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

Pip - Industry

After a spectacular end to my time in Chemistry World I’ve moved from the hectic world of science communication to the more peaceful world of the f9e4ccc3a1c23c3b227be814b9bb9d31-huge-03
Industry team. 
My final assignment for Chemistry World was the grand final of the Chemistry World science communication competition. This was a live event where 5 science communicators fought it out by giving short talks to a public audience at the Royal Institution (home of the Christmas lectures, and where Faraday gave his lectures).

Organising the final was a bigger challenge than anything I’ve done before. Although I have a background in concert managing for choirs an event of this scale was completely new. Choirs don’t need portable Bunsen burners, or turn up carrying 13kg of mercury!
f62b7a11c5a76e9218c8f064cbe957ce-huge-imAll of the finalists gave fantastic talks that were definitely worth all the challenges of organising the event. Topics covered included chocolate (with taste testing) and spectroscopy (with coloured fireballs) but Ben Stutchbury clinched the prize by making borax mucus which he then proceeded to throw around the room, fascinating and mildly disgusting the judges and audience. Video of the event should be available soon from Chemistry World, so keep an eye out for that!
After a week in Greece with the choir to recover (think sunshine, swimming in clear turquoise seas, dolphins, shooting stars and incredible seafood) I started with the Industry team, where I’m working across a few different projects. I've taken over the project investigating how university chemistry departments in the UK and Ireland interact with businesses (started by Ellie last rotation) and I’m readying myself for some rather intense data analysis in the coming weeks as we start to work out what all of our survey data tells us.
I’m also working on a training and networking day for our next set of industrial placement students. The RSC funds for a number of small companies to take an undergraduate chemistry student to do a placement year in their company. This is win-win because the student learns a lot about companies and business as well as chemistry research, and the companies get another pair of hands to help with their work!
Outside of work, I’ve just become secretary of my choir in Cambridge, the Fairhaven Singers, because I’m a sucker and can’t say no whenever someone asks me to organise something. The grads have also found a weekly pub quiz – last night the our team came in joint first place, only to miss out in the tiebreaker round (1820’s politics is not our strong point apparently). As the summer creeps in I’m looking forward to pub beer gardens, picnics by the river and punting.  

Pip is a Graduate currently working in the Public Affairs 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 Philippa Matthews on Apr 14, 2016 11:19 AM Europe/London

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