Life size photos of customers on the walls are the first thing you notice when you walk into the offices of Alere International Ltd based in Parkmore East, Business Park, Ballybrit, Co. Galway. The powerful message of the Galway office values “Focused”, “Open” and “Bright ” are visible in all areas of the office and encompassed in the essence of their organizational culture through their employees. As everyone settled into the meeting room, General Manager Mark Hengerer, opens the session with a powerful message, “At Alere, we save lives every day” and you know you are in the midst of something quite special.
Mark Hengerer introduced Alere for being recognized as a global leader in rapid diagnostic testing for a range of diseases and chronic conditions. Alere’s passion for their customers stems from the message “Knowing Now Matters”, the meaning of this message reflects the products and tests that Alere develops which provides earlier diagnosis, leads to faster treatment and empowers individuals to make the decisions they need regarding their health.
This was the experience of 5th year students from Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin in Carraroe, who visited Alere’s Global Shared Services Centre, as part of the Schools’ Business Partnership programme Skills @ Work; which aims to give young people an insight into the world of work. What an insight it was! We were taken on a journey by eleven employees, who shared their own story about what they did after they finished school and described “A Day in the Life” at Alere.
The Galway office provides a wide range of services within the global organisation and the students heard from employees working in the following functions, Supply chain, Toll Manufacturing, Legal, Purchasing, Master Data, Finance, Customer service, Technical Service, HR. The students were completely engaged as they learned more from each career story, however the stories all reflected a similar learning curve. “You don’t need to know what you want to do now, find a third level course you like or that plays to your strength’s and it will stand to you in the future”. This became more apparent when you could see the connection between what the employees studied in college and what they are doing today. “Do what you enjoy and it will develop into a career”. Furthermore, not everyone who spoke completed their third level education in their early twenties, some returned to education later in life and others are continuing to add to their qualifications to this day, an inspiring realization for students that “Education doesn’t end when you do your Leaving Cert.”
As the students boarded their bus for the trip back to Carraroe, you could sense the essence of the words “Focused”, “Open” and “Bright”, as they reflected on their own educational and career choices in the years ahead, and the hopes that one day they too will go on to save lives and inspire others, just as the employees of Alere did today.