As we pursue our purpose to create better health for people and a brighter future for the world, we know that every member of our team has their journey. Learn more about Amanda and her career journey.
Hi! My name is Amanda. I'm an Operations Development Associate, and I've been working at Takeda for about 1.5 years.
What has your career journey with Takeda been so far?
I was hired into the Operations Development Program (ODP) at Takeda for my first full-time role after college. The ODP consists of three nine-month rotations through different departments at any of six Takeda manufacturing sites in the United States. I worked as a Process Validation Associate in Lexington, MA for my first nine-month rotation in the program.
In April 2022, I moved to Los Angeles, CA for my second rotation as a Manufacturing Supervisor in Building 8 Purification. In January 2023, I chose to stay at the Los Angeles Site for my third rotation to work as an Automation Engineer in Building 5 Fractionation.
What about your role do you find the most rewarding?
Participating in the Operations Development Program has given me the unique opportunity to gain experience in three different roles across two manufacturing sites in just under two years. Although the day-to-day details of each role have varied widely, I've felt fulfilled in each rotation through the direct connection between our work and the medication that reaches patients.
In Process Validation, I learned how new processes and practices are validated to ensure that we have the capacity to produce drugs in a reliable, safe, and repeatable manner. In Manufacturing, I always paused to read the information on specific countries that each lot of product was headed for; it was a reminder that hitting our supply goals each week had a direct impact on the lives of patients somewhere in the world (over 2,100 patients per lot!).
Although I'm still new to Automation Engineering, I've been able to observe my teammates as they provide automation support to the production floor and work to introduce new technology to facilities of the future in Los Angeles.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
My goal when I started working here was to become a sponge and learn as much as possible from the people around me. I'm most proud of how my level of independence and my contributions to each team have progressed since my first day in July 2021.
When I started working here, I had limited experience working in a GMP environment and did not have a comprehensive understanding of what was necessary to drive day-to-day operations.
Thanks to the extensive mentorship and support that I have received in each of my three rotations, I am more confident making decisions for my team, acting as a representative for my department, and supporting projects such as the Los Angeles Building 8 2022 shutdown or qualification of a new overhead mixer for the Lexington Site.
Who has helped you in your career and how?
When I sat down to make the slides for both end-of-rotation presentations that I've given for the ODP, the hardest slide to design was "Thank You/Acknowledgements" — there were too many names to fit on just one slide!
I'm grateful for the support of the ODP Program Manager (Tomorrow James), the ODP Leadership Team, and Alana Butler for the time that they dedicated to a program that has driven my early career development.
I've learned so much from the mentors that I have been matched with through the ODP (Lily Abedian, Ploy Rainville, and Karen Enriquez) as they draw on their own experiences to help guide me through the challenges of learning to adapt to each new role and even a new state.
The Lexington Process Validation team helped me understand both their department and Takeda/the industry as a whole, and the Los Angeles APD Manufacturing team dedicated their time, support, and encouragement as I learned more about Manufacturing and plasma-derived therapies.
I appreciate the guidance and knowledge that has already been shared with me by the Los Angeles Building 5 Automation Engineering team.
This is probably too long already, but I could absolutely go on — the people that I have met at Takeda have led through stellar examples to show me exactly what kind of employee, coworker, and pharmaceutical professional I want to grow into.
When others ask, how do you describe what it's like to work for Takeda?
I share that working here has proved that finishing my degree was not the end of learning new skills or exploring potential career paths — instead, it was a starting point. I have been given the bandwidth to be curious — to speak with new people to learn about their lives and their careers, to shadow roles or business units that interest me, and to gain new certifications or become qualified on skills that I can leverage in the future.
I've had the chance to attend my first conference, become Yellow Belt certified, shadow operators in the Manufacturing area to understand the process, travel to sites outside Operations to learn more about the other business units of Takeda and more.
I feel encouraged to ask questions and build skills that will help me be successful in roles beyond the one I am currently in, and I feel that I am actively encouraged to do so.
How do you balance your personal interests and obligations outside of work? Any Tips?
I'm originally from the East Coast, and I had never stepped foot in Southern California until about five days before my new employee orientation began on-site!
It's been helpful to relieve the stress of being in a new place and adjusting to a new role by doing my best to pick up new hobbies that I enjoy outside of work (or go back to old interests that I haven't been able to pursue for years!).
A few fellow ODPs taught me how to swim laps for fun, and I signed up for a pick-up soccer league that meets once per week. I also made a hiking bucket list for the West Coast — my favorite so far has been Yosemite, and Zion is next on the list.
Although it can be overwhelming to have so many factors of my work environment change at once, it's been helpful to have fun goals outside of work to direct my energy toward.
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