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

Isobel M - Strategic Innovation

 I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas – it feels like I only just started!

I honestly can’t quite believe that I have been at the Royal Society of Chemistry for almost four months now. It has completely flown by. I started my first rotation in September in the Strategic Innovation Group, working on one of the organisation’s newest projects  – Open Innovation. On my first day, in a meeting with my manager, I embarrassingly had to ask ‘Erm…..sorry…..but what is Open Innovation?!’. Luckily, I was told it wasn’t a stupid question: Open Innovation is all about getting industry (both large companies and small businesses) and academia to work together more collaboratively. It is something the Royal Society of Chemistry is very keen to promote and, being the world’s leading chemical community, we feel we are perfectly positioned to help with this.

As it is a new endeavour for the Royal Society of Chemistry, my role has involved doing quite a lot of research into other open innovation companies, to see who are competitors are and where partnership opportunities might exist. This has included a mixture of web-based research as well as actually speaking to some of these companies. I’ve also been talking to some of the largest chemical companies in the world to better understand their ‘open innovation needs’ and work out how the Royal Society of Chemistry might best be able to help. I’ve loved this project because I can see that work I’ve been doing is really valued and that the things I’ve found out over the course of my research will be used to implement exciting new initiatives within the organisation.

I’ve also been involved in organising workshops and conferences for some of our pilot projects in Open Innovation. I helped to organise a neglected diseases conference which took place in Brazil in November. This was a fantastic opportunity to work with some of our international partners such as the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative and The Medicines for Malaria Venture, as well as getting work closely with our office in Brazil. I also organised a workshop which took place at our London Office, Burlington House. I think this is one of the things I’m most proud of as I was responsible for absolutely everything – right from inviting the speakers to making the menu choices!

In December I learned that the organisation celebrates Christmas in a big way! First, there was the Sports and Social Club’s Fancy Dress Christmas Party. The theme was ‘Night at the Movies’ so all the grads went as the cast of Alice in Wonderland. As you can probably tell from the picture, we decided to go all out. Next, was the All Staff Christmas Lunch, held at Churchhill College, and involving a lot of Christmas jumpers and a LOT of food. Then there was our team Christmas lunch, followed the next day by our grad Christmas lunch.

It’s been an absolutely fantastic four months at the RSC. I’ve learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it. I’m certainly ready for a rest now though…..Merry Christmas everyone!!

Isobel is a Graduate currently working in the Strategic Innovation Group 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 Isobel Marr on Dec 23, 2014 10:12 AM Europe/London

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