A day in the life of a Senior Breeding Programme Manager

A day in the life of a Senior Breeding Programme Manager

By Dr. José Mota Velasco.

Every day is very varied as a Breeding Programme Manager at Xelect. My day usually begins with reviewing the next milestones for the breeding programmes I look after. This helps me to prioritise my tasks for the day and keep track of the really important things. Time management is essential for this job.

Once the general layout of the day is setup, I’ll usually check in with my counterpart Marie Smedley, and other members of the Xelect team. I’ll also pick up the phone to my customers. We can sometimes work in very different time zones from our clients, but it’s important for me to make sure they see me as an extension of their own team.

Although I have a big responsibility in dealing directly with clients, I always know I have backup from all my colleagues. No matter what our roles are, we share responsibilities to deliver the best results, even with a tight schedule.

We work with a wide range of breeding programmes including all kinds of species globally, and in a fast moving industry like aquaculture we know that things don’t always go to plan for our customers. We know to build in flexibility for them where we can.

Probably the most critical part of my work involves writing reports and proposals for existing and new clients, crunching the fresh genotyping data from our lab, and combining it with field data coming from the farms. I also find it useful to keep my professional network alive and to catch up on the aquaculture news, as this enriches my current position in Xelect and helps to bring new knowledge to my team. 

One of my favourite parts of the job is meeting our clients face to face, travelling to numerous farms around the world. Usually, without lockdown restrictions, I travel abroad 3-4 times per year. This is a great opportunity to give hands on support to our clients in their most crucial breeding programme periods, such as spawning, harvesting and grading.

It is certainly exciting to be part of the dynamic hub at Xelect and it makes me feel proud to know that I’m playing an important role in the management of genetic breeding programmes around the world.


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