“I value the work-life balance that FDA offers, as well as knowing that the work I do is valued and has a positive effect for the public.”
-- Melanie C. Voges MBA, Consumer Safety Officer/State Liaison
How did your career begin at FDA?
I began my career at the FDA in August 2010 as a Consumer Safety Technician (CST). Within the first two years I knew I wanted more responsibility and, in turn, started to investigate the requirements of becoming a Consumer Safety Officer (CSO). Even though I have a master’s degree, I did not have the science credits needed and had to go back to school to obtain the additional 27 credits in order to apply for the position. After finishing my remaining credits, I immediately applied for the next opening. In November 2015, I was offered the CSO position and more recently was selected as the State Liaison for HAFW1.
What do you value most about working at FDA?
I value the work-life balance that FDA offers, as well as knowing that the work I do is valued and has a positive effect for the public. I also enjoy the individuals I have been given the opportunity to work with and seeing that we are all working toward a common goal of public safety and health.
What are you most proud of in terms of your work at FDA?
I am most proud of the work I have done with the inspections and sample collections I have conducted independently and as a team member. There are several occasions in which I can see firsthand the result of my inspection with the issuance of a warning letter or regulatory meeting. During these times, I am reminded that I am knowledgeable about the regulations and can document my findings in such a way that other individuals can stand behind me to bring firms into compliance. In addition, the work I have conducted during my tenure at the FDA has allowed me to advance in my career and gain experience at different levels within the agency.
What advice would you give to an FDA job seeker?
Do not give up! The hiring process, as well as internal movement, is not the easiest and has many steps along the way, but it is definitely worth it, and your patience and persistence will pay off.
When you're not at work, what is your favorite way to unwind?
My favorite ways to unwind when not at work really depend on my mood and typically will revolve around painting, reading, music, or outdoor activities.