Published: November 9, 2020
Q&A with Catherine Chao
Meet Catherine Chao, Manager in the Production Technical Department at our Etobicoke, Ontario manufacturing site. She leads a team that is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the equipment that is used to manufacture and package our products.
We asked Catherine about her experience at Apotex and what she looks for in potential candidates.
Describe your journey with the Apotex team.
I joined Apotex almost 10 years ago as a Project Leader in the Production Technical Department. I then progressed through various roles within the Continuous Improvement and Capital Engineering Departments, before coming back to the Production Technical Department as a Manager.
What is your role on the production technical team?
The Production Technical Department is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the equipment that is used to manufacture and package our products. My role as a manager of the team is to ensure that my team has what they need to keep the equipment running smoothly, and to support projects and initiatives that help to improve our operational processes.
How does your role connect to our overall purpose of improving access to medicines for millions of patients worldwide by providing affordable, innovative, and high-quality solutions each day?
The equipment that my team and I maintain and repair at our manufacturing site, produces the medicines patients use. The work that we do to keep the equipment operational is critical to help ensuring an in uninterrupted supply of products..
What inspired you to join the Apotex team? What has influenced you to stay for 10 years?
I was initially drawn to Apotex because of the opportunity to challenge my technical and analytical skills within an organization that presented growth opportunities. Over the last 10 years, the incredible group of people who I work with every day have contributed to my tenure with the company. Apotex is truly a team, and I am so thankful for the inspiration, support, and guidance I have received from my colleagues over the years.
How is your team continuing to collaborate during COVID-19?
Since our department is responsible for maintaining the production equipment, most of my team has remained on-site throughout the pandemic. Production hasn’t stopped and neither have we! A few of our team members have been able to work-from-home, and we stay in touch with regular team check-ins and frequent team meetings. The team has done a great job staying connected regardless of where we are physically working each day.
What type of roles are you looking to fill on your team?
We are currently looking for a Licensed Maintenance Electrician to join our team. The potential candidate would ensure the longevity of the equipment and improve reliability through project work and maintenance activities.
What opportunities does someone have on your team?
There are plenty of growth opportunities at Apotex. We are constantly challenged in our roles with new projects, new equipment, and different technical issues to troubleshoot. People in all positions within our team have had the opportunity to progress and develop into roles within our team and into different departments.
What do you enjoy most about working at Apotex each day?
My favourite part about going to work each day is the group of people I get to work with, both on-site, and remotely. When our social circles outside of work were limited during the various stages of the pandemic, it became even more critical to enjoy the company of who we did get to interact with.
As a leader, what qualities do you look for in team members or potential candidates?
I look for team members who have a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn and grow. I am energized by working with people who are ready to try new things and drive change. An awareness of others is also something I look for and is critical to understanding how we all fit into the team, and how we can get the best out of ourselves and each other.
What would you say to candidates who are considering applying for a new role at Apotex during COVID-19?
We have been lucky enough to be an essential business and are continuing to work throughout the pandemic. With the hard work of both our on-site and work-from-home colleagues, we have continued to produce medicines for those who need them, while also maintaining a safe working environment for those on-site. I would encourage candidates not to be deterred by any perceived impact of COVID-19, the leadership team has done a great job ensuring the safety of both our patients and our colleagues.