Starting work in MSC during a pandemic

Starting work in MSC during a pandemic | Medical Supply Company

In 2020 MSC began the year with a staff count of 40, then, you know, what happened. As a result of the pandemic, our industry exploded, and the need for laboratory supplies was at an all-time high.  While many companies were laying off staff, MSC went on a recruitment drive.  

A routine of welcoming new staff on Teams coffee meet ups became the norm. Staff were hired, inducted, trained, and working all without having met their colleagues in person or having been to the MSC premises in Dublin 15.

Our summer BBQ in September 2021 (outside and socially distanced) was our first time meeting many of our new colleagues in the flesh. Wow! Everyone looks the same height on MS Teams, not so in person.

Now in May 2022 with 49 staff we look back and reflect with some of our pandemic recruits on their experience of changing jobs and joining MSC.

Purchasing AdministratorCarol

I joined MSC in October 2020.  My interview was held via Teams if I remember correctly.  My initial role with the company required me to be on-site so I began my training in MSC and met the skeleton staff that worked here.  When my role was changed to an Accounts Payable role in December, government directives changed, and we were required to work from home.  This presented some challenges as files were not stored digitally so I had little history to refer to at times. Most of my queries were raised via emails or a quick Teams call with the Accounts Manager

My first MSC nights out were held via Zoom which is not the easiest place to meet new people, but it was the best option at the time, and we had a couple of interesting evenings

It was a strange way to start out in a new company, but help was always only a phone call/email or team meeting away and I found everyone very welcoming

Technical Sales Specialist – Emma

I joined MSC at the very beginning of the pandemic, I vividly remember leaving my interview, sitting in my car and hearing on the radio that Ireland was going into lockdown. Like most, I thought the whole thing would be over in a couple of weeks and clearly, I was wrong, however, my thoughts and hopes for my life with MSC were anything but.

When I think back, I still feel the need to pinch myself and can’t believe my luck honestly. In a time when the world was scrambling to acquire laptops, adjusting to working from home, and trying to juggle work-life balance, I, despite never leaving my bedroom, found a place filled with the most wonderful people who made me feel “one of the family” despite not meeting most of them in person until a year and a half in.

Now the world is re-opening over 2 years later, the only thing that has changed is I get to laugh with them in person rather than over calls, and I sincerely hope this never changes. To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jnr, the ultimate measure is not in moments of comfort and convenience, but in times of challenge and controversy. The pandemic was hopefully the most challenging time we will ever encounter and MSC made it a dream, so hopefully I am right on this too and it’s only the beginning of a wonderful time to come.

Senior Blood Sciences Sales Specialist – Sara-Jane

I joined MSC in November 2020 at the height of lockdown. All of my interviews had been conducted online and it didn’t seem real that I would also be starting my job online and based working from home. I remember my first day so well as I had to receive a special letter to allow me to travel to the office to collect my new work laptop and phone etc and meet my new manager for the first time in the flesh! I was extremely nervous as not only was I a new graduate with no experience in a sales role, but I also had no experience in working remotely and what that even meant.

MSC made me feel so welcome from day 1 as we had a welcome meeting via Teams in which I got to meet my new team and others that worked within the company. I remember thinking ‘how great it this!’ how many new jobs start with a coffee break with your new team!

Over the next couple of months, I had successfully set up my new office with a lot of help from the IT department as I’m not the best with computers at the best of times, but IT were able to help me just as well from home as in the office. In my first year, we had been in and out of so many lockdowns, but we still managed to have team days online, my personal favourite being our online murder mystery night.

Training online was great as I often had one on one training with different members of the company which allowed plenty of time to ask questions. I also received international training online which was very successful. I always felt that if I needed help, I could go to a wide range of people within MSC who are happy to help, it didn’t always have to be to my direct manager.

It can be daunting starting a new job online as it may seem slower to learn than if you are in the office however as you can see from my title, I have already progressed to a Senior in my role which shows the level of help and support that I received was equal to that had I started in what would be considered ‘normal circumstances’ pre-pandemic.