Douglas Pharmaceuticals Graduate Profiles

Meet Douglas Pharmaceuticals at the 2019 CDES Internship Career Expo on 1 August!

Shelby McDonald

  • University of Auckland graduate    
  • Bachelor of Science - Medicinal Chemistry

What is it like working for your organisation and was it what you expected or was it different?
Working at Douglas Pharmaceuticals is awesome - I get to work alongside a team of professionals who come from a variety of backgrounds, doing work that is not only personally fulfilling but also brings widescale healthcare benefits to many. It’s super satisfying knowing that the hard work I put in makes a real difference.

What advice would you give to students wanting to take part in an internship/ graduate programme?
Apply for anything and everything that interests you. There is no substitute for experience – what you learn on the job will generally help you much more than what you do in the classroom. Take advantage of any opportunities you’re offered – don’t be afraid to apply for different programmes, even if you think you might not be the right fit or aren’t ‘good enough.’ You’ll probably be surprised by how far you get.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?
Douglas provides a variety of opportunities to expand your skill set, whether that’s within your current role or trying a completely new one. In 5-10 years I would like to have utilised this to the fullest by exploring different roles within the company and developing a deeper knowledge and insight into this industry.

Jamie Kim

  • University of Auckland graduate    
  • Bachelor of Science - Medicinal Chemistry

What is it like working for your organisation and was it what you expected or was it different?
Working for Douglas Pharmaceuticals really makes me think about how science is being applied in solving real-world medical problems. Every day, I get involved in various projects and actively collaborate with experienced scientists under strict Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines. This provides the perfect environment for me to learn new technical skills effectively and develop communication skills. Knowing that the work I put in contributes to the development of new medications, and consequently the improvement of people’s lives, keeps me motivated to continue to pursue my passion for science.

Overall, this was what I have expected, however, I realized the science in University was very different from the science outside University. University puts more focus on the theory, whereas hands-on practical skills are the critical factor outside University. Nevertheless, what I learnt in University served as a good background for gaining competence in these practical skills.

What advice would you give to students wanting to take part in an internship/ graduate programme?
There can’t be a better way than being involved in an internship/graduate programme as an undergraduate student or a recent graduate as you get hands-on experience related to the studies done. My advice would be, as cliché as it may sound, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and be ready to face new changes and challenges. To get the most out of the internship/graduate programme, be inquisitive, eager, have a can-do attitude and finally, do not be afraid to make mistakes. I see mistakes as a source of understanding and help you to learn things more effectively than just simple memorisation. After all, the internship/graduate programme is there for you to learn and explore, so use this opportunity to find what interests you and potential career paths.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?
I would like to see myself working in the laboratory with technical expertise in High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) in particular. This is a very versatile, powerful technique with very wide applications in the science field. I have always dreamt about being an expert in one area and being in the position to share my knowledge and ideas to less experienced people as a mentor. Working here so far at Douglas Pharmaceuticals has allowed me to gain great interest in HPLC and fueled me to want to study more about this technique. I hope to get more exposure in HPLC and possibly other related techniques such as Liquid-Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) during my 5-10 year career plan.