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

Ellie - Member Engagement/Communications

After six months working in the Industry team, I’m now taking on all things related to our 175th anniversary as part of my rotation in Member Engagement and Communications.

I’m almost a week into my second rotation and already my work in the industry team feels an eternity ago! Rotating hasn’t been as strange as I thought it would be – because I’ve worked at the organisation for six months already, it’s not like starting a new job and a lot of the people I’m now working with I’ve met or worked with before. That’s one of the many brilliant things about the RSC grad scheme: you get to experience a range of completely different roles without having to move organisation.

In my last couple of months in the Industry team, I was working on a project to investigate how university chemistry departments in the UK and Ireland interact with businesses. Collaboration between academia and industry can be really beneficial to both sides and from a student perspective, can greatly increase employment prospects. The RSC is currently conducting a survey of how much collaboration currently occurs, and how effective this is, so that we can champion and further support these activities. Working on this project taught me a lot about higher education structure, funding and policy. This may sound unbelievably dull, but was actually fascinating, especially with the government looking to make some quite major changes to the current system.

I also launched the second round of our internships grant scheme (something I mentioned in my previous post). The first year of running was such a success for both the companies and the interns, so I hope the scheme continues to grow in strength! If you or anyone you know is interested in carrying out an internship in a small chemical science company, the positions will be advertised here and here around May/June time, so watch this space!

My new rotation is split between the Member Engagement and Communications team and will be mainly focused around our 175th anniversary, particularly our 175 minutes for chemistry campaign. We’re encouraging both our members and any interested members of the public to dedicate 175 minutes to chemistry, in any shape or form. This could be as simple as spending some time reading Chemistry World, getting involved in local section events or attending a local science festival.

Which leads me very nicely into what all of us grads have been spending most of the last couple of weeks doing – preparing for Cambridge Science Festival! Every year, the RSC grads run a series of activities on ‘Science Saturday’ of the festival, so we’ve been busy pulling together some simple, hands-on experiments to get people excited about chemistry. This has been a lot of fun – who knew cornflour and water could be so entertaining! – and things seem to be coming together, so keep an eye out for the next blog post to find out how it all went! 
Ellie is a Graduate currently working in the Member Engagement/Communications teams 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 Eleanor Hall on Mar 10, 2016 4:44 PM Europe/London

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