Danielle Gallagher's Apprenticeship Testimonial


Danielle Gallagher

Analytical Technician

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I chose an apprenticeship so that I could gain real industrial experience with a world-leading company whilst studying for a Foundation Degree in Applied Industrial Science.

Why did you decide to go down the apprenticeship route as opposed to a traditional university route?

I chose the apprenticeship route because it meant that I would gain real experience working in GMP labs whilst studying for my Foundation Degree. I would receive training and gain a further depth of understanding in my studies.

Why did you decide to move into this area as a career choice?

I chose to work in an Industry which deals with my favorite subject, Chemistry. I think it’s important to study what you are interested in so you will be pursuing a career you will enjoy.

How did you get started on your apprenticeship? 

The first step was applying for the apprenticeship through the portal on the Southern Regional College’s website. I was asked to write a personal statement and to provide my GCSE and A Level/Level 3 Grades.

What do you see as the main advantages associated with doing an apprenticeship?

The main advantages of an apprenticeship are no student loans or fees, it’s paid employment and you get real experience of how chemistry knowledge and techniques are applied in an industrial setting.

What advice would you give someone thinking of studying for a Higher Level Apprenticeship/Engineering Apprenticeship?

I would tell them not to miss out on such an enjoyable and educational opportunity! This is their chance to gain experience and employment whilst studying.

What have you found to be the most surprising thing about your apprenticeship and why? 

The thing that surprised me most through this apprenticeship is that I understand my studies to a greater extent. Everything we are taught in our course, we can learn more about here at Almac. The training staff and our colleagues are more than willing to help us to learn new things and to answer any questions we may have.

What do you hope to do when you complete your Higher Level Apprenticeship? 

When I complete my Foundation Degree, I am going to progress to Level 6 so that I can gain my degree in Pharmaceutical Bioscience and keep working here at Almac, learning new skills. I hope that my higher qualifications will help me move up the career ladder here.

About your role

Tell me about your role at Almac?

I am a Higher Level Apprentice who works as a Grade 1 Technician for Almac Sciences.

Tell me what you do on a typical day at work?

A typical day at work for me will involve calibration and maintenance of equipment, attending training, keeping the labs to a high standard and making mobile phases.

What training have you received at Almac?

I have learned how to use and calibrate balances and pipettes. I have been trained in NMR, I can maintain equipment and communicate with suppliers as well as following all of the cGMP procedures here.

What do you do at college and how does it apply to your work?

In college we do some practical work e.g. colorimetry.  We also focus on report writing and have learned how to use Harvard Referencing correctly. We give presentations and make videos as well as attend online meetings in the evenings.

How do you juggle work and study?

Juggling work and study doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s about time management. I focus on my studies for an hour each day after work (4 days per week) and enjoy spending time with my friends and pursuing my hobbies at the weekend. We also attend college 1 day per week. The deadlines for coursework take into consideration that for a large percentage of the week we are in the workplace.

Do you like working here?

I thoroughly enjoy coming to work here every day. I look forward to new challenges and learning new things. I work well with my team, everyone is friendly and helpful.

What do you really like about your job?

I really like working in the GMP environment. There are so many opportunities to learn new things every day and it’s challenging yet enjoyable.

What do you love most about your job?

The people. You can learn something new from each person. They will help you to understand things which can help with the coursework involved with this course.

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