Headshot of a young, dark-haired male graduate who works at Amgen in a blue jumper against a blurred-out building.
Ian Mitchell, graduate, Amgen. Image: Amgen

Want to work with people who are industry leaders in their field?

21 Aug 2018

Graduates will have a unique opportunity to learn from some of the leaders in their desired industry.

We’re more than two-thirds of the way through Graduates Month and in that time we’ve gotten plenty of unique advice from industry experts as well as personal stories from graduates who have already taken those initial steps into the working world.

While each graduate’s experience differs depending on the industry, company and area in which they work, the opportunities they receive appear to be exceptional.

The mentorship that graduates can receive as part of a programme is vast and, as their time in a company progresses, they tend to gain more responsibility, experience and skills.

Graduates will also get plenty of opportunities to learn from those who are experts in their field, and that is what will make them stand out in the future.

Ian Mitchell is on Amgen’s graduate programme and he told Siliconrepublic.com about how he has had the chance to work with industry leaders already.

What did you study in college?

I studied a BSc in mechanical engineering followed by a master’s in mechanical engineering with business in University College Dublin.

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

Leaving college, I was not sure what industry I wanted to work in. My degree gave me a good technical foundation combined with a broad business understanding, so I had plenty of options.

What drew you to Amgen when you were seeking work as a graduate?

As part of my master’s, I completed a placement with Mercury Engineering working on a biopharma start-up project. This gave me my first taste of biopharma.

Taking a role in Amgen gave me an opportunity to see a manufacturing site producing biotechnological products to treat seriously ill people.

What expectations did you have before you began the programme?

I expected to be challenged and learn something new every day – so far so good!

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

Initially, I was working in the project management office on site. This involved supporting the portfolio and business process around all projects on site.

Meanwhile, I was working in the operational excellence team helping to deliver business improvement projects. The role of operational excellence is to lead and facilitate value-adding and waste-reducing projects on site.

As part of the team, I also spend a lot of time guiding and helping people through lean systems, tools and behaviours.

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

Yes, I got involved in a project to ramp up production capabilities on site after a few months in the role.

This meant a temporary change in role and a new team in the packaging department of the business. The aggressive schedule made for a steep learning curve.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

Operational excellence is varied in its nature. You could be working on a number of different projects at the one time. The projects I work on daily are highly collaborative, so I get to work with a lot of different people at all levels in the business.

How do your responsibilities compare to more experienced employees’?

I have supported highly experienced employees in delivering projects but I have also been given the opportunity to lead projects myself. The trust Amgen puts in all its graduates means your work matters to the business.

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

Definitely. The rotations that graduates experience give a great insight into different aspects of the business. Working in high-performing teams with people from different backgrounds is a great opportunity to learn and develop new skills.

Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at Amgen?

It may sound clichéd but the people in Amgen are what make the difference. The atmosphere on site is friendly and positive, and I have gotten the chance to work with people who are industry leaders in their field.

Amgen is not just looking for scientists and engineers, there are opportunities for graduates from many different backgrounds to add value to a company that is at the forefront of biotechnology.

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