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Career Story: Senior Chemist, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Brian Quigley

Job title
Senior In-Process Control Chemist
Company
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Industry
Pharmaceutical
Experience
24 years
Education
  1. Degree in Science, Trinity College Dublin
  2. Post Graduate Certificate in Third Level Education and Learning
Favourite subjects in school
Chemistry
The best thing about my job
Being involved in the transfer of new medicines to production as they are developed.

Focus on getting a science qualification and at the same time develop your ‘soft’ skills such as teamwork, communication skills, organisational ability and presentation skills.

My science teacher at school made the subject interesting and accessible and so was another big influence.

My main tasks

I test in-process samples in real-time. This means that when we manufacture the active ingredient for our medicines, and any problems occur, I make suggestions for possible fixes.

You need to be very organised in my job, able to multi-task many situations at once, be able to react quickly to problems and think on your feet. You need to have excellent communication skills and be able to work in a team environment.

What I like

Being part-responsible for millions of euros worth of chemical products each time I am in work is exciting, as well as being a serious responsibility.

Also, being involved in the transfer of new medicines to production as they are developed.

Challenges

Shift work can be very tiring – the body just doesn’t function the same at 4 o’clock in the morning!

Work / life balance

Shift work in particular allows for an excellent work-life balance and I have plenty of time to spend with my family and pursue my hobbies when I am not in work.

Who influenced me

My parents took a huge interest in my education and encouraged me to work hard and study a subject that would lead to a good career.

Most useful aspects of my education

All the organic chemistry modules touched on aspects of drug-manufacture reaction and synthesis and these are things I have always used in my career.