By: Claire Wilson. Last Updated: April 2022

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Student Profile – Pat O’Loughlin

Job Before: Lead Maintenance Technician (Semi-Conductor Manufacturing)

Courses Taken: eBioPharmaChem

Job Now: Process Technician (Pharma)

“Take it on with a view to not just completing it and getting a result… There’s a lot of detail about what goes on in the industry, on the floor, how things happen. Focus just as much on learning to actually educate yourself as much as passing exams.”

Pat O’Loughlin had worked in semi-conductor manufacturing for over 20 years. He joined the industry as a Process Technician and worked his way up to being the Lead Maintenance Technician in different functional areas within the industry.  During his time in the industry he completed an Honors Engineering Degree on a part-time basis.

Switching to the Pharmaceutical Industry

Pat was well-used to the manufacturing environment. But when he decided to aim for a role in pharmaceutical manufacturing, he knew that his impressive resume might not be enough. Pharma manufacturing is a highly regulated environment and for most, it’s necessary to learn these rules before entering the workplace.

“Even though I’d 20 years industry experience in a cleanroom environment…I’d no experience in pharmaceuticals so I wanted to get a bridge into that and tie it in with my experience working in industry”

And that’s just what he did, taking GetReskilled’s online eBioPharm Chem course. Following the course recommendations, he was also quick to start his job hunt.

“I found the course quite useful from that point of view – I was able to understand terms and concepts about what happened in a pharmaceutical plant. So when I constructed my CV it was useful .. when it came to the interview it was useful again to be able to talk with a bit more authority about what goes on, and link it to my own background.”

But looking back now, he’s clear that the course did more than give him a piece of paper and some talking points for interview. It gave him useful knowledge that he has gone on to put into practice regularly within his role. 

If You’re Considering a GetReskilled Course…

… he offers some advice:

“Take it on with a view to not just completing it and getting a result… there’s a great opportunity within the course to learn. There’s a lot of detail about what goes on in the industry, on the floor, how things happen. Focus just as much on learning to actually educate yourself as much as passing exams. You actually have to embrace it and really get interested in the course material… Because the theory is there, within the course, if you put your mind to it and if you take a real interest.”

He was actually about halfway through his course when he got offered a position, working as a process technician with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Working as a Process Technician

There were 16 other technicians hired at the same time and several more after – not uncommon within a big company. Situations like that can be a great opportunity for people with less industry experience who are looking for their first pharma role.

Pat immediately felt like he was working to achieve something special.

“The product we’re making actually makes a real difference, directly to people’s lives. It’s being produced to help people with a particular condition. And I feel when I’m working, that this is actually going to help somebody. That’s an important factor for me – that we’re so close to actually making a positive difference to somebody out there.”

But more than that, he is part of a team that’s all working with that same goal in mind.

“Teamwork, open communication and sharing of information is important… You need to be flexible and realise that you’re depending on each other. Even though everyone has individual responsibility within their own role, the teams productivity increases significantly in a positive, open environment.”

His experience, course knowledge and team working skills have all come together to give him a career in which he feels he can make a difference. For now his priority is to keep learning with the aim to be the very best he can be in his current role. From there, who knows, but there’s an industry full of opportunities.

Retrain ONLINE for a Higher-Paying Job in Pharma Manufacturing in 15-Weeks

You can make this change even if you have NO previous industry experience or a science or engineering qualification.

If you have any of the following backgrounds;

  • Homemakers
  • Restaurant Sector – Chef, Cook, Restaurant Manager
  • Healthcare – Nurse, Radiation Therapist, Caregivers, etc
  • Manufacturing – Production Operator, Toolmaker, Fitter/Turner
  • Food Processing – Operator, Butcher
  • Military – Army, Navy, Air Force, etc
  • Construction – Electrician, Plumber/Pipe-fitter, Carpenter/Joiner, Foreman, General Operative
  • Warehouse – All Warehouse Workers
  • Sales/Business – Retail Sales, Pharma Sales, Business, Accountant, Finance, etc
  • Other – Farmers, Designers, Architects, Airline Staff, Beauty/Hair Saloon etc

STEP 1, you take this 15-week ONLINE conversion course to retrain for starter level roles such as:

STEP 2, you then take our Certificate in eBioPharmachem program to get a level 7 university qualification from Technological University Dublin, Ireland and get better jobs with a higher salary. Typical roles;

And with experience

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About the Author

Image with Claire Wilison from GetReskilled Team

Claire Wilson

Content Marketing and Career Coaching

Claire runs GetReskilled’s Advanced Career Coaching Programme – our specially devised job hunting course that helps our trainees take that final step into employment by leading them through the job hunting process. She is extremely enthusiastic about helping people reach their final goal of employment in their new career path.

Claire has a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biology from Edinburgh University and spent 7 years working in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.