Careers Café

Student Placement Experiences



  • Almac – Codie
  • Lea Folliard Study USA Programme
  • Curtis Donnan Ornua
  • Caragh Fitzpatrick Ulster University

Codie Lea

Her year working as a technical quality officer with ALMAC Pharma services.

She found her placement through LinkedIn, she had to complete a metric testing and an interview. She was based in Craigavon. They are a prestigious company that offers travelling opportunity – this is what inspired her. Their values/mantra/vison lined up with hers.

They were impressed with her interview as she smiled and was confident when communicating and when she had not known how to use machinery she would give examples of how she would overcome that at uni lab. Ask about confidentiality for data integrity  in your interview. How is my career going to progress ask during interview and placement

Induction process:

  • It spanned over the course of 2 weeks.
  • New starts were grouped together to facilitate a joint learning experience.
  • Introduced to different members of their team who shared their experinces and job roles.
  • Multiple site tours across Craigavon site.
  • End of the induction process involved the integration into the main office space.
  • Buddy system allowed for an easier transition.
  • Training
  • Equal treatment between placement students and TQ officers.
  • Had an output to challenge my difficulties and challenges, such as navigation of quality softwares.
  • 1:1 monthly meetings

As part of the team you are eligible to get awards – strive for this

Contract offer:

  • She was offered a permanent role starting July 2022
  • Only required to achieve a minimum 2:1 classification
  • Due to her placement experience, she will commence as a first level officer and not just a graduate

Further study opportunity with ALMAC:

  • Eligible for the further education scheme within ALMAC Pharma Services
  • Allows her to maintain her position while undertaking a masters degree
  • Fees will be paid for by the company
  • She would be eligible for MSc Pharmaceutical Validation Technology at Technological University in Dublin.

Career progressions:

  • Her placement experience is a career boost, a stepping stone in her career – make sure this is so for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


He is currently working in University: Vice president in the student union.

  • He enrolled into the Study USA and got in. 1 of 50 students who get to go over.
  • He went through a serious of interviews, filled personal statements and had to appear before a panel. He went to West Virginia. It was quite remote so it was a challenge being so remote.
  • Curtis. You come across as confident and this really makes a difference at an interview. Confidence can be learned … The Interview 360 tool on the employability portal is a fantastic way to practice your interview skills and get immediate feedback.
  • Left with a 4.0 GPA (First class honors).
  • Enhance your confidence option – EDGE activity
  • Study USA program is extremely competitive – stay connected with Curtis; he can help.

Caragh Fitzpatrick

Is a technical Support Administrator in Ornua

  • Ornua is the owner of Kerrygold.
  • They are collaborators who export the goods throughout the world.
  • She was with them for 13monts July to August.
  • Its a very high paced company.
  • She was treated like an employee during her placement.
  • She completed 7 courses whilst there: Internal Auditing (first placement student to do this ever)
  • She had to be very organized from day one as it was such a fast paced environment
  • She was only in the offices twice; the rest she did online.
  • Language barriers and culture awareness is so important – check out the EDGE activity – Culture Awareness

Olivia McKee

Placement year at Ulster University

Geography student working as a Research placement assistant at Ulster


  • Check Handshake and LinkedIn everyday!!!!
  • Practice interview
  • Writing CV help
  • Employability and careers team
  • Keep your options open
  • Don’t limit yourself it would also be useful to gain experience in different sectors

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