- Name: Stephanie McCarthy
- Year of study: MSc (Year 1)
- Year of graduating: 2020
- Course(s) studied: Pharmaceutical Business and Technology
- Duration of course: 15 Months
Your story is so unique. Can you give us a little background about it?
After working very hard through the first semester of my master's in Griffith, I decided to do something a little different and entered into the selection for the Cork Rose 2019. I entered the competition to push myself to try something new. I love challenging myself to different things, as it’s so easy to fall into the same routines and patterns and miss important opportunities to grow as a person. Never in a million years did I think I would win but here I am! I’ll be heading to Tralee to represent Cork this year in the International Rose of Tralee Festival, which is an incredible honour.
I’m now representing myself, my family and my county, as well as the other 41 incredible women who took part in the selection process. Some of their stories and careers are so inspiring! Just to be an ambassador of that is such a privilege.
Tell us a little bit about your college experience to date.
I first attended college at University College Cork, where I studied Neuroscience. My degree was a fantastic discipline and has set me up for many different career paths. During my final year, I worked on a drug validation project, which was a collaboration between UCC and an industry partner. The project sparked a huge interest in me, encouraging me to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry - I haven’t looked back since!
Once I graduated, I realised that I needed to build a bridge between my degree and the industry if I wanted to succeed in this field. I had just finished in UCC and was contemplating starting a research master's or Ph.D. in the department, but I realised if I wanted a career in the pharma industry, a master's specifically tailored to the industry would be more helpful. Then I started looking into possible options. The master's in Griffith was like a knight in shining armour to my rescue. It was exactly what I needed to give me the knowledge and experience I needed to further my career.
Can you tell us about your Griffith experience?
I spent days researching different courses. Once I read the overview of the master's with Innopharma Education and Griffith, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I sent an email and received a call that very same day, started the straightforward application process and launched myself into a new challenge!
Coming from a background in Neuroscience, I never thought I would have the opportunity to study modules from a business perspective. My master's at Griffith has allowed me to mix disciplines and has provided me with a unique skill set that I’m sure will be invaluable to me throughout my career.
What are your plans once you graduate?
Once I graduate, I hope to get a job in the Pharma industry. This course of study will definitely give me an extra edge in my qualifications. Before I even start a job, I will have an in-depth understanding of the process of pharmaceuticals and their production, as well as insights into the business, technological sides and emerging trends of the industry. It is a huge head start in my career, as we are constantly getting career advice from our lecturers who are industry professionals themselves. In addition to making connections in this sector, we are also provided with tutorials on CVs and interview skills.
What is a typical day in the life of a student on our course?
The most incredible aspect of this course is that your typical day is not taken up by physically attending lectures. Many people assume that in order to be a student, you have to give up your job and responsibilities, which may not be realistic. However, courses at Griffith offer blended learning which provides even the busiest of people a chance to build on their education. I watch my lectures online for three hours of the evening twice a week and then every second Saturday. To be honest, the content is very enjoyable and delivered by intriguing lecturers who are hugely accomplished in their own careers. I genuinely look forward to evenings full of lectures.
Everyone at Griffith and Innopharma Education has been so supportive of my new experience as the Cork Rose which I cannot thank them enough for. I know I definitely made the right choice with my postgraduate studies!