Please tell us about yourself
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Vision Care is one of the many subsidiaries of J&J. The company is based in Limerick and designs and manufactures the number one brand range of soft disposable contact lenses, Acuvue.
Working in the pharmaceutical industry can be an exciting ambition for graduates, but what are graduate programmes like in a company such as J&J Vision Care?
Shreya Salehittal works in J&J Vision Care in Limerick, having obtained her bachelor’s degree in India and her master’s degree in Ireland. Here, she talks about her experience of the programme and how it has benefited her.
What did you study in college?
I did my bachelor’s degree in biotechnology engineering at University of Pune, India, and master’s degree in biotechnology and business from University College Dublin, Ireland.
With this programme, are you now working in your desired industry?
Yes, I wanted to be in a pharmaceutical/medical device company.
What drew you to J&J Vision Care when you were seeking work as a graduate?
J&J has a varied range of products, different campuses spread throughout the world, and opportunities that involve working with the latest cutting-edge technology, some of the best people in the industry and a healthy work ethic. The Credo is what J&J lives by and it taught me about the kind of outlook a professional in my industry must have. Moreover, the vast network of people and businesses attached with J&J gives me a diverse exposure necessary to build my career.
The graduate programme by J&J is a two-year programme where I can rotate into another role or department every nine months. For a new professional like me, this is a great opportunity to not only explore different roles but also understand what suits me and the company the best. This flexibility allows me to understand my learning and working style with any kind of support I need from my colleagues, trainers and senior management.
What expectations did you have before you began the programme?
Firstly, the rotation and the opportunity to have different kinds of responsibilities through this programme is what sparked my interest. Secondly, my working style to date was as a student, hence I wanted to find out what my working style as a professional would be. Thirdly, and probably most importantly, working with experienced engineers, working with senior management team and enjoying the team atmosphere.
What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?
After a week of induction, I was assigned to a team called Focus Group, which consistently works on increasing the lens per shift (LPS) of a low-performing line. I assisted in data-gathering and data management while also learning about the line, how it works, what kind of responsibilities various people have etc.
I was also encouraged to be creative, and pitch possible solutions and ask as many questions as I wanted.
Did the scope of your work change as the programme progressed?
Yes, I am involved in more projects and have more responsibilities now. The projects range from working on one line to working across the two different manufacturing phases with cell engineers, process technicians, quality engineers etc.
It has increased and sharpened my communication and time management skills. My work is not only technical but also includes management of people, projects and my own training.
Can you describe a typical day in your role?
My day starts with reviewing the work that is completed or pending from the previous day, planning a rough schedule for the entire day and quickly checking the production yields across the manufacturing phases I am working with. I work on various projects and have to attend meetings associated with them, so I have to practise time management daily.
As a cell engineer, I will troubleshoot problems that my assigned cell is facing and review opportunities to increase the quality, safety and speed of lens production.
Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at J&J Vision Care?
J&J is truly a great place to work. One of the noteworthy things about this programme is the professional training course wherein your transition from student to professional is made simpler. The training does not only help your career with J&J but also you as a young professional.
Also, the kind of freedom and flexibility this programme offers is very rare elsewhere. If you join a particular department, it doesn’t have to be the only department you work in by the end of this course. You’ll also be given a greater preference in being hired as a permanent employee with the organisation.
The exposure to the senior management team is also incredible and everybody is very supportive and helpful. With the added bonus of J&J being a global company with an international network, it is also a very interesting and diverse place to work. It is definitely a good kick-start for your career.