Ever wanted to know what we get up to on the RSC graduate scheme? In this blog, members of our graduate scheme describe some of the interesting (or unusual!) activities and projects they are working on, as well as what it is like to work in a variety of departments across the RSC.

Find out more about the RSC Graduate Scheme here

Holly Salisbury - Strategic Partnerships: The Final Frontier

Well, I can’t believe the end is nigh. Having joined the Royal Society of Chemistry fresh faced and inexperienced almost 18 months ago, I am now coming to the end of my final rotation in Strategic Partnerships and, *sob*, the end of my time at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

So, let me tell you a bit about my time in Strategic Partnerships – it has been a great rotation – and some of the ‘extras’ that make this graduate scheme such a great and worthwhile experience. It's a bit longer than usual so stick with me.

The Strategic Partnerships team, unsurprisingly perhaps, form partnerships – both to gain funding AND to collaborate and share expertise and networks. One of my projects, Client Background research, had me looking at companies Corporate Social Responsibility and mapping it against our work and our values to see which shared our passion and vision - it is about more than just who has money when we decide to form a partnership.
A highlight was getting to attend a meeting with a potential multimillion pound client company.
I also researched Beijing and Singapore’s potential prior to my line manager’s trip to Asia in December, no mean feat when you are looking at every chemical related sector the countries have to offer, trying to pick your top ten. And just a bit of pressure knowing your manager is booking meetings based on your information.
Internal communication is really important for a team like Strategic Partnerships and I co-ordinated it during my rotation, organising Lunch & Learn sessions in my first week (a great way to immerse myself in all that the team does), writing for Cohesion our internal newsletter, and working on our intranet page.
Throughout my first two placements I got a taste of matrix working and a crash course in knowing who does what. Having these relationships was a real bonus when working on raising the profile of my new team and ensuring that the rest of the organisation knows them and keeps them in mind.
The ‘Big One’ for me in this team has definitely been working on our ambitious new 5 year fundraising campaign. I have had a chance to be involved in every aspect, from working on the core messaging, writing an RSC News Feature, and working with a fancy design agency in London. To storyboarding our promotional videos, filming our current activities, helping secure a quote from Heston Blumenthal and, next week, interviewing *gasp* Bill Bryson.
Now, I also mentioned ‘the extras’ so…
Personally I have been on Project Management, Networking and Presentation skills training, had Insights profiling and a follow up workshop, and the chance to have a 360 degree profile – a great evaluation and development tool encompassing my whole time with the organisation.
Informal development has come in the form of the grad projects for example the Cambridge Science Festival, and a card sorting project for Chemistry World (no idea what card sorting is? Neither did we – you learn something new every day here). University recruitment visit and also volunteering opportunities such as working at Meet the Universities and at the Burlington House, our historic London office, for Open House London.
These opportunities gave me confidence, knowledge, great networks and helped me feel empowered. From beginning to end I have greatly improved my time management, organisational and problem solving skills. I learnt project and people management, honed my creative thinking and idea generation and gained experience in an amazingly diverse number of areas.
Oh yes, and I’ve enjoyed myself immensely!
Posted by Holly Salisbury on Feb 28, 2014 3:16 PM Europe/London

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