Department: Senior Director Site Quality
Hi there I’m Cara and I like working at Waterford because it’s such a fast-paced, dynamic workplace. The constant change creates opportunity and potential for personal growth which I know only too well. I’ve had four promotions in the last 11 years and now have a dream job heading up the quality team. We’re professional, we do an excellent job, and we have fun while we’re doing it. It’s enjoyable because there’s a real team atmosphere and colleagues go out of their way to support each other.
When I started my career, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be Head of Quality in a busy pharmaceutical company. But it’s thanks to achieving my degree in chemistry that set me up for my incredible journey.
I joined Waterford in 2008 as a Senior Quality Officer in validation before moving on to be a ‘Qualified Person’ in Research & Development (R&D) quality assurance. A Qualified Person releases the batches of medicine in a pharmaceutical company so it’s a very important role and a huge responsibility. I was promoted to Quality Assurance Manager and then moved up again to the role of Head of Quality in 2014.
Every day is different for me. I do lots of problem solving, constantly looking to improve products and processes, so that we can produce more robust products and have more efficient processes.
I do a lot of forward thinking to help develop future products and also spend a lot of time coaching, talking to people and dealing with issues, driving improvement and generally trying to help people achieve their goals by removing road-blocks in their way.
My primary degree is in chemistry and my first job was actually working in the R&D labs here at Waterford in 1996, testing our inhaler products that we’re now commercially manufacturing.
I was there for just over a year before moving to another company to get more commercial laboratory experience. R&D is very much about innovation and thinking outside the box and challenging systems, whereas I enjoy the systems more.
If you’re a student considering chemistry it’s a great idea because the qualification opens up a whole host of opportunities in R&D, or a commercial lab, or quality assurance. And when you work for Teva, you’re improving the lives of patients across the globe. Every day, around 200 million people around the world take a Teva medicine1 and we want to make sure that patients with asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease have the highest quality product in stock, on time and at an appropriate price.
I think Waterford has a great reputation for supplying high quality products and we make sure that our suppliers have the same high standards, so the whole process of creating a medicine, from supply, to manufacture, to testing and releasing is first class.
Working at Teva is so rewarding and you feel connected to different people around the world. I can pick the phone up and talk to my colleagues in different countries to ask their advice about anything. You really do feel part of a community and I think Teva has done a lot of work to make people feel like that. We have a flat organisation, with minimum layers of management, so if you want to get things done, you’re encouraged to do so. If the right thing is to call a colleague in America, then that’s what you do.
It’s never boring at Waterford and the future is exciting, especially with the onset of our digital products. Technology is happening so fast that we’re going to be challenged by problems that we don’t even know about yet!
But that’s what I love about Teva, and the fact that we’re going to get it done together as a team. Quality is everybody’s responsibility and we know that everything we do has an impact on the patients that we serve and I do feel personally responsible for that as well. I’m very happy working here, and I’m proud that my name is associated with Teva and Waterford and everything we’ve achieved here.
When I’m not in work, I love to go out with my partner and his teenage daughter for what we call ‘adventures’, trying something new, like a new park, historical site, or a museum. We always take our cavachon dog called Murray, who is named after Conor Murray because we’re big fans of Munster and watching Ireland rugby union.