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

Gareth - Industry

Industry. Innovation. Enterprise. In the last five months I’ve moved so far out of the squishy armchair of my comfort zone that it is a mere dot on the horizon of experience, development and thorough enjoyment.

As I have mentioned before, when I found out that I was joining the Industry team, I can’t deny I imagined a pretty intimidating fortress in front of me, due to my total lack of experience in that area. Looking back now though, I was right about the experience, but the fortress turned out to be a bouncy castle (with important learning outcomes of course)!

In one way or another, the biggest amount of my time has been taken up with supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) though our annual innovation extravaganza, Emerging Technologies. Getting to see first-hand, the cutting edge technologies that the chemical sciences are developing, and having the opportunity to meet the brains behind them has been wonderful.  What has been even more valuable is the understanding of everything else that makes an idea fruitful.  The business plan, the intellectual property, the marketing, or a whole host of other things are what makes a success.
I have also been working with this year’s Industry and Technology Division award winners. Running a winners reception, where this group of exceptional scientists could meet, share their experiences, and discuss what the awards mean to them was a brilliant chance to build on my project management skills as well as show a bit of creative flair. Acting as a regular Michael Parkinson I had the opportunity to interview our winners in the beautiful Burlington House. This was an education in itself finding out each of their fascinating routes to awards success.

In amongst all this, I’ve been swatting off “industry acronyms” left, right and centre. If you want to know about KTN’s, IP, TSB’s and many more, I’m your man! This may seem insignificant or trivial but in a professional body with a great number of industry members, building this knowledge has armed me with the tools to best represent them in all of our activities.
It’s not all fun and games however! The annual RSC Presidents Dinner and Summer Party required Stephen and I to work late into one delightful summer evening at the Royal Academy of Arts. Tasked with entertaining our esteemed guests with our flagship outreach activity, Spectroscopy in a Suitcase, we boldly took them along on our forensic investigation, each one of them a determined Inspector Clouseau, solving the case of the forged “Blue Blob”, one of Picasso’s lesser known pieces. Using our portable infra-red spectrometer they identified the correct fingerprint for the ultramarine and Prussian and cobalt blue inks.

Once our job was done and the case solved, there was only one thing left to do. Don our dinner jackets and join the party. I think it’s fair to say that it’s not every day you get to dance with not one, but two presidents, whilst surrounded by millions of pounds worth of art! A fantastic way to end a fantastic rotation, and I’m very sad to say, end my time on the graduate scheme!

I’m leaving to join the Membership Development team and with the experience, knowledge and skills that I have developed over the last twelve months, combined with the wonderful relationships, forged not with colleagues but with dear friends, I am very sure that I couldn’t be more prepared. It has truly been a year to remember and I hope many of you reading may be inspired to take up the same chance I’ve had when the applications are next open!

Gareth is a Graduate currently working in the Industry Team on the Royal Society of Chemistry's Graduate Scheme. To see if we are currently recruiting for the RSC Graduate Scheme click here.

Posted by Gareth Davies on Jul 30, 2014 1:25 PM Europe/London

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