Quality Assurance Life Sciences Consultant
Irene studied Pharmacy at the University of Granada and, she also obtained a master’s degree in “Research, Development and Innovation of Medicines” from the University of Navarra. She joined ALTEN’s Life Sciences Department in October 2018. Since then, she has participated in three projects, developing different activities in each one but all of them focused on Quality Assurance under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) regulations.
“It wasn’t me who chose Pharmacy, it was this profession who chose me”, Irene tells us when we ask her about her beginnings. Although she was not clear about what to study, Pharmacy reminded of herself: it is multidisciplinary, it is global and, finally, it is broad-minded. She was always interested in the health field and she was not bad at all at chemistry, so she took a chance on this career with enthusiasm. Thus, she discovered that little by little she fell in love with Pharmacy. She remembers this university period as one of the most beautiful of her life: “It was a stage full of ups and downs related to exams, internships, many hours of study… However, it was also a part of my life full of experiences that made me grow personally and where I met people that I will love forever“.
Beginnings can be difficult, but they can also be very enriching. This was the case of Irene, whose first work experience was in a catering company, working as a waitress: “I felt fulfilled because I was earning money for the first time. I did it to prove to myself that I could do anything I set my mind to.” Later, she worked in a pharmacy office, doing what she liked: “I have nice memories and many anecdotes of this job that I will never forget. I learned a lot, not only from the pharmacological point of view but also from the human point of view”.
Currently, Irene is working on a project to give support to the Quality Department for the expansion of a Takeda manufacturing plant in Madrid. Specifically, she is in charge of managing, reviewing and approving part of the documentation generated by the qualification of the new rooms and equipment included in the application of this plant. “I am lucky because I work with wonderful people who, besides making the work environment very good, I feel that they value me and hold me in high esteem.”
Regarding the role of women, it is true that the profession of the pharmacist is mainly developed by women. Irene tells us that, since university, this is apparent, as well as in the pharmacy office or the Quality Assurance Department in the pharmaceutical industry. “I have never had any difficulty getting a job because I am a woman. Neither I felt underestimated because of it. It is true that, on occasions, I have heard sexist comments that I have not taken seriously“. Moreover, Irene is hopeful. She believes that great changes are taking place about the role of women in positions of great responsibility. “More and more women are opting for jobs with more training, responsibility and knowledge. They have the studies and the courage to develop themselves in management positions. However, is not always possible, since it is complicated to combine family life with this kind of position when you do not have the necessary help or facilities to do so“.
Thank you, Irene, for sharing your experiences with us. Read more stories like hers, on our section of Women at ALTEN.