Eilis Murphy of Amgen is smiling into the camera, wearing a pink top and standing in front of a wall with a blue Amgen sign on it.
Eilis Murphy. Image: Amgen

How this biotech engineer became a training lead at Amgen

14 Apr 2020

Eilis Murphy, training lead at Amgen, discusses her journey from design engineering and biotech research to her current role.

Eilis Murphy is a training and development senior manager at Amgen. Having originally studied engineering, she was surprised to discover her passion for training early in her biopharma career.

Here, she explains how she reached the position she holds today and what she enjoys most about the role.

‘There’s lots to learn from observing other people and how they approach opportunities and challenges’

What first stirred your interest in a career in this area?

I always had an interest in science and maths. I liked the logic and the problem-solving elements.

What experiences led you to the role you now have?

I decided to study engineering in college as this encompassed all the subjects that I liked. Later, I specialised in chemical engineering and, around the time I graduated, the areas of biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals were becoming very topical with their introduction of a new approach to producing drugs.

For this reason, I decided to pursue further research studies in the areas of biotechnology and bioengineering. I undertook projects in both bacterial and mammalian cell culture and bioreactor design.

What were the biggest surprises or challenges you encountered on your career path and how did you deal with them?

After completing my research projects, I accepted a job as a design engineer during the start-up of a new biotech training facility that was designed specifically for the pharmaceutical industry.

Having completed the start-up project, I became involved in training in the new pilot plant and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This came as a big surprise to me as I never thought I might end up in a training position [when] starting out my engineering degree.

Currently, I work as the training lead in Amgen, so this chance occurrence led me to where I am today.

Was there any one person who was particularly influential as your career developed?

I don’t think there was any one person. Lots of people have influenced me throughout both my time in college and my career to date. I think people influence me every day.

I feel it’s really important to be self-aware and aware of others. There’s lots to learn from observing other people and how they approach opportunities and challenges.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy the variation across delivering training, designing training materials, human performance analysis, error reduction, root cause analysis and supporting regulatory inspections.

Every day is different and there’s always a new challenge and an opportunity to learn.

What aspects of your personality do you feel make you suited to this job?

My ability to react quickly to change, stay calm and think logically.

How did Amgen support you on your career path?

Amgen offers lots of developmental opportunities. I find those opportunities in the soft skills space most beneficial. This training has helped me to progress my career.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in this area, or just starting out in one?

Pursue and follow what you enjoy. It is much easier to be successful, learn and discipline yourself if you enjoy and are motivated by what you are doing.

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