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Employee Stories - Niall Free

Aug 17, 2020

Niall Free is a Site Lead in the Pharma/Biologics sector with LotusWorks. He says the LotusWorks focus on talent development and internal promotions made it an attractive option for ambitious and talented engineering professionals. Niall recently talked to IrishJobs.com about his role, experiences, and time at LotusWorks. 

TELL US MORE ABOUT LOTUSWORKS 

LotusWorks is an engineering and technical solutions company. We work within the Pharma/Biotech, Medical Technology, Semiconductor and Datacentre sectors and have 460 full-time employees working across Ireland and North America. Our technical teams own and manage scopes of work at large multinational manufacturing and mission-critical facilities. Services offered include Calibration, Commissioning and Operations & Maintenance.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB WITH LOTUSWORKS

I’m currently a Site Lead in the Pharma/Biologics sector with LotusWorks. The team and I are responsible for the Mechanical and Calibration scope of work on site. The team is made up of 21 LotusWorkers working in areas such as; Instrumentation and Calibration, Electrical and Mechanical engineering and technical services.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED WITH LOTUSWORKS? 

I’ve been working with LotusWorks since October 2014 – just under 6 years in total. I was previously working on another large pharmaceutical plant as a Calibration Technician with LotusWorks where I worked with both process and lab instrumentation before moving into a supervisory role and then finally moving into my current role as Site Lead last year on a new client facility.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORKING WITH LOTUSWORKS? 

I had returned to college to study Engineering after completing my apprenticeship and my course coordinator, at the time, recommended LotusWorks to me. I looked the company up and was impressed with what I read when it came to the industry awards and recognitions achieved by LotusWorks. Coupling that with the long list of high-profile clients in the pharmaceutical industry which is a field I greatly wanted to work in, LotusWorks was the obvious choice for me to apply to.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR AVERAGE DAY WITH LOTUSWORKS 

Given the project nature of the current role, things are changing at a fast pace every day. For the most part, a typical day starts with a quick team meeting to allocate work for the day and organise permits etc. From then, there are planning meetings to create a longer-term work plan for our team and work towards ensuring that when our window arrives, we can be prepared for any hiccups that may arise.

Throughout the day there could be anything from reallocating tasks if access is unavailable, problem-solving in the field, working on the documentation side of the calibration programme or organising/attending training courses. Alongside this, there is the day to day people management side of the role.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT WORKING WITH LOTUSWORKS? 

Having previously worked on established multinational manufacturing sites, I enjoy being there from start to finish on a project and having an influence on how the final setup of the department will look. I also know that the site will benefit a huge number of patients when it is in production.

The most rewarding aspect of the job is that even though at times the work can seem challenging, its quite easy to look back at all the tasks that have been achieved and how much closer we are to having our section fully up and running. Also, with the amount of new equipment and us being involved with other areas within the project is a great opportunity for finding out more about how things collectively work and a lot of new skills have been learned along the way.

I really enjoy the culture within LotusWorks. There’s a great support network of peers and management and I leverage on shared learnings. Even while working within heavily regulated environments we’re lucky to have great teams of people who enjoy the comradery.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? 

The largest challenges we face at the minute is time management. With the pace the project is moving at, there can be many requests from different areas to get a large volume of work completed in quick succession. This requires a lot of communication and planning to make sure everything is lined up and ready when the time comes and above all, the flexibility of the team to be able to respond when last-minute schedule changes crop up has been paramount.

Working with the current restrictions in place as a result of the response to Covid-19 has also made everything from system access to lunch breaks more of a challenge but the impact to the productivity of the team has been minimal with is a testament to the flexibility I previously mentioned.

WHAT IS THE WORK CULTURE LIKE AT LOTUSWORKS? 

I find the work culture very inclusive. Considering the large number of us working across so many sites within LotusWorks, I know that if any of us need advice on something or input from another viewpoint in a different sector, we can easily reach out to colleagues, head office or the directors and get the support we are looking for from LotusWorks.

There’s definitely a focus on people first at LotusWorks. People are at the heart of our business and the company cares about investing in them, their health and making sure they are happy. Employees are encouraged to develop their careers within the company so that they can each reach their full potential.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEBODY INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH LOTUSWORKS? 

My advice would be to connect with the company on social media and contact our recruitment department to discuss your skills and qualifications with them. There may not be a job listed on the website at the time but there’s a huge variety in roles available with LotusWorks and should one arise, you may be the perfect candidate and our Talent Acquisition team do a great job of remembering that.

IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT STANDS OUT FOR YOU AT LOTUSWORKS? 

A big appeal to me about LotusWorks is the focus on talent development and internal promotions. From my own experience, I have been assisted through two part-time college courses and a management development programme by the company. From there I was also approached to see would I be interested in my current Site Lead position. There is also regularly a bit of healthy competition between the site teams ranging from fitness to wellbeing challenges.

To find out more about careers at LotusWorks click here. 

 

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