Graduate Interview: Carol Collins


I am a single mother living and working in Galway for almost twenty years. I have been working in the Medical Device Industry since 2003, mainly as a Production Operator in the area of Manufacturing.

In 2013 after having my daughter, I decided to take some time out and spent the next five years as a stay-at-home Mom. My daughter started school in 2018 and I decided to return to work in the Industry. However, I quickly learned that it was a completely different industry to the one I had left 5 years prior. It was like starting from zero; agency contracts, lower pay and no job security.

I quickly became dissatisfied with my situation and I felt  I was now bored and unhappy as a Production Operator, having exhausted all learning opportunities in the area of production. I realised that in order to progress, I needed to consider the intimidating prospect of returning to education as a mature student.

I began researching Institutions and courses online. I came across the Springboard Ireland initiative. I applied to undertake a Level 6 Certificate in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations with Innopharma Education in conjunction with TU Dublin. My rationale for choosing this course was as a result of the opportunity it provided to acquire new skills in an area of the industry that I was unfamiliar with (pharma), while also strengthening and expanding on my existing understanding of the Medical Device Industry, in order to develop the confidence and further knowledge to progress within the Industry.

Thankfully, it turned out to be an excellent choice as Innopharma Education is very well regarded by Industry Leaders. Interestingly, I have since discovered that many companies recommend their staff to undertake further education courses with Innopharma Education.

The lecturers are extremely competent people who come from Industry backgrounds. They understand the current industry's need for well-educated and informed employees. The course modules are engaging, relevant and industry-specific. The lecturers are extremely supportive and try to ensure that each student engages fully to achieve the best from their learning opportunities.

As a mature student, I found the 'Learning to Learn' module very helpful in aiding the transition into a learning environment after such a long time away. It provided excellent tips and advice. The 'Preparation for Work ' module was also invaluable, even for somebody like myself who has already worked within the industry. The module provided excellent advice for interview techniques, personal presentation and how to maximize your CV.

Personally, choosing to study with Innopharma Education has been the best decision I have made for my career. I successfully moved into the area of Quality Assurance as a Product Release Inspector in April 2020 before I had even completed the course. Six months later I have been promoted to Lead Inspector in Medtronic in Galway.

The pace of change has been swift, and pleasantly surprising! Completing the course and achieving my aims in less than a year has empowered me and given me the confidence to continue with my education and self-improvement. It has shown me that if you put the effort and work in and have confidence in your own ability, you can succeed in whatever endeavour you choose.

I would recommend Innopharma Education to anyone who wishes to gain employment in the (Bio)Pharma, Medical Device, or Food Industries and also to those already in the sector wishing to upskill and progress in their career.

Find out more about our Certificate in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations here or contact us by phone: 01 485 3346, or email:

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