Ciara Fitzpatrick

DCU Graduate - Mechanical Engineering, DCU
DCU Graduate - Mechanical Engineering, DCU

How did you hear about the Jameson Engineering Programme?

I heard about the Jameson Engineering Programme during my final year, lots of friends were applying so I did some research on it.

What appealed to you most about the Jameson Engineering Programme?

I found the drinks industry very interesting, the scales of the exports all over the world. A also really liked that I would get to experience different departments, different roles, and get involved in different projects all while having the comfort of being based on the one site.

What type of person fits into the Jameson culture?

Someone who is determined, outgoing, a team player, someone who sees mistakes as room for growth and thinks of challenges as exciting opportunities!

What characteristics make a successful engineer at Jameson?

Adapting to change is really important as this is a fast-paced environment. Manging deadlines well, being a good communicator, paying attention to detail, and always being willing to learn will also guarantee success.

Tell us about the exposure you got as a Jameson Graduate engineer?

I’ve had lots of varied experience. I coordinated the running of a bottling line, performed quality checks, got involved in vatting - which is essentially the final blending stage in the production of Jameson - and I worked as part of the engineering team that ensures our machines and technology is reliable and efficient.

What was the most rewarding part of the Jameson Engineering Programme?

I worked as part of a team to install the first robotic arm on site which was amazing experience. I got to see the project through the installation and commissioning phases and then became a trainer for the change process that resulted from the project which was very rewarding.

What was the most challenging thing about being on the Jameson Engineering Graduate Programme?

For me the biggest challenge was moving into full time work, adjusting my personal life and priorities to that of someone with a career.

What skills have you developed?

On the technical side I have learned various systems such as Manufacturing Execution Systems, SAP and in SCADA systems. I’ve also significantly improved basic computer skills in Excel and PowerPoint.

What stands out for me is how my interpersonal skills and in particular my presentation skills have really developed over the graduate programme. This came from the experience of holding daily meetings with large teams and assisting in organising maintenance on our production lines.

What technical and soft skills training did you get?

Fox and Geese is a varied and technical plant. Every department offered specific training to equip me to deal with the responsibilities of the role and get the full benefit of working with the team there, from health and safety to technical and soft skill training. For example, I received technical training on the continuous improvement plan, as well as on the different computer systems such as CMMS, SCADA, MES etc. Soft skill training included a train the trainer course.

What achievement are you most proud of?

There are many projects that stand out, but I am very proud of my involvement in the production of Jameson. It’s special to have a hand in the creation of something for which Ireland is world renowned.

What’s your favourite memory of the programme?

My favourite memory comes from the intensive induction at the start of the programme when we, the graduates, got to spend time in the Irish Whiskey Academy at Midleton Distillery to learn about the entire process of making whiskey from grain to glass.

Would you recommend it to a friend?

Yes, I would recommend the programme to a friend. I’ve learned a lot in the different areas I’ve been exposed to. I’ve worked in a fast-paced business and been given plenty of responsibility along the way. I have seen the impact of my work on the business, and most importantly the people have been brilliant and very welcoming.

Any tips for anyone applying to the programme?

Go for it. If successful you will get to be an important part of the amazing whiskey production process which is really rewarding, instead of being just a cog in a corporate wheel.

Outside of the day job, what do you do for fun?

Covid-19 has really impacted on what I do for fun and I’ve had to adjust like everyone else. I recently repaired an old bike and I love taking it for a spin with friends and family.