Want to know what a graduate programme is like at one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies?
For graduates, the first company they work for will give them an expectation of the journey on which they are about to embark.
Graduate programmes are set up with this very thing in mind. The best ones offer mentoring, training and the chance to take on responsibility, helping graduates to grow their abilities and start to climb that career ladder.
When it comes to graduates who want to work in the biotech sector, most will be familiar with the companies they can work for, but not everyone knows what it’s actually like to work there.
That’s why we found out what it’s like from the perspective of a graduate at one of these companies.
Kashmira Zahoor participated in Amgen’s graduate programme. Here, she gave an insider look at her experience.
What did you study in college?
I completed a four-year BSc degree in biotechnology at Maynooth University.
With this programme, are you now working in your desired industry?
My degree choice was based on my desire to pursue an industrial career within the biopharmaceutical area. The biotechnology field is continuously expanding, resulting in exciting opportunities for recent graduates.
Amgen is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies and, with my focus lying with human therapeutics, it was top of the list for me.
What drew you to Amgen when you were seeking work as a graduate?
Amgen holds their mission to serve patients, focusing on superior scientific innovation, integrity and continuous improvement to achieve high-quality results.
When looking for employment, these were the key points that drew me to the company. Having the opportunity to work and develop in my career while helping make a meaningful difference for millions of people around the world was a capture point for me.
What expectations did you have before you began the programme?
My expectations were clear before I started working for Amgen through the graduate programme as I had completed a successful three-month internship here as part of my degree.
This was my main reason for applying to the graduate programme, as I had gained such a valuable experience and set of skills in such a short amount of time.
I am seen as a valuable employee within Amgen, contributing to the future success of the company. This ensures that all opportunities are available to me once my interest lies there.
What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?
The graduate programme works on a rotation basis, where I spent a substantial amount of time in each of the different teams within QC.
When I started the programme, I was introduced to my team that I was starting my rotation in, initially focusing on ensuring I had all required training completed.
Since then, I have had continuous opportunities to also get involved in numerous projects to ensure I acquire valuable experience in a variety of areas and teams.
Will the scope of your work change as the programme progresses?
Since I had already completed an internship at Amgen, it allowed me to hit the ground running upon entering the graduate programme.
The scope of my work has changed compared to last year when I started, and will continue to do so as I develop my skills through new challenges that I am faced with by learning from my senior team members.
I am now able to do tasks independently and more efficiently, enabling me to take on more responsibilities.
Can you describe a typical day in your role?
My typical day changes depending on what team I am a part of. When carrying out routine lab work, it starts off with a morning meeting every day, where the entire team gets together and runs through any issues that were encountered the day before as well as long-term issues that are ongoing. This is then followed by adhering to the testing schedule that is done out for each team member.
When working on projects, I have to ensure I manage my time efficiently compared to having a schedule done out for me.
I have to ensure I meet all deadlines and correspond with my team members in regards to progress or any roadblocks faced. This also includes working alongside cross-functional teams, which means I get the chance to learn about the work other departments on site carry out.
Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at Amgen?
Completing a successful graduate programme at Amgen will open a whole range of opportunities for any candidate looking for further employment, whether that’s within Amgen or elsewhere.
Exposure and experience in the wide range of different labs and teams provides a graduate the opportunity to build their skills and capabilities in areas that are of interest to them. Working as part of diverse teams enables the graduate to reach full potential.