My role is Nutrition and Scientific Affairs Manager. I am responsible for advising the sales and marketing departments on all aspects of nutrition to ensure that all materials (website, literature, packaging and advertising) are accurate.
One of the things I like about my job is the variety. In the year since I started working in this role I have done the following diverse jobs: advised on formulation changes to infant formulas, being filmed talking to mums about feeding their babies for our consumer website, applied for ACBS approval for a preterm formula, delivered training to our field force, checked nutrition information for packaging, and visited retailers to talk about the nutrition aspects of our products.
I work with another Nutritionist and with Scientific and Regulatory colleagues.
My degree was in Food Chemistry and Nutrition, so I have used both aspects in jobs. I have worked as a Food Technologist, but most of my work has been with Nutrition, first for all ages, and more recently in the area of Infant Nutrition.
The company I work for is part of a pharmaceutical company. I didn’t deliberately set out to work for a pharmaceutical company. My family are in medical roles, so I’ve always been interested in medicine. I enjoy learning about the therapy areas my company is involved with.
I took the Irish leaving certificate in Maths, English, Irish, Biology, Chemistry and Economics, I then went on to University College Cork and studied for a joint honours degree in Science (Food Chemistry and Nutrition). I completed part of the Masters course at Reading University (Nutrition) as a refresher when I came back to work after a nine year break to have my three children.
Infant nutrition is quite a specialist area and not one that there are specific courses to take. Generally I think that a Masters or PhD is very useful if you know what area you want to specialise in.
It’s really friendly with a Sports and Social club and regular events. We have a lovely grounds and outside area to sit and have lunch in nice weather. It’s quite a young workforce and that makes it fun.
I can’t think of a particular highlight, but I have organised large events and it’s satisfying when they run smoothly. I have taken part in media and magazine work and I enjoy passing on useful and accurate information to parents of young children.
There is still plenty of scope to develop my role, as I have been in this job for only 12 months. Once I started I recruited another nutritionist, who reports to me, so am learning management skills in addition to getting to grips with the technical aspects of the job.
Flexibility and a co-operative attitude. My job mostly involves responding to others work requests, rather than setting my own agenda.
Find out what exactly interests you and what you are good at and then investigate the different fields within the industry. Due to the diversity of the roles in the industry, if you have a broad interest in science you will be able to find something that suits you.
If you excel in your job, have a clear focus and drive and own your development plan, then the pharmaceutical world is your oyster.