Skills That Worked for Me: Sophie Henry

Info 10 months ago

Skills That Worked for Me: Sophie Henry



The Springboard+ HCI Pillar 1 initiative provides free and subsidised higher education courses delivered by education providers across Ireland. We work closely with industry leaders to develop courses that provide the skills, knowledge and qualifications that are in demand in growing sectors across Ireland.

You could be eligible for a free or subsidised course whether you’re currently employed and seeking to progress in your career; formerly self-employed or unemployed and keen to reskill to explore new opportunities; a graduate interested in gaining a sector specific qualification; or you’re looking to return to the workforce after a career break caring for family or loved ones.

Wherever you’re starting from, a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course will provide the #SkillsThatWork for your future.  We sat down with past learner, Sophie Henry to discuss her experience.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I began my undergraduate studies in University College Cork studying Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences specialising in Plant Science. During my degree, I did work experience in a plant-based food colouring company in Cork, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I decided to go down the biotech and pharma route following my degree. I wanted to explore my options and what I should do next.

Why did you decide to do a Springboard+ course?

I wanted to go on to further study (without having to commit fully to a one-or two-year masters), when I saw the Springboard+ Higher Diploma in Design and Manufacturing of Biopharmaceuticals at UCC, I knew it was the right one for me.

The diploma offered a blended and flexible learning model that really appealed to me. Also, it was part-time, with flexible hours. As well as offering a flexible working model, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the course still provided hands-on experience for us, with a week in the UCC labs. This is really essential when you’re applying to lab-based jobs – that you have some experience.

What was the experience like?

The transition straight from my undergraduate to the diploma didn’t take too much adapting as I had been studying online from March 2020. The online course contained recorded material that was available to learners whenever they wanted to access it. I know there was a lot of people in my course working full time – the flexible model meant that they could take the course in the evenings or on the weekends.

The modules were quite varied (biopharmaceutical engineering, regulatory processes, biochemistry, career focused modules etc.) which all contributed to a well-rounded experience and good knowledge of the industry as a whole. The lecturers were extremely helpful, enthusiastic and passionate about the topics and helping students, so it created a really nice atmosphere within the course too!

What’s next for you?

I’m now putting my learnings from the course into action as a Lab Support Analyst a Eurofins in Cork. The course is lining up with my current job perfectly, so it’s ideal.

What would you tell someone thinking about doing a Springboard+ course?

I would recommend Springboard+ course to anyone looking to up-skill for a job following their undergraduate degree. Absolutely go for it, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Find out more:

For more information on courses available through Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1, visit or freephone 1800 303 523. Keep an eye out on our social media for updates on course places:

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