwards I look after new client sample set downs and paperwork for quality checks. In the afternoon I send email notifications to clients around upcoming sample pulls.
In addition to following SOPs and completing quality paperwork, cleaning is an important part of the job with regular cleaning on frequently touched surfaces throughout the day.
What is the best thing about being part of the Q1 Scientific team?
I really enjoy working in Q1 Scientific. I find it a very welcoming, friendly atmosphere where you can ask questions, and everyone is more than happy to help.
Working for a smaller company like Q1 Scientific means that you are well looked after. For example, I came in and did some extra hours over the weekend and my extra work was recognised with a voucher. If something like that happened again, I would not mind giving an extra hand as I know my efforts are appreciated and recognised.
Since I joined, we had an afternoon where pizza was brought in for the whole team and a summer day out on the Waterford Greenway.
All these little things add to the job and mean that I look forward to going in.
Find out more
We wish Anne-Marie all the best for the future! Our busy Operations team appreciated the extra support. Anne-Marie gained valuable GMP experience while working with us as a Stability and Operations Technician.
Q1 Scientific offer a complete stability sample management service and can organise and secure your sample inventory. We offer:
- ICH compliant and non-ICH stability storage chambers that are monitored 24/7, 365 days of the year and have built-in safeguards
- Custom conditions to meet the specific storage requirements of any project
- Fully validated systems and equipment
- A monitoring and alert system and emergency back-up generators
- A complete stability study sample management service with sample receipt and return documentation along with notifications for scheduled pulls for testing
- A secure cloud-based documentation solution for your sample management
- Temperature controlled transfer and transport
- Access to a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical industry experts trained in recording cGMP compliant data
With tightly controlled temperatures and humidity rates at our spacious cGMP facility, we can store and manage any samples over the full life cycle of your stability plans.
To discuss how we can help you with your stability storage requirements contact the team today.