I have really enjoyed my placement in Regulatory Affairs at Johnson & Johnson. I have gained significant knowledge about the medical devices industry and Regulatory affairs as a profession. The work I was given had a significant impact on the business and the team were very supportive throughout my placement.
My colleagues put a lot of trust in my capabilities to complete the work that I was given and provided a lot of support. I received continuous constructive feedback throughout the year and was asked to take an extension for an additional two months. There were also a number of presentation opportunities to demonstrate my knowledge.
As a student entering the Medical Devices business for the first time, there were significant resources/systems available for initial learning and development which helped me to obtain the required skills and knowledge for the role. In addition, my supervisor provided frequent 1:1 feedback sessions throughout my time to assess my progress which have been extremely beneficial.
There were a number of periods during my placement where I had very little work and as I was working with affiliates globally, the time difference can sometimes be a constraint. However, after discussions with my supervisor there was always additional work that I could support colleagues with. In addition, there was always opportunities to spend time learning more about the products and business as a whole.
I was given a good level of responsibility throughout the placement once I had demonstrated my capability to complete the tasks. In addition, I was given a number of long term projects to work on alongside daily responsibilities. As mentioned previously, I was also given opportunities to meet and present to significant employees higher up in the company which was a great networking prospect. All the daily tasks had an impact on the company and patient which was very motivating as my responsibilities were not insignificant
I am yet to return to university however my work ethic has drastically improved alongside my time management. It is a very useful placement to take as you get an insight into every part of the product lifecycle and the job requires you to liase internally with various departments. This allows you to learn a significant amount about how the Medical Device industry works and what is required in a future career, It has given me a much clearer idea of where I want my career path to go.
The office had a good atmosphere and was always friendly. There are plenty of young people who are based on site and there are a number of social events taking place throughout the year. Because they have been taking IP students for a number of years there is a lot of effort made to help you settle in.
The placement was very well organised as I had a 2 week handover period with the previous placement student and weekly meetings with my manager to assess progress and address any issues. There was a lot of training set up prior to my arrival along with my desk, computer, phone etc. The only negative point was that I found it very difficult to find suitable accommodation for my placement, and there was a lack of furnished flats/houses available.
There was specific training assigned to me throughout the year and upon request I could gain further knowledge into specific areas. There were a number of opportunities for volunteering in audits, school visits, charity work, and first aid training. Within the Regulatory Affairs department my colleagues were always happy to answer any questions or train me on new aspects of the job.
Future employment prospects within the organisation are very appealing as it is a global company so there are opportunities to work in various locations. Regulatory Affairs allowed me to gain knowledge in a number of departmental areas so there is also the ability to transfer into different departments. There is a lot of progression available in this organisation as well and good work is always noticed.
It was a very socially active site with colleagues playing badminton weekly and football occasionally as well. Cinema trips are often organised during the week and nights out on weekends. There is a big annual Christmas party and Bowling night in spring where everyone gets involved.
The only down side is there are only 3 IP students, in comparison to other sites which often have a lot more.
Living costs are very cheap in and around Blackpool and there are plenty of nice places to visit by car or train (Lake district/north wales can be reached in 1.5 hours). A number of employees live nearby to work who often have nights out in Preston.
I lived in St. Annes during my placement which had a number of very nice pubs/bars and Preston is also close for a bigger night out. However, compared to Leeds where I was at University the nightlife is not as good. Manchester can be reached by train very easily also.
As mentioned previously, badminton took place on a weekly basis and cinema trips fairly often. The company offer a subsidised Gym membership at a local health club which is very nice and close to work.