In 2017, Vinny Foy joined the LotusWorks team as an Instrumentation Apprentice.
At that time, Vinny was looking to further his career and a friend of his had just completed the Instrumentation Apprenticeship with LotusWorks and recommended it. Completing research on the LotusWorks apprenticeship programme and analyzing the career prospects after completion of the apprenticeship, Vinny applied for the programme and was successful in his application. Vinny is currently in Phase 3 of 7 and currently working with the team in the Calibration Laboratory in LotusWorks Head Office in Sligo, Ireland.
Talking about the apprenticeship programme Vinny details the work experience and hands on exposure that the programme provides:
“In Phase 1, I was based on a pharmaceutical facility in Dublin with the LotusWorks team. There were 30 people on my team and over 2,500 people working on this site. I was working in a cleanroom doing calibrations including pipettes, temperature control, flows and levels. This was the first time I had worked on such a large-scale facility with LotusWorks. As an apprentice I felt part of the team immediately, no question goes unanswered and everyone is more than happy to help no matter what they query.
Phase 2 was based in college in Cork for six months. During this phase, the workload is 50% theory and 50% practical. For phase 2 all of the LotusWorks apprentices who started the programme at the same time come together. One thing I learned from Phase 2 was to stay on top of the course work as it can build up quite quickly. As a group we had study sessions in the evening and made sure everyone was up to speed. This also was a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues and know what to expect when I move to a different site for Phase 3 of the apprenticeship.
Phase 3, is definitely standing out to me as one I learned a lot from. I was working on a Medical Device facility in Belfast for three months. I was responsible for onsite calibrations and co-ordinating third-party vendors. At the time, the calibrations were not standard and required quick learning from me. This was a great learning curve for me. You must learn faster and teach yourself to do things. The support from my colleagues was continuous and my confidence surged. At the moment, I am working in the 17025 Accredited Calibrations Laboratory at Head Office. My role includes calibrations in the laboratory, dealing with third party vendors, and mobile calibrations on different sites – it is really interesting to understand the equipment used on a variety of sites and getting used to what I will be using in the future of my career as an Instrumentation Technician. When on site, you’re seeing work first-hand and working with qualified people who are teaching you the correct way and best way to do things. You will never learn it the same way from a textbook. Phase 1, 3, 5 and 7 are based on site and phase 2, 4 and 6 are based in college. The blend of practical and theory is excellent and keeps me interested at all stages.
My advice to anyone thinking of applying for the LotusWorks Instrumentation Apprenticeship programme is to absolutely go for it, it’s a great apprenticeship if you are willing to work hard and jump straight in!”