Managing and identifying projects that will improve the reliability and sustainability of building services on the site. This involves liaising with contracted parties from various disciplines. The role also has a focus on energy management and analysis, which is used to detect overspends and identify energy saving opportunities.
The role gave a strong insight into project management and greatly improved my communication, teamwork and problem solving skills which has also allowed me to build a network of contacts. I have learnt about the importance of compliance in the pharmaceutical industry, especially with the extra steps that must be taken when carrying out projects in GxP (Good x Practice) areas. I also had the opportunity to complete a certified energy managers course which made me aware of various ways energy can be saved within buildings and codes and standards related to energy use.
Responsibility was given in a number of areas. Meter readings had to be collected and documented on a weekly basis, the data then had to be analysed and it was my responsibility to challenge any unusual readings, in some cases this lead to significant cost reductions for the site. I was given responsibility for pushing various projects to completion as well as ensuring that the all necessary documentation, such as risk assessments, were in place before works began.
My managers were very supportive and put my placement experience first. I had weekly 1:1 sessions where I could voice any concerns or queries as well as receive new projects. They persevered to make my placement a success despite the pandemic slowing things down. The team I was in was very friendly and supportive and would offer help if I was unaware of how to proceed in given situations. Pfizer itself has many ways of getting support, they have IT support, mental health care and HR put together a large amount of useful information for the induction process. There are many relatively easy to use online services to download software, access site procedures, payslips etc.
Pfizer has a very positive atmosphere, there were many opportunities to get together with other colleges and other undergraduates for activities such as virtual escape rooms. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic only virtual social opportunities were available during my placement. Monthly national presentations are also given that highlight goings on in the company which offered a deeper insight into the industry.
I had a very good time during my placement despite challenges faced by the pandemic. The type of work was a good fit for me, I enjoyed being able to put my technical knowledge from university to use as well as expand my network. I felt that overall, the year has been extremely productive and has allowed me to gain invaluable industry experience as well as confidence that will be very useful in the future.
My particular role required a good knowledge of pumps and piping systems and was more focused on building utility services rather than dealing with the pharmaceutical aspects directly. Being able to confidently use excel is also helpful due to the energy analysis aspect of the role. My recruitment process involved a video interview followed by a virtual interview with my manager, my skills with computers were cited as giving me the edge over the other candidates as Pfizer in general has a large focus on streamlining work by digital means. This particular role is unlikely to lead to an offer at Pfizer after graduating, but the skills and knowledge that are gained from it will surely make the search easier.
Placement Year (10 Months+)