We Are Randox | Carole Smyth’s Girl Guides Adventures

We Are Randox | Carole Smyth’s Girl Guides Adventures

We’re passionate about celebrating the kindness and generosity of our Randox employees. Each have their own unique and interesting story to tell and many give up their spare time to support their local community and help those in need.

Their compassion and commitment is what makes Randox the successful company it is today, and nobody demonstrates this better than our Logistics Team Leader, Carole Smyth.

Carole volunteers her time as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Girl Guides, a group of girls and young women who together, take part in activities designed to help them reach their potential and take an active and responsible role in the world around them.

As we continue our #WeAreRandox series of staff stories, we are delighted to have found out about the work Carole does with the Girl Guides.

We love getting to know the hobbies and interests that make our colleagues who they are, and hope that Carole’s story encourages other members of our team to consider some voluntary work in their local community.

By the sounds of it, Carole thinks it is an incredibly rewarding experience. Here’s her story.

 

I’ve been involved in the Girl Guides for 11 years now, having been encouraged to join by my sister-in-law Donna.

The organisation is entirely led by volunteers and therefore reliant on people signing up to commit to a few hours a week delivering Girl Guide activities.

My role as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Guides, along with two other leaders, is to ensure the girls have a varied programme and can gain access to activities they wouldn’t normally have access to. This can vary from arts and crafts to science workshops, cooking to camping, and dancing to orienteering.

Each activity aims to promote skills in the likes of leadership, listening, sharing and above all, developing the courage to take on new adventures and exciting challenges.

And it’s not just the girls who get the chance to embark on these adventures. Given my fear of heights, zip lining wasn’t exactly high up on my to do list, but when you have a group of Guides giving you “gentle” encouragement, what can you do?

Another highlight with the Girl Guides for me was June last year when I attended the Trooping of the Colour for the Queen’s birthday. Along with a few other leaders and girls, we were given access the Youth Enclosure at the entrance to Horse Guards Parade – a prime viewing spot to see the Royal Family. Then we were escorted to Buckingham Palace up the Mall, and even made it on to TV (if you don’t blink at that specific 0.1 second moment!)

The whole procession was just amazing and it was so special to be able to share this memory with my two daughters, one of whom is a Rainbow (ages 4-7) and the other a Brownie (ages 7-10). As a parent, I love that through Brownies they have the opportunity to meet girls from other backgrounds and beliefs, and as I mentioned before, learn new skills and take part in lots of different activities, as well as earn Guiding-specific awards. From First Aid and World Cultures to Singing and Chocolate (yes you can gain a Chocolate badge – what’s not to love?), all of these awards look great on the girls’ CVs or university application forms.

 And if you volunteer to be a leader, you can also study for new qualifications – in first response, hiking, catering or Duke of Edinburgh, to name but a few. Personally though, my favourite thing about being a Girl Guides leader is the opportunity to see the girls grow and develop during their time with us. I am able to witness shy girls gaining more confidence, girls with learning difficulties or health complications taking part in different activities that they would normally shy away from, and in general, just seeing all our girls enjoying their time together and making lasting friendships.

It sounds corny but I myself have also met lots of fantastic leaders during the last 11 years who I can now call lifelong friends. The bonds we as leaders, and the girls, make when we go away on our annual day trips, overnight stays, and camping adventures are quite unique.

This year our unit is attending an outdoor camp (our first overnight outdoor experience!) along with other units from our county. Last year, we took our Guides to Dunluce Guide House for our unit holiday and enjoyed a spot of horse riding, and last November we took part in UK Parliament Week by attending an evening at Stormont, where we met Arlene Foster.  A few of our girls also took part in an activity day organised by Ulster Rugby at which they learned some basic rugby skills and had the opportunity to interact with Guides from all over Ulster.

The activities we offer to our Girl Guides are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I am proud that I am part of such a special organisation.

 

We’re very proud of Carole and the amazing work she does with Girl Guides, and are delighted that she has taken the time to share her story with us.

If you would like some further information on Girl Guiding, you can visit www.girlguiding.co.uk to register your interest.

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

 For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com

 

 

 

 


Staff Newsletter November / December 2017 Edition

Staff Newsletter September / October 2017 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the November / December 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click through for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including Randox Health’s successful prostate awareness campaign during Movember, our attendance at Medica 2017, Randox Teoranta’s Open Day in Donegal and of course our annual Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Raffle – at which we raised a hugely impressive £4030!

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We Are Randox | Randox Apprentice Rory McCloskey Wins Gold at National Competition

A Randox Engineer and Northern Regional College apprentice has been recognised as one of the UK’s most talented young tradesmen at an event organised by Worldskills UK.

Rory McCloskey (21) from Antrim was a gold medal winner at the UK National finals in Birmingham. He was competing with over 500 apprentices, exponents of 55 disciplines – as diverse as Aircraft Maintenance to 3D Game Design, Cabinet Making, Plumbing to Beauty Therapy and Cyber Security.

Rory was recognised for his expertise in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling which involves programming, setting and running a modern CNC milling machine to accurately produce a component in a given timeframe.

His journey to the national finals started earlier this year with local College competitions. From here, he progressed through the regional heats and national semi-finals where he finished in the top six in the UK to qualify for the National Worldskills UK 2017 finals which were held in Birmingham from 16 – 18 November.

Rory is a Higher Level Apprentice and works in the engineering department of Randox Laboratories. As a Foundation Degree student at the College’s Ballymena campus, he was trained on state-of-the-art CNC engineering machinery and taught how to program and operate machines such as Mazek, DMG Mori and Doonson, equipment used in modern manufacturing companies throughout Northern Ireland. The College provides education and training in this technology to a wide range of companies, including Ryobi Aluminium Cating, Linamar Montupet, Hutchinson Engineering, Randox Laboratories, McAuley Engineering.

Congratulating Rory on his success, Professor Terri Scott, Chief Executive of Northern Regional College said:

“The award is a great credit to Rory and all the engineering staff at the College and is just reward for all Rory’s hard work and dedication.

“The College has a proud and prestigious tradition of education and training in the field of engineering and I am delighted to see that our provision continues to deliver a consistently high standard.”

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;

“We are incredibly proud of Rory and what he has achieved at the National Worldskills UK 2017 finals. Our apprentices from both the Northern and Southern Regional College are such talented individuals and so we are delighted to be able to offer them the opportunity to carry out ground-breaking research and development with us as they grow and develop in their careers.

“And the apprenticeship scheme is highly valued by the company – just as our students benefit from the time they spend with us, so too do we as a modern and innovative healthcare firm benefit from the fresh perspectives and forward-thinking ideas these students bring to Randox. 

Passionate and hard-working people like Rory make Randox what it is today.  We’re extremely grateful for his contributions to the engineering team here and equally proud of his achievements.  Congratulations Rory.”

Northern Regional College was well represented at the National Worldskills UK finals. Rory was one of seven students from the College’s Ballymena, Coleraine and Newtownabbey campuses to qualify for the final stage of the competition.

The other College finalists were: Dean Boyle, who was rewarded a bronze medal in CNC Milling; Matthew McLaughlin, who was highly commended in Graphic Design; Ryan Moon and Richard Woods (Mechatronics); James McCaughey (IT Software); Patrick McCloskey (Carpentry).

 

For further information about Rory’s award or to find our more about our apprenticeship programme please email randoxpr@randox.com 


Staff Newsletter September / October 2017 Edition

Staff Newsletter September / October 2017 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the September / October 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click on the image for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including the unveiling of our brand new Randox Health Mobile Clinic, attending NCLM China and Apimondia in Turkey, exciting collaborations with Ulster University and Transgene, and of course plenty of photos from our Polo events in Scotland and Bushmills!

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Staff Newsletter July / August 2017 Edition

Staff Newsletter July / August 2017 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the July / August 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click on the image for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including our annual Sales Conference, AACC, Randox Fest 2017, and of course plenty of exciting staff weddings and engagements!

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We Are Randox | Secrets of a Graphic Design Team

Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the Graphic Design team here at Randox? Well who better to ask than one of our Heads of Design, Caoimhin Magee!

From navigating Illustrator to finding inspiration, collaborating on projects to taking part in creative sessions, and following proofing systems to encouraging professional development, Caoimhin shares all the secrets of one of the most creative departments in our global healthcare company.

Here’s Caiomhin’s story.

 

When I’m telling people the story of how I came to be Head of Design for such a prestigious company as the sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National, I like to start by saying that there is no one way to become a Graphic Designer.

My background is actually in architecture, which I studied at Queen’s University in Belfast for four years.  But I realised that it just wasn’t for me.  Although there was a certain element of creativity in my architecture degree, there was also a very heavy focus on maths and physics, and it just wasn’t what I pictured myself doing.  I started thinking about changing to a fine arts degree to give me a bit more freedom creatively, but instead of rushing in to making a decision, I took some time out to go travelling across Australia and some of South East Asia.

When I returned home I worked for some time in a printing business in Lurgan, designing and printing a range of stationery for local businesses, and menus for local bars and restaurants.

Then I heard about a Graphic Design course at Shillington College, a design school run by a guy called Andy Shillington.  He has schools in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Manchester and New York, and so I made my way over to the Manchester school to begin training to be a Graphic Designer.

Basically, it was the same as an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design…

…but squeezed into an intense three months.  Everyone studying there had come from different backgrounds and career disciplines but we all started at the same point, learning everything you needed to know to work in the Graphic Design industry – perfecting different design techniques and getting to grips with a range of design software.

Then at the end we were each awarded a Certificate of Education, which is recognised by major design organisations, like Adobe.  We all graduated and showcased our work at a Graduate Show in Shillington, which was attended by some really big names in the design community.  London might be the most obvious city choice for a design career in the UK, but Manchester is very quickly catching up.  There’s a real creative hub there and so on the night of my graduation there some really prestigious designers flicking through my portfolio.  I was lucky enough to secure some great freelance work in Manchester and Liverpool after I graduated.

But then I heard about a design job with Randox and it allowed me the opportunity to move back home and to secure a fulltime job.

What’s so great about working here is that you go in, and effectively you’re just given your own brand to make as exciting as you can.  You’re immediately given the responsibility and trust that you would only get after working in an agency for several years.  Whether you work on the design for Randox Reagents, or Randox Biosciences, or Randox Toxicology, you can go in and put your own stamp on that division.

I always make sure therefore, when talking to designers who are considering coming to work for us, to highlight that there are no Junior Designers in Randox. Everyone works on an equal pegging and we all support each other.

When I moved up to Head of Design here in Randox there were a few new policies that I introduced to improve this sense of collaboration. Even though we each work on our own unique and independent Randox product division, I requested a redesign of the marketing and design office space, so that our designers were each paired off with each other. 

Each designer therefore sits beside another designer and we can all keep track of each other’s work and projects, so that we keep a certain level of consistency under the parent brand of Randox. Working in this way also allows us to take inspiration from each other and help complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

For example, our Motion Graphics Designer Anthony obviously has a very particular skillset, so he’s helping me improve my talents in that area. In turn I’m helping him develop his abilities in our Illustrator software because that’s where my own strengths lie.

I’ve also introduced a Design Studio where the work of our designers is showcased for everyone to see.  Not only does it instil a sense of pride in our work by using it to decorate the office, and showing it to our colleagues, but again it helps us keep track of what other designers are currently working on and makes sure we’re each using the correct typefaces and established colour schemes.  It’s the final stage of the proofing system when we finally see the finished piece of artwork up on the wall for everyone to see.

In the Design Studio you can really see the eclectic mix of projects on which we get to work.  It ranges from virtual reality video, to app design, to brochures for global events like AACC, the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. There is such variety in what we do and there’s always a new challenge to put your hand to. Randox is the perfect place to be if you want to grow your skillset.

Working here also provides us with the opportunity to develop key business skills in the design market.  Relationship building with printers for example, is key, and we do that pretty much every day here.  I honestly can’t think of anywhere else that offers the same level of professional development as Randox. 

I’m very proud of the team we now have in place here. We all work really well together and are making such good progress in our own capabilities and confidence.  We even have a Summer Placement Student, Katie, currently working with us, who is really impressing everybody with her ability and enthusiasm.

I’m sure that the Graphic Design team at Randox will continue to grow and develop, and I can’t wait to see where the coming months and years will take us.

 

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com

Pictured above: The Randox Graphic Design Team

Front row left to right: Anne Smith, Katie McLernon, Melissa Hull

Middle row left to right: Elizabeth Moran, Amy Fekkes, Anthony Heaney

Back row left to right: Niall McCafferty, Maxwell Brown, Colm Douglas, Caoimhin Magee


Staff Newsletter May / June 2017 Edition

Staff Newsletter May / June 2017 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the May / June 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click on the image for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including The Great Randox Bake Off, our Placement Students of the Year 2017, and a bunch of exciting staff weddings and engagements!

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We Are Randox | Natalia Cutolo: A tale of four countries

Not all interesting stories have to be about somebody’s hidden talents, extra-curricular achievements or claims to fame.

Some of the most inspiring tales can just be about overcoming adversity; about pushing on to find a better life for yourself; about strength of spirit.

It takes a lot of courage and faith to be able to start your life over, but that’s just what our Business Development Executive, Natalia Cútolo did.

And not just once, but three times.  From Argentina to Italy, Italy to Scotland, and finally Scotland to Northern Ireland, Natalia has finally found a country to call home.

Here’s her story.

My story isn’t about art.  It’s not about music.  It’s not about sport or any other interesting hobby.

It’s about life change and determination.

I’m originally from Argentina but I was becoming increasingly unhappy with my life there.  I was unhappy with my career, (I have a degree in International Commerce but I had been working as an IT admin for 6 years), and with how the economy was deteriorating in my country.  Based on my knowledge of the economy I knew it was only going to get worse.

I no longer felt like Argentina was my home, as my mother had passed away from cancer. 

As an only child it was very difficult to cope with, so I decided to take a holiday to Italy, as that’s where my family is originally from.  I think I was searching for some sort of connection to my roots – that feeling of belonging.  When I went to Italy I felt like I was back home.

Therefore last year I made the huge decision to sell everything and move abroad with my dog and cat (because I think that when you make a commitment, you should fulfil that commitment no matter what your choices are).

Not expecting the crisis to be worse than Argentina, I found myself struggling to get a job in Italy.  Even though I loved the country and my experience there was fascinating, I was running out of savings. My life in Italy was not meant to be.

So towards the end of last year I got an au pair opportunity in Scotland where I was able to bring my pets with me, and we moved again. Unfortunately I was unable to afford the flight tickets for my pets, so I decided to drive the 2200km from Italy to Scotland.

I met some incredible people in Scotland and the au pair experience was so unique.  I love working with children and I knew I was doing something really worthwhile.  I felt productive and useful.

The au pair experience however was only a 2 month contract and so had to come to an end. At that point I thought, why not give Northern Ireland a try?  By then I had a boyfriend living in Northern Ireland so I decided I may as well move closer to him.

I moved here in February 2017 but it took me 3 months to get proper job offers in the areas in which I wanted to work. When I first moved over I was just doing some casual work in a bar and one of my colleagues in that bar told me about a job fair in the City Hall. When I found Randox at that job fair I started to research the company. I was fascinated by the statements made by Dr. FitzGerald that I had read in several different interviews and I felt that I 100% identified with his vision for global healthcare. Finding a company that cares about people’s wellbeing is just so unique, and I knew I had to be part of it.

I honestly didn’t think I would be selected. It was too good to be true.

I remember so vividly the day I was contacted to arrange an interview. I almost ended up cancelling because my previous misfortune had meant I had had to sell my car.

But so far I had seized every opportunity I had been given, and that wasn’t going to change. I wasn’t going to give up on this one.

I had my interview, and basically, I was amazed by the fact that I had an opportunity with a company that had such an inspiring aim to change the world.

Better still, this amazing company was interested in ME!

After the interview the Randox Human Resources team called me to say I got the job and I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe that after the year I had I was finally being offered not just a job, but my dream job!

My perseverance and resilience had all been worth it.

I started in May 2017 as a Business Development Executive for Latin America; a role which makes me still feel really close to my culture.  It’s the perfect balance because the country of Northern Ireland is just so perfect for me, but I also have the opportunity to bring health back to Argentina.

I’ve been in the country for five months now and I feel happier than ever because not only am I doing what I love but I have finally been able to settle down and make a life for myself in this beautiful country, surrounded by the lovely and welcoming people of Northern Ireland. 

 

 

For more We Are Randox stories make sure to follow #WeAreRandox on our social media channels.

If you are interested in joining our global team make sure that you check out the Randox careers website to see what new opportunities we have for you.


We Are Randox | Kathleen Keery named Randox Employee of the Year 2016 at the 3rd Annual Manufacturing Awards Dinner

Randox Packing Department Team Member Kathleen Keery has been named Randox Employee of the Year 2016.

Her award was announced on Friday 24th February 2017, when 139 staff from 34 manufacturing departments of Randox gathered together at The Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick, to connect with colleagues and celebrate the success of their teams at the annual Randox Manufacturing Awards Dinner.

John Campbell, Senior Manager began the evening with his opening address, and thanked all attendees for their hard work;

“Each year our manufacturing department grows in strength and this is thanks to the people working in it.  I am proud to be standing here to recognise our collective capabilities as a team and to celebrate our hard work – with good food and great company.”

Lean Co-Ordinator, Mark Campbell then shared an overview of the year’s manufacturing successes, and looked forward to the activities for the year ahead.

On the night, the following awards were presented:

  • Employee of the Month October 2016 was awarded to Jeanette Robb within our Packing Department.
  • Employee of the Month November 2016 was won by Lisa McHendry of our Conjugate / Antibody Production Team.
  • December 2016’s Employee of the Month was Gareth Bushe of Randox Speciality Controls.
  • The Randox Logistics Department was then named as Department of the Year 2016.

Following the presentation of these awards, all attention turned to Senior Manager John Campbell to announce the prestigious Employee of the Year Award 2016.

We are delighted to be able to share that this award went to Kathleen Keery of our Packing Department.

Kathleen commented;

“I am beyond proud to be able to say that I am Randox Employee of the Year 2016.  I work in such a talented and hard-working team at Randox, so I know there must have been fierce competition!  It was an incredible honour to be able to receive this award surrounded by my colleagues and friends and I would like to thank everybody who has congratulated me over the past number of days.  All the work we do at Randox is truly a team effort and so my award is as much for my team members within the Packing Department as it is for me.  I wouldn’t be able to do my job without them!”

John Campbell closed the night by congratulating Kathleen, and the Logistics team;

“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate our award winners this evening – particularly the Logistics Team and Kathleen Keery – and to thank you all for the important part you play in making Randox a global leader in the diagnostics industry – manufacturing our products that we distribute all over the globe. Let’s look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2017 together, and I hope you enjoy the evening!”

For more information about the Manufacturing Awards please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


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