Vaibhav Pal Vaibhav case study

Process Chemist at Makevale Ltd  

""Please describe your current role and the journey you took to get there

Current Role

Handling of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals: 

  • Keeping track of all reactor operations, such as cleaning, filtering, drying, and sieving.
  • Accurate batch labelling, issuing labels and associated documentation.
  • Following instructions accurately and quickly, and maintaining records as required by the company Quality Manuals.
  • To run production in accordance with the SOP and to ensure that all production personnel comply.
  • Acting in accordance with a Senior Manager's instructions to fix plant issues.
  • To advise on the technical aspects of production at the plant, including chemical health and safety, possible improvements to the plant etc.
  • To use in-house company QC databases, manufacturing (SAP) databases & records as required.


Being an international student, I had tons of emotions when I left home and flew out to the United Kingdom to continue my degree. Being 5000 miles away from Homeland, somewhere with a different culture, surrounded by a whole set of new people, I had no idea how I was going to survive my degree life. And look at me now, I finally did it!

Graduating amidst the global pandemic was never easy, but thanks to my family, friends, and professors for the unlimited support and encouragement throughout my journey. 

One year has gone so fast and now I am ready to move on to my next adventure. I'm excited to announce my new journey with Makevale Ltd as a Process Chemist . I will be working with the Production Team and am excited to learn and grow in this role.

Did you know what you wanted to do before you started University?

Yes, from the day I came to the United Kingdom I was very sure what I need to do and the University has provided me with all the resources. As I’d completed my bachelor's in Chemical Engineering in India, and after that I worked in a pharmaceutical company, so then I realised that there is a lot to learn and at that point I figured out what to do.

Did you have any work experience before you graduated?

Yes, I worked for 6 months in a pharmaceutical company in India, which helped me to land this job as well. [The job was at] Sun Pharmaceutical and [some of the things I was involved in were]:

• Responsible for charging material and operation.

• Worked in a team project, increased production, had a flexible approach to working hours, did overtime shifts to increase productivity, made several required changes, and achieved our goal.

• Arranged a safety program to promote a safe and secure workplace, and determined the most efficient operation arrangement, such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.

• Applied safety standards as per CGMP. 

What do you love most about your role?

In general I am passionate about my job. I enjoy chemistry and I like solving new problems. I especially like to solve challenging technical problems that nobody else could figure out, that's a lot of fun. I also work on a big team of people and after enough time, they have become a strong community that I actually enjoy being around. It also helps to take a step back and think about the purpose of your company and the problems that they're trying to solve, working in the bio/pharmaceutical end of things, it's easy to see a positive impact and that is actually really motivating for me.

Though I know that not everyone is working for some epic group like NASA, all companies exist to serve someone a product that they really need for some reason, you're trying to improve someone's life in some way. All that being said, I do believe that you should work to live and not live to work.

A job should be as fun as possible, but at the end of the day you're probably doing it to support yourself and your family. So if you can enjoy at least 50% of your time there then you're probably better off than most. As your career progresses over time, you can try to aim for stuff that not only pays better, but is also closer to your interests. 

What is most challenging about your role?

We should make zero incident with the tools of health, safety, and environment regulation which is not easy to conduct, especially related with human protection kits. (risk = consequence x frequency) - we should minimise either consequence or frequency.

We should optimise the production parameters such as, temperature, pressure, flow rate, time, etc.

Getting a job is most challenging.

Have you faced any key challenges during your career journey, if so, how did you overcome them? 

Yeah there are lot of challenges - first to get a job as an international student. I applied for almost 250-300 applications and I only got 10-15 interviews. The main thing is to not to give up and always continue to do the application.

If you land any of the interviews or the assessments, try to get it done as soon as possible and make sure that you complete any of the following processes which are needed apart from that. Don’t be disappointed if you get rejections - rejection is the part of the process so always be motivated.

Always talk to your friends and the family. That's the only important thing I noticed in my journey and that helps me a lot because my father always told me you will get hundreds of rejections but only one interview well is enough for you get a job.

And always remember one thing - that all the hard work I have done here at university for applications or in a bachelor's or in my job, I have done. It's all going to be worth it one day so always work hard. 

How did your time at Birmingham help you prepare for this role?

In Birmingham, it was always great. During my masters at the University of Birmingham, I've took part in an internship [Masters Campus-Based Team internship] and it helped me to grow my skills a lot, such as presentation skills, team working, problem solving assessments. So these are small things but it matters a lot for me and for the interview, it also helped me to build my resume as well. So whenever you get an opportunity, grab that and try to make the best of it.

What are your career plans for the future?

For now I'm thinking about taking a long-term experience with the company I'm working with. Try to stick with those guys because the working environment in this company is very good and if I take at least 6 to 7 years of experience in this company it will help me to grow in future, and after that I'm thinking to get a promotion and get a good position in the organisation and working. 

What advice would you give to students who are interested in getting into your industry or role, or if they’re unsure what they want to do?

The only advice I want to give is that whenever you apply for a job, try to make your CV as good as possible and whenever you get a rejection, don't get disappointed and dwell on it. Always take the rejection as one step closer to your success and if you are not sure where you want to go, try to figure out as soon as possible where you want to be in the future and what you are interested in. University of Birmingham helped me a lot to figure out what I want to be, so try to figure out as soon as possible.

What would be your key piece of career advice for a student just entering the employment market?

From my point of view the best advice I can give for the little experience I have, is to try to interact with people. Try to talk with them because there was always space for learning and anywhere you go, you’re going to learn something. And if you're new in the industry or to working, always listen to the elders. Whatever your manager is saying always listen carefully and always follow the chain of command that the organisation is following. And yeah, try to help.


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