Christina, Senior Applied Bioresearch Scientist, Biodevices, says that given her bioresearch job title people are often surprised to learn she works with robots. It’s true — she spends her days managing projects for automated biodevices for poultry. While Christina appreciates the innovative science behind robots, she knows that Our Colleagues Make the Difference. Read on to learn more about how Christina is living the Zoetis Core Beliefs and finding ways to innovate poultry operations.
A Beautiful Marriage
An example of Christina’s mindset can be found when Zoetis acquired KL Partners, a leader in automation systems for the poultry industry. In announcing the acquisition, Alejandro, Executive Vice President and Group President, Strategy, Commercial and Business Development, said, “The acquisition enables Zoetis to tightly integrate our category-leading Embrex in ovo vaccination technology with KL's broader automation technology...” Christina agreed and put it a little differently, “It is a beautiful marriage.”
And Christina has been intimately involved in making the marriage succeed. She was the first project manager to partner with the KL team. After the acquisition, she flew to KL’s headquarters in Ontario, Canada, to begin building 33 pieces of biodevice equipment for an important poultry customer in Australia. Together, they designed and manufactured tailored solutions ranging from robotic arms that pick up eggs to dual needles that inject vaccines and devices that count chicks, all part of Zoetis’ Embrex BioDevices.
As a project manager, Christina sees her job as guiding the project and ensuring the right people communicate with each other. She did exactly that on the Australian project. They were on a tight deadline and facing a first-time regulation: the European Union’s CE certification, which was needed to expedite the equipment through customs. Because the regulation was new to the team, they faced uncertainty, many rounds of testing, and plenty of paperwork. Christina credits her team for achieving the certification and meeting the deadline.
Christina said the most exciting part of this project was getting to work with new colleagues, both from KL as well as Australia. This is one of her favorite parts of her job—learning from new people—plus the fact that she still gets to do science now and then, including some microbiology and embryology.
A Love to Learn
Christina works at Zoetis’ global poultry headquarters in Durham, NC, and has been with the company for almost a decade. She started out making vaccines and then moved on to biodevices. In the last five years, Christina has earned two graduate degrees: a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Florida and a master’s in business administration from North Carolina State. This helped her move into management. Her studies gave her a broader perspective about business operations, which enhances her experience as a scientist.
Christina says, “I love to learn. If I didn’t learn something, it wasn’t a good day. I’m proud to work at Zoetis because I’m always challenged, given opportunities, and rewarded. If I were to give a new colleague advice, it would be to be persistent, soak up everything, and know what you want to achieve.”
“Christina is off to a great start in her new role in project management,” said her manager, Tony, Director, Program Management, Global Biodevices. “She is finding success through her scientific background, enjoyment of working with people, and her intellectual curiosity.”
In photo above: Christina posing with an animal figurine at the Zoetis Charles City, Iowa location.