Janine Downs – Technical Operations Manager
Tell us about your career journey to the 3M BIC:
I began my career in what you would call a very non-technical environment. My first job was working in a Museum and Arts department for the local council. Various posts within finance, administration and customer service industries followed and I studied my degrees part time whilst working full time and raising the family. I held an admin post at the University of Huddersfield for over 14 years before hopping across the road to the 3M BIC to realise my dream of working with technology just three years ago. I would class my route to this role as an unconventional way to get here but it seems to have worked out, as some of the skillsets from my previous roles have transferred over quite easily.
Describe a typical day at work:
No two days are the same. I am usually awake early to let the dog out and grab a quick coffee before setting out. I’m currently part of the skeleton team at the 3M BIC whilst we deal with the COVID restrictions. I could be working on different projects for clients, replying to emails, taking deliveries, organising the refit of various rooms within the building which also means liaising with our Estates team. There are also workflows to coordinate for the tech team and making sure paperwork and consumables are in order for our new Fellowship programme starting this year.
What keeps you motivated at work?
Making sure I do my best every day and keep smiling.
The most exciting thing about your job?
Definitely the variety – there is no time to be bored or not have something to do as the day brings opportunities to work with lots of different equipment – some of which I never dreamed I would be operating in such a short space of time.
The most challenging?
Staying ahead of the competition. Innovation centres are exciting and interesting places to be involved with and some of the ideas being worked on today are tomorrow’s future…
Time of the day you most creative or inspired?
Most likely early morning – in fact, sometimes before the alarm has gone off. I have been known to keep a pad and pen at the bedside for ideas that pop into my thoughts – only to wake up later and wonder what I have written!
Proudest career moment?
Probably being given the opportunity to grow in this job. I feel I have found my place at the 3M BIC and definitely looking forward to future challenges along the way.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Various pieces of advice stick with me such as – Give things a go (my physics teacher), have some ‘me’ time (best mate) and always do your best! (my Dad).
What innovations should we look out for in your industry?
Right now there is an emphasis on keeping everyone safe and well, from the latest technology to ‘speed up’ lead times on different products such as PPE and medical tooling, we’ve also been working with various manufacturing companies, which means we are helping others to progress. There is a growing need for collaboration to bring things to the market easier and quicker so companies who do this will stay ahead of the game.
Out of the office?
I used to take part in Tough Mudder events, Zumba and lots of shopping. I’ve managed to complete five Virtual Tough Mudder events over the last six months – earning a few badges, tee-shirts and headbands along the way. For exercise during COVID I dance around the kitchen and continue to take the dog out for walks.