Alumni Spotlight – Una Feeney, Global HSE Consultant, Eli Lilly
Una Feeney is a Global HSE Consultant for Eli Lilly, supporting their Europe and Asia sites. She works in the area of occupational health and employee wellbeing and takes a holistic, integrated approach to her role. Una graduated with an MSc in Occupational Health in 2011 and is now a guest lecturer on the course. We chat with her about her experience as a part-time student at UCC.
“It was great to meet other professionals from different industries and organisations and learn from their experiences and challenges.”
Una Feeney took on the challenge of studying for an MSc while juggling a full-time job, young children and a sick relative. To graduate then, after two years with a master’s degree was no mean feat. However, she does admit that her experience was made easier by the invaluable support of the staff and students on her course. Dr Birgit Greiner, Director of the MSc in Occupational Health was particularly helpful. Una says, “her research and publications in occupational stress and the management of psychosocial work really inspired me. I found her lectures very interesting and engaging and she was always available to meet and help you out with any queries or difficulties you were experiencing”.
Una uses the word ‘holistic’ when discussing health, safety and wellbeing at work, an approach to which she was introduced at UCC. She adds, “the MSc gave me the knowledge and confidence to explore more opportunities within the field of occupational health both in my workplace and externally, provided me with networking opportunities, which has helped me to expand the scope of occupational health and move towards a more holistic integrated approach to health, safety and wellbeing”.
Una is passionate about her job and was awarded the Global Outstanding HSE Contributor Award and EU HSE Leaders’ Recognition Award for her work. When asked what wisdom she would offer prospective students, she advises to “not be afraid to push your boundaries, use all the opportunities UCC can give you, there are so many wonderful people there to help you advance your career and most importantly, enjoy your time, it goes much too quickly”.
A busy career, family responsibilities and a challenging workload meant Una could not get involved in many activities while at college, but she still remembers the university in a positive light. “Funnily now, eight years on, my best memories of UCC are every Saturday supporting the UCC senior rugby team at home in the Mardyke, as my son plays for the team. And the joy of seeing the Senior Team move up to Division 1 A, for the first time in the history of UCC in 2018”.