Quality Control Analyst at AstraZeneca

Start Date:
2015
Location:
Macclesfield
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
Salary:
£11,000 annually
Review Date:
May 2017

Review Score

9.1/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

9/10

Quality Control Analyst. I work in the Quality Control labs performing analytical chemical tests on drugs already in the market. I work as part of a team, and I cover a range of tests including HPLC analysis, dissolution testing, TLC testing amongst other smaller tests. The job is very enjoyable, especially working in a team. The Quality Control department is the last stage a drugs goes through before being released to market, so I have good job satisfaction in knowing what an important role I play. Some additional projects involved with the job include trending data to look at the performance of the testing machines, and as well as investigating into why certain batches fail testing.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

8/10

I have learnt lots of lab skills in the 2 years I have spent here so far. This includes the use of complicated laboratory machinery, as well as more basic lab skills such as using glassware and syringes. The training in the labs is very thorough and covers use of all different machinery and equipment in addition to the health and safety aspects. I have completed further training courses for Practical Fire training, GMP (good manufacturing practise) training, and I have become a STEM ambassador.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I really enjoy my programme! The company is fantastic to work for, and the people here are great. It is a really friendly working environment. Even though there is a high work load, it is very relaxed. Working at AZ has way surpassed my expectations, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering it.

4. How valued do you feel by AstraZeneca?

10/10

I feel highly valued by AZ. The majority of people who I work with would not know I was an apprentice unless I told them. I am given the same work load as the rest of the team, and I am treated no differently (with exception to my study day!). I have monthly meetings with my AZ manager who praises me for the work I have done, and helps me to enhance my learning for the future. In addition to this, I meet quarterly with my manager from Cogent Skills (an external apprenticeship agency) who makes sure that I am progressing well within the company.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

9/10

The course is very well structured. Upon first arrival at the company, I was put on a 3 day induction to Astra Zeneca. From there my AZ manager organised my lab training aspects. My workplace mentor works within my team, so I always have the option to talk to her which is great. She has a wealth of experience which is very useful. I am given 1 day a week to study for my uni work which is very helpful.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?

8/10

I receive a lot of support from AZ. I have 1 study day during works time per week. My mentor always has her door open to me for help and support. All of the experienced chemists in my team are always willing to help me learn my course content and help with problems. I also have a graduate within the company who tutors me some of the course content.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?

8/10

I receive a lot of support from AZ. I have 1 study day during works time per week. My mentor always has her door open to me for help and support. All of the experienced chemists in my team are always willing to help me learn my course content and help with problems. I also have a graduate within the company who tutors me some of the course content.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?

10/10

The salary is fantastic. The starting salary is £11000, in second year £13000,and third year £15000. I live at home with my family, so living costs are N/A. The only outgoing I have are for my car, and travel to work. I live just 10 minutes from work so travel is cheap. The vast majority of what i earn is spend on doing things which i enjoy.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

10/10

There are lots of opportunities. AZ has an on-site gym and 5-aside football pitch available for hire. There are networking events for the apprentices bi-monthly. I also get the opportunity to attend careers fair with AZ and represent the AZ apprenticeship scheme. For those who live in Macclesfield, there are lots to do socially, and Manchester city centre is only 20 mins away via train.

9a. Would you recommend AstraZeneca to a friend? *

Yes

9b. Why? *

It is a fantastic opportunity. You can have a degree fully sponsored by the company, as well as having a strong chance of having a full time permanent job at the end working for the international, multi-billion pound company. It is a very relaxed, friendly and enjoyable environment to work in.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to AstraZeneca? *

Study the company and know your stuff before attending any interviews. Be honest and open about yourself, and show interest in the company. Be passionate for the subject area you are applying for, and be prepared to be flexible with working hours unless you have serious commitments! It isn't school/university, it is a professional environment, so treat it that way and behave accordingly.

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