Gearing up for Network awards

In our My Career section, we feature Marguerite O’Sullivan, DePuy Synthes Johnson & Johnson, Business Awards Coordinator for the Network Ireland Cork Branch
Gearing up for Network awards
Marguerite O Sullivan DePuy. Picture Darragh Kane

Name: Marguerite O’Sullivan

Age: I believe in living your life and forgetting your age.

Lives: Rochestown

Job title: Innovation Engineering Manager at DePuy Synthes Johnson & Johnson and Business Awards Coordinator for the Network Ireland Cork Branch.

Salary bracket: €60,000+

Education background: I attended secondary school at FCJ Convent, Bruff, before completing a BSC in Human Biology. I then went on to complete two Masters courses to achieve an MSC in Nutrition from UCC and an MSC in Supply Chain Management from DIT.

Hobbies: I’m an adventurous traveller and have visited seven continents including the Antarctic. I love trekking — I’ve just returned recently from climbing Mera Peak in Everest. I also love horse racing. My horse Mera Peak is just starting off with point to points so we are hoping for trip to Cheltenham!

Describe your job in five words: Innovative, challenging, people-orientated, diverse, dynamic.

Describe yourself in five words: Energetic, motivated, family-focused, organiser, positive.

Personality needed for this kind of work? You need to be warm and empathetic, but also very responsive. You must be highly attuned to what motivates your team, be a good group facilitator and inspire others.

How long are you doing this job? I’ve been working at Johnson & Johnson for 18 years and I’m in my current role three years now. I am also a long-standing active member of Network Cork and I have held the volunteer position of Business Awards Coordinator for the past two years.

How did you get this job? When I left school, I liked science. I went to the UK and did a degree in Combined Studies; Biology, Chemistry and Geology.

After that I went on to do an MSC in Nutrition at UCC and worked in the local Dairygold Co-op in the laboratory. I got my first bit of career advice from Tony Mannix who was a manager there at the time. He said I was good with people and he could see me being a good manager.

It was difficult to get work, so I headed to New Zealand for a year with a friend where I worked as a Nutritionist in a gym where the All Blacks trained. Afterwards, I joined a food company called Tegel, working as a Team Leader in the operating group.

After moving back to Ireland, I joined Johnson & Johnson as a Team Leader in DePuy Synthes, working in manufacturing for six years. I completed an MSC in Supply Chain with DIT and moved into business transformation where I worked with cross functional teams implementing Lean, and from here got the opportunity to work in the new Innovation Centre on the Cork site as Business Transformation Leader.

My interest in process design and systems led me to a role as Innovation Engineering Manager where I took responsibility for Innovation Management in the Global Engineering Team of over 1,000 engineers across 22 sites.

From there I began to focus on organisation capability and talent within this group and this is my main focus today, working on engineering strategy enabling organisation capability and building talent management.

At Network Cork, I joined the networking organisation to meet other like-minded business professionals and then decided to take a more active role on the committee.

Do you need particular qualifications or experience?

My BSC degree and experience working in manufacturing landed me my first job.

Describe a day at work: Alarm goes off at 6.30am for a 4/5 mile morning run in Harty’s Quay with two work colleagues, Tricia and Laura. Then back for breakfast and turn on the computer. After breakfast, I check mails and organise the day’s timetable. My commute to work is 13 minutes. I’m very lucky to avoid too much travel.

My day is usually a mixture of remote meetings and on-site meetings with local teams. Due to my global role, I can be on the phone or web to connect with team members located across China, Switzerland and the USA.

I start my week with my team meeting to review current team projects. My team’s projects are focused on talent management and organisation capability for all of the Engineering Science and Technology Group. My role is responsible for the design and deployment of the overall Engineering Science and Technology Strategy — it keeps the big picture view as well as tactical execution.

As part of my Diversity and Inclusion Role, I sponsor a number of programs including the STEAM program for primary schools, the I WISH initiative and the University of Limerick.

Every month, I attend Network Cork committee meetings to arrange the exciting events that take place one Wednesday a month for our members.

I also work in the evenings in my role as Business Awards Coordinator, to arrange the finer details for our upcoming Business Women of the Year Awards.

How many hours do you work a week? Approx 40 to 50 depending on projects and then several hours outside of my working day with Network Cork.

What do you wear to work? Business casual.

Is your industry male or female dominated? Male dominated but changing.

Does this affect you in any particular way? This has sparked my interest in STEM and Women in STEM in particular. It is beginning to change slowly. Having been influenced by the way in which Network Cork has impacted on me and my career, I have used my role as Diversity and Inclusion Manager on the site to set up a JNJ Ireland Women Leadership and Inclusion Network for our internal teams. The idea is to connect aspiring female leaders, create networking opportunities and focus on areas of professional and personal development.

Network Cork is a great organisation and I can combine my own interest in supporting women in leadership and in business with my role on the committee.

Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: It varies but generally around 6 — it’s all about managing the more stressful days. I do mindfulness and we are looking at bringing a mindfulness program into our workplace. Our book of the month this month was The Mindfulness book by Martyn Newman which has great tips to get started.

Do you work with others or on your own? I work with people most of the time, I lead a team but also work with other teams on projects.

When do you plan to retire or give up working? I think I will always work but I would like to combine NGO work with my current experience in the future. I am director of an India NGO Human Wave currently but would like to do more here in the future.

Best bits: Working in Engineering Science and Technology has so many different roles and the best part of my job is that I get to see many parts of the supply chain and can move between roles.

Working in a large organisations like Johnson and Johnson gives you a lot of opportunities and it is always changing.

Worst bits: It is very complex industry. You need to be adaptable to keep pace, but new challenges can improve your wellbeing too.

I set goals for myself every year at the end of the day, it’s important that you love what you do and know your passion.

Advice to those who want your job? Working in Engineering, Science and Technology is exciting. You know what you do affects people’s lives in a very positive way, giving people a better quality of life, so it is very rewarding. To work in this job you need to like problem-solving and want to make a difference.

Any other comments? As an active member of Network Cork, I urge businesswomen across Cork to enter this year’s The Businesswoman of the Year awards 2018.

They offer a fantastic opportunity for Cork women to achieve recognition for excellence in their profession across seven different business categories.

One thing I have learnt during my role as Business Awards Coordinator is that women are very slow to put themselves forward for such awards, even though they deserve them. Most of the time, we are a lot better than we think. Courage is a muscle and we strengthen it by using it, so enter online today at www.networkireland.ie/awards. The closing date is April 13.

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