A day in a QA department
Janet Wong completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science at Queensland University of Technology. She is the Microbiology Co-ordinator at Snap Fresh P/L where they manufacturing frozen meals and supply to the airline inflight catering, defence force, hospitals, allied health care, food services and other catering areas.
What is your current area of work?
I am currently a Microbiology Co-ordinator at a food manufacturing plant. We have an onsite laboratory which I manage to ensure it is up to NATA requirements. I am also the 2IC in the QA Department so very knowledgeable in areas of internal audits, external audits and quality assurance systems that are in place.
What drew you to microbiology originally?
I did a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biochemistry and Microbiology. It was during course requirements and we were investigating the Salmonella outbreak in peanut butter which lead to pursuing in this field. It is interesting to know how much a minute organism can cause such havoc and even death in some situations.
What does a standard day involve for you?
I’m at work before the sun rises. First thing is to put anything >6hrs incubation up and going. Then it is a matter getting things prepared and ready before the rest of the staff start after 7am. In between that, offering quality assurance solutions to operations when the need arise.
How do you like to spend your time outside the lab?
Weekends are all about family time. Trying to get as much quality time as possible for the young family. There are always occasions with catching up with friends which I wish there was more time for. Love travelling and that includes interstate trips, overseas trips or even a long drive to somewhere over the weekend. Whenever I am stressed, I like to cook or bake to relax. I know that might be weird but it is a great way to clear the mind.
What advice would you give to students/ECRs who are pursuing a career beyond research?
I think you have to think outside what people consider as the “norm.” A science degree may seem average but it can take you to many different areas which you might not have thought of. Mine took me into laboratory management and quality assurance which is usually just the one or the other in a job description.