Published: May 29, 2020
Q&A With Melissa Bernard
Meet Melissa Bernard, Production Manager in the Dosing Department at our North York, Ontario site. She leads a team that is responsible for managing the dosing of tablets and capsules during the manufacturing process.
We asked Melissa about her experience at Apotex and what she looks for in potential candidates.
Describe your journey with the Apotex team.
I joined Apotex nine and a half years ago as a Project Leader for Investigations in the Production Department. After that, I became a Production Supervisor in Compounding, and now I’m a Production Manager in Dosing.
During my time at Apotex, I have learned from a lot of different teams and leaders. I have gained new experiences in different areas of the organization and had the opportunity to work on many meaningful projects.
What is your role on the production team?
As a Production Manager, my primary role is to support my team in achieving our department goals. My team looks at a variety of things from the safety of our colleagues to the quality of the products our patients and customers receive.
We also look at strategic planning and process improvement within our facilities and always strive to find new ways to ensure we are living up to our purpose, improving access to medicines for millions of patients worldwide.
What inspired you to join the Apotex team? What has influenced you to stay for almost ten years?
When I originally applied to work at Apotex, I was interested in the products that the company was creating. I was excited to have the opportunity to work in the pharmaceutical industry and be a part of making essential products that impact people’s lives.
After being with the company for nine and a half years, my team and colleagues continue to inspire me. At Apotex, one of our core values is collaboration and I am truly motivated by the teamwork I see and am a part of every day. We are all committed to the work we do and believe in the value of it. We all work together and learn from each other.
Everyone I have worked with at Apotex has made an impact in my professional life, influencing me to be the leader I am today.
How is your team continuing to collaborate during COVID-19?
We collaborate through virtual team meetings and work on ways to support each other while being physically apart. For the team members working in production we’ve implemented several health and safety measures including but not limited to shift segregation, additional cleaning procedures and required facemasks to encourage physical distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What type of roles are you looking to fill on the production team?
We are looking to fill a variety of roles on the production team, some of the roles we are looking to fill are:
- Technicians will have a hands-on role working in our processing suites, testing tablets, monitoring of processes and following quality specifications,
- Project Leaders will go through production processes and make improvements by adapting safety measures, implementing new equipment and identify productivity improvement opportunities,
- Production Supervisors are the primary leaders on the floor, they will lead a team of technicians through the daily operations. Additionally, this role gives you the opportunity to develop problem solving, leadership and organization skills on a daily basis. It is an exciting role with exposure to many aspects of operations. This is also a great opportunity to develop people leader skills.
What do you enjoy most about working at Apotex each day?
I am a people person, I enjoy talking to my team and getting them together (now, virtually) to look for solutions that help the organization. I love being able to turn to my team to find a solution together.
As a leader, what qualities do you look for in team members or potential candidates?
I look for someone who is a creative thinker and problem solver. At Apotex, we recognize talented people are essential to our organizational success which is why we look for people with a lot of energy and drive to challenge the status quo.
What would you say to candidates who are considering to apply for a new role at Apotex during COVID-19?
In my role, I have been onsite every day. Apotex has done an excellent job in making sure to implement a number of health and safety measures so that the people who come here every day, feel safe. Due to the nature of our work, we are busier than ever.