Quality Assurance in Veterinary Labs, whats that about?

This week we spoke to one of the nerds who works at a local Vet Lab. Despite a fair amount of coaxing he/ she insisted on remaining anonymous. We hope you enjoy the interview and use it for your own benefit or find it helpful in giving career guidance to someone else.

Where do you currently work?

I work at a Veterinary Laboratory in Zimbabwe

What does your firm do?

It provides testing of veterinary diagnostic specimens and follow up investigations, Animal Health research services and produces vaccines for animal diseases.

Tell us a little bit about your career history?

I completed my BSc Honours Degree in Biological Sciences with Midlands State University in 2007. It was during the hyperinflation period so I did not find a job till 2009 in June. I then worked as a Microbiologist in the laboratory that I’m currently working in. In 2012, I joined the Quality Assurance Office at the same institution where I work to date.

Was this always your dream career or it changed somewhere along the line?

I changed my ‘dream career’ so much along the way and wanted to be so many things, but I never dreamt of working in the Quality Assurance Office. I did not even know it existed.

How closely does your academic education fit in with your job?

Very very closely, my academic education is key in carrying out my job.

What qualifications do you hold?

  • BSc Biological Sciences Honours Degree,
  • ISO 17025 Development and Implementation Course
  • ISO 17025 Internal Auditing course.

In short what educational path got you where you are? Could you have made the path shorter?

I graduated from the Midlands State University in 2007. I did the Development and Implementation course then the Internal Auditing Course whilst I was already working as a Microbiologist. I could not have made the way shorter because to understand the Management/ Quality System of a company, you have to be well versed with the technical aspect of the work involved.

What are the tasks that you do regularly in your profession?

  • Ensure/ monitor the Management /Quality System is implemented at all times
  • Participate in Policy Making and review
  • Assess customer requirements and ensure that they are met
  • Ensure meeting of national and international standards applicable to the company
  • Participate in root cause analysis of  test work that does not meet required standards
  • Carry out internal audits
  • Attend to Complaints and customer feedback
  • Attend management meetings, identify and suggest areas for improvements
  • Writing reports
  • Administration duties

What is it that excites you the most when you are doing your job?

The aim of a Management System is continuous improvement. I like the fact that I can improve the management System and so improve the lives of other people.

What bits do you find boring in your daily tasks?

Having to push people to implement the Management System, which is just part of their job.

Any advice to those studying or aiming at this job or career?

This job is exciting, satisfying and rewarding. However, to make it in this job, you have to be patient, have good perception, excellent communication skills, be able to relate with people at all levels and above all, keep smiling after meeting the job’s challenges.

What advice to you want to give to students in general?

Always identify that ‘thing’ which you like doing most. It is a good indicator of what you are capable of doing.

Do the thing you are good at and you’ll be able to enjoy life at work.

Any remorse about what you could have become?

I lacked career guidance at an early age and I really hope the younger generation get the guidance that I lacked.

Any last words?

When choosing a career, do not think about pleasing anyone else but yourself. It is one area you have to be selfish. That way you will live a fulfilled life.