Electrical-engineering graduate Fintan Naughton is standing against a wall with a blue Amgen sign.
Fintan Naughton. Image: Amgen

How this engineering graduate got a job in automation at Amgen

5 Oct 20201.02k Views

Where does an electrical engineer fit into a pharmaceutical company? Graduate Fintan Naughton explains.

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Fintan Naughton studied electrical engineering at TU Dublin, specialising in control engineering. After a six-month internship at biopharma giant Amgen, he knew he wanted to return to the company as a graduate.

Here, he talks about a typical day in his current role and how he has picked up more responsibilities through his graduate programme.

‘When looking to start your career it is important to think about how you align with the company’
– FINTAN NAUGHTON

With this programme, are you now working in your desired industry?

Amgen was not where I would have expected to be working when I started my course. But once I became familiar with the wide range of jobs available from a course like mine, I realised that Amgen would be a great company to work for within such an interesting industry.

What drew you to Amgen when you were seeking work as an electrical engineering graduate?

In my third year of college I completed a six-month internship in Amgen, which was advertised internally to my course, working in the automation projects team. During this time, I quickly discovered that Amgen was exactly the type of company that I would want to work for.

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What drew me to the company was that is was very clear that every decision is science-based, which for me coming from a STEM background was very appealing.

When looking to start your career it is important to think about how you align with the company and I certainly aligned with Amgen. With ethics at the forefront and a great track for career progression, it was an obvious choice for me when I was offered a position on the programme at the end of my internship.

What expectations did you have before you began the programme?

When returning to Amgen after completing my course I already had high expectations for the company, based on what I experienced during my internship. The expectations I had for my role in particular were that I would be seen as a valuable team member and for my work to be held to a very high standard. These expectations have been met in the five months that I have spent here.

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

After completing onboarding training, I was placed on the packaging automation team, helping to prepare the packaging equipment to be well equipped for the increase of production in 2020.

Did the scope of your work change as the programme progressed?

I still have the responsibilities that I had at the beginning but, with the experience and knowledge that I am gaining, the responsibilities have developed as well as more responsibilities being added.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

My typical day can consist of investigations into issues that have occurred with various pieces of automation equipment, implementing automation changes to improve a process or to add capabilities to systems and whatever other priorities there are that arise as part of the sustaining team.

How do your responsibilities compare to more experienced employees?

As I am the only graduate on my team, I am not treated like one. While I do not have the same amount of experience as them, there are still the same expectations regarding quality of work and deadlines. But at the same time everyone is still more than happy to answer any questions I might have and they are very willing to help.

Do you feel more prepared for working life after this programme?

Upon completion of this programme I will definitely be more prepared for the working world. Working in a fast-paced environment that constantly has improvement in mind lends itself to creating a well-rounded and highly skilled workforce. There is a culture of development within Amgen, which provides the platform for you to reach your potential.

Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at Amgen?

There are many reasons that Amgen, and this programme in particular, is a great place to be. The programme aims to nurture talent and act as a talent pipeline to create well-rounded, science-based, valuable team members.

Graduates here are treated with the same respect as the senior management, which creates a positive environment. Knowing you can approach all other members of staff for help or to collaborate on a project makes it a comfortable atmosphere to work in.

There are also lots of opportunities to learn different aspects of the company as there are rotations into different areas within your department over the two-year programme.

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