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

Lizzy - Strategic Communications

The very eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted me among these pages before, around 4 years ago when I was on what was then known as the Publishing Graduate Scheme. 

I came to the Royal Society of Chemistry through the Publishing route, knowing that I wanted a career in chemistry, but outside of the lab, and not really sure what that would look like.

After 3 years as a Publishing Editor, during which I gained lots of useful experience working with journals, I realised that I wanted to expand my understanding of what the R
SC does, meet new people, and increase my skill set. So I applied for the RSC Graduate Scheme. I’m now nearing the end of my first placement, on the Strategic Communications team, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Over the past 6 months I have written articles for RSC News, Cohesion (our internal newsletter), Chemistry World and Chemistry International. As part of the News and Media sub-team I have coordinated a mini media campaign to promote a competition called SET for Britain, which the RSC helps sponsor, and which brings early careers researchers to present their work in Parliament. As part of the coordination of this campaign, I was lucky enough to attend a meeting in Parliament, at Portcullis House, with the media reps from the other learned societies who are also sponsoring the event.

As part of my work on the News and Media team I was asked to try and promote articles from the RSC’s journals to a non-scientific audience. This led to me sending a press release on one of our articles to The Times, and I then had to explain the science behind the article to a journalist over the phone. This was both exciting
 and nerve-wracking, and a real test of how well I knew the research! And after all that it was really gratifying to see the story appear in print a few days later.

One of my biggest projects has been coordinating communications around the RSC’s 175th Anniversary, which is taking place this year (the actual date is 23rd Feb 2016). One of our activities involves asking our members and other chemists to give 175 minutes of their time to chemistry, and we’ve been encouraging this through a Twitter campaign. In order to keep the public interested, I’ve been gathering ideas for relevant tweets, such as suggestions for science festivals for people to attend, and articles about the chemistry behind pancakes!

Like all the grads, in September and October I drove and train-journeyed up and down the country visiting universities and signing up students for RSC membership. Particularly memorable was mine and Pip’s road trip to Bangor and Liverpool. It turns out that driving in Liverpool city centre is not for the faint-hearted! T
he recruitment visits were a great way to get to know the other grads, connect with students and their lecturers, and get a better grasp of the geography of the UK!

My next rotation will be in Membership, which should mean some more recruitment visits and travel. I’ll be incredibly sad to leave the Comms team – they’ve been so incredibly welcoming and I’ve learned so much from all of them – but I’m excited about what’s to come!

Lizzy is a Graduate currently working in the Strategic Communications 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 Elisabeth Ratcliffe on Feb 22, 2016 1:53 PM Europe/London

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