- Course: Chemistry BSc
- Nationality: British
- Company: Reckitt Benckiser
What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?
Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a global company which produces many renowned products including Air Wick, Durex, Nurofen and Veet.
What is your role within the company?
I work in the Nurofen team within formulation. I assist with the start of product development: developing a formula for new products, and feasibility work.
Can you give me an insight into a typical day?
My daily activities vary. A lot of the time I am in the lab making batches of formulations, or in the office writing up the results from experiments. I have project and team meetings and training on various processes or equipment.
What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?
I enjoy the atmosphere the most. There is a big community feel and you can certainly tell that in my team. We go for meals a lot, and we recently had an away day to the escape rooms and to do a treasure hunt around Hull.
One of the great things my team does is regular technical meetings, where everyone is caught up on the science behind the different projects. I find that very interesting and useful to understand what other parts of the team do. The projects that I work on are early feasibility, which allows me to work on a wide range of formats and exciting new products. Within these projects I regularly work with cross functional teams such as Regulatory and Quality, and I get to see all aspects of how a product goes from an idea to reality.
Staff at RB are also encouraged to volunteer in work time to support the local community. RB’s social impact investment strategy focuses on three areas that have a direct connection to the business and where we identify the greatest unmet needs (Sexual Health and Wellbeing, Malnutrition and Stunting, and Health and Hygiene). My team recently held a Devils Kitchen event, where they cooked for around 80 people, with the funds raised from the meal going to Maister Lodge in Hull.
Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?
I had previously done work experience at BP and found that really interesting, so I knew I wanted to do a year in industry whilst at university. I also think the skills that you get from working in industry and the exposure you get working in a large company is extremely valuable.
What do you think you have got out of this experience so far?
I have developed my understanding of the processes that occur in industry, which I believe will greatly help my experiments when I return to university as attention to detail is key. I have also improved my organisational skills by keeping up with deadlines set for pieces of work. I have really enjoyed the experience that I have had so far and look forward to spending the year here.
Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?
Make sure that you know the company that you apply for and that you tailor the application to them. Use the career centre for mock interviews, especially if you haven’t had one before. They give great constructive advice and it helps calm your nerves a bit before your actual interview. In the interview - I know everyone says it - be yourself. Everyone that is applying has the same academic credentials that you do, the thing that will make you stand out is your experiences and your personality. If you can get involved in societies or being a school rep will help with your communication skills and look great on your CV. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get your first placement you apply for, keep applying until you get one.