Featured Advice
What are your interests?



Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Stephen Crowley, Technical Training Lead
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science

Stephen Crowley, Technical Training Lead

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Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Support, encouragement and colleagues highlighting strengths I wasn't aware I had. These gave me the courage to move beyond my comfort zone and seek new opportunities and challenges.

Describe a typical day?

I prepare the evening before for any training I might have on the next day. So that means making sure all paperwork is ready and that the information on our Learning Management Systems reflects the training being carried out.

On the morning itself I firstly check the shift handover to see what the status of the plant is from the previous 12 hours and if there is any training needs that require focus.

I attend various meetings in-between delivering training to ensure we are aware of any impending requests for upskilling colleagues. Part of my job is to also look 13 weeks out to see what skills are required for production over that period and ensure we have colleagues with the competent skills to carry out those production requirements and where we don't, put a training plan in place to upskill and ensure that plan is executed.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

My primary focus is to ensure the competency of all employees in executing their daily activities in the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, and that all training is captured and document in a compliant manner.

What's cool?

Every day is different with the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of colleagues. I’m a people person so I like engaging with people.

What's not so cool?

Trying to persuade people that change is a constant. People generally don't like change, but in an innovative/ reactive environment like ours in order to survive as a business you need to constantly embrace change and innovate.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

I completed my leaving cert with the usual subjects and was going to go to CIT to do architectural technology, but ended up getting a summer job as a labourer and haven’t been out of work since. I was lucky in sofar as life skills and experience where a major contributor to getting a job in my youth. Whereas nowadays education is vitally important, but you need to listen to your gut and your heart. Life is short so it’s important to make the most of it and enjoy the journey.

What is your education to date?

I have a number of Diplomas in Training and Coaching and some FETAC level 8 & 9 Special purpose awards in emotional intelligence. I have FETAC level Train the Trainer, Manual handling as well as Safety Rep Training.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Education opens the door, but its experience and your ability to interact and engage with people is what I have found most useful in my career to date.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes, I worked shift for 15 years which allowed me to have a different interaction with daily life, but shift does eventually take its toll so at this stage of my life and career, working a 5 day week suits my life style and focus. Family is very important to me so it’s important to spend time with those that matter the most. Family is for life, a job for as long as you need it!

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Obviously you need a training qualification to get established in this position. But you also need to be a good listener and have good attention to detail. You also need to be able to deal with change and have a willingness to see the best in people and their abilities. You can have all the degrees in the world, but if you can’t communicate or connect with people, you won’t succeed in a training role.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Always look at things from different perspectives and pause for a moment to reflect before you answer a question or react to situations!


What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Volunteering with a charity or local community group and interacting with people. Having an interest in how people receive and validate information helps in training delivery so get involved in college supporting colleagues or giving pro bono grinds or study support.

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