Please introduce yourself and what you do
My name is Udo, and I am from Ireland but originally from Nigeria (I moved to Ireland when I was six). I currently work as a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) Support Engineer at a Biopharmaceutical company based in Dublin.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love how diverse the role is, it encompasses a lot of elements like project management, change management, asset management, reliability engineering and data management (querying, cleaning, mapping etc.). There is always a lot to learn & many opportunities to gain different skillsets. I also enjoy working with people who are so knowledgeable in the field & are great mentors who are always willing to lend a hand!
What was your route into industry from education?
I studied BSc. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science at Dublin City University, where I had the opportunity to do an internship in the industry as part of my degree program. I worked with some amazing people during my internship, who allowed me to explore all aspects of the industry. Although science is & forever will be my first love, I took a liking to engineering which made me explore that side of the industry.
Did you always aspire to work in pharma?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer like my Aunty but when I got into secondary school, I found myself gravitating to the sciences. I have a curious mind, so I wanted to know more about the world and how it is the way it is – even down to the nanoscale! I studied chemistry at school, which initially I found challenging but extremely interesting & satisfying; the problem-solving aspect & its challenging nature is what I enjoy most about it. So naturally I searched for careers surrounding chemistry & I stumbled across the pharmaceutical industry. It was something I had never considered or thought of, but the combination of helping people & problem solving is what solidified my decision to pursue a career in this industry.
Has your experience in pharma been what you expected or has it been different?
Definitely not what I expected. I saw myself wearing lab coats and safety glasses at work - although the safety glasses have remained, I never envisioned that they would be paired with high-vis jackets & hard hats.
What are your future aspirations with your career in pharma?
I am still relatively new to the world of pharma so it is quite difficult to say for definite what my career aspirations are currently. However, I can say for definite that I aspire to always be in a space where I am continuously learning, continuously collaborating & continuously developing in my career. I don’t have to be the most experienced or most knowledgeable in the room, but I will definitely be the one asking the most questions!
What tips would you give a new starter interested in getting into pharma?
I would say learn to switch off the voice of imposter syndrome – yes you are overwhelmed by how little you know, and everyone seems to know a lot BUT that doesn't mean you are out of your depth. Everyone has to start from somewhere & you were chosen because you are qualified to perform your duties in the role (even if you don’t think so!).
Always be open, never say no to a task/experience and never pigeonhole yourself into one area – you’ll miss out on a lot of experiences/opportunities.
No question is a stupid question & people will help you (if you ask). Be bold, be courageous & step out of your comfort zone. Ask questions, reach out to random people & NETWORK!
Always put your best foot forward, no matter how insignificant the task may look – give it a 100% (you don’t know who’s watching!).
Get involved in other activities in work, i.e., sport & social clubs, diversity & inclusion groups etc. It’s a good way to meet people, learn about the organization/how other departments work & pick up some skills!
Be proactive – if you want something? Don’t stop till you get it!