A young female scientist in blue visor glasses hunched over pharmaceutical equipment.
Image: Connor McKenna

Do you have to choose between a legacy company and a forward-thinking one?

10 Jan 2019

There’s a lot to consider when searching for a new role once you leave university. Do you want to embed yourself in an organisation with a rich history, or a new enterprise with a bright future? More importantly, do you even have to choose?

When entering the world of work, you may ask yourself what kind of company you want to join. What kind of values do you want it to have? Presumably, ones that align with your own.

Also, do you want to go for a large enterprise or a small start-up? Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

Often, the choice between large enterprise and small start-up can feel like the choice between old and new. A large, established company offers the security and comfort of a robust legacy, and the reputation that comes with that. Yet the attraction of smaller operations will still endure for many because newer firms tend to be seen as the most forward-thinking ones. A large, longstanding company may have a considerable past, but a small start-up has the potential for an incredible future.

How do you make this essential choice when you are first leaving your studies? You could do a pros and cons list of both. Alternatively, you could find a company where you don’t have to choose.

Marie Martin, operations and technical lead at MSD Carlow, believes that her firm is one with both a rich history and a promising future. “MSD is a really exciting company going through a massive growth phase at this point in time.”

At the Carlow facility, MSD develops its far-reaching portfolio of products that span immuno-oncology and vaccines old and new. “It’s an excellent opportunity for new and young people coming out of college who will get the opportunity to work on these really exciting products, and will get to learn about all the tech transfers and … commercialisation of these new and innovative products.”

Alison Kilbane, a quality assurance specialist, also pointed out that MSD is as invested in the future of its employees as it is in the future of the company as a whole. Kilbane was able to return to her studies and gain further qualifications while working at MSD with the help of its sponsorship.

HR business partner Caroline O’Connor added that the ideal MSD employee will, among other key traits, have to be someone who enjoys a fast-paced environment.

To hear more about how to get a job in a company such as MSD, check out the video above.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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