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Training Instructor, Biopharma Training Facility, CETB

Denise McDonald

Job title
Training Instructor
Cork Education and Training Board
Biopharma and Pharma
  1. Bsc in General Science
  2. PhD in Chemistry
  3. Green-Belt training was very beneficial to all aspects of my industry roles
  4. Currently completing master in Biopharmaceutical processing
Favourite subjects in school
Chemistry and Maths
The best thing about my job
I love Working with different people every day, learning new skills and seeing how your training and teaching has a positive impact on learners and the benefits that that brings.

For anyone entering industry, 3rd level qualifications in Engineering or Science are really helpful.In addition, an ability to work with a wide variety of people, the ability to work under pressure and sometimes stressful conditions will definitely help.

My Main Tasks

  1. Preparing content for teaching and training
  2. Updating forms, SOPs, training content for existing modules.
  3. Teaching/training full-time learners, industry learners, students from 3rd level etc.
  4. Correcting exam and assessment papers
  5. Learning about new approaches in industry, getting training up on new skills so we can deliver these to our learners.
  6. Liaising with industry to determine what they require in terms of future skills.
  7. Devising new modules, practical assessments (such as Chemical Processing, Chromatography, small-scale bioprocessing, cell culture techniques etc0.
  8. Coaching learners in terms of key industry skills and requirements.


It can be challenging to keep up wityh paperwork and adminstration duties.

Who Influenced Me

Initially,my 3rd level lecturer in Chemistry, inspired me to study Chemistry.While working, it was I had a very keen interest in the industry and the benefits that the medicines that we make have for very ill people.

Work/Life Balance

Currently it does offer me a work/life balance. However when I was working full-time in industry, it was more difficult, you have to be disciplined and make sure to get that balance right for you at different times in your life

Most Useful Aspects of my Education

Doing my Ph.D. has given me skills in project work and managing a large project and ensuring completion – this has served me very well in industry.Green Belt training was very beneficial to all aspects of my industry roles.The Masters in Bioprocessing has helped me widen my area of expertise and allowed me to enter the Training industry.

Useful Work Experience

I would recommend having a 3rd level qualification and relevent industry experience if possible.

Top Tip!

After qualification from 3rd level, keep looking for work in the industry, even if it is not in your immediate area of interest. It is always easier to get a job if you have one already.