- Course: Chemistry with a Year in Industry MChem, BSc
- Year of graduation: 2019
- Job title: R&D Associate
- Company: Reckitt Benckiser
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgia-brown-09b17a125
Georgie graduated from the University of Leeds in 2019 with a MChem, BSc degree in Chemistry. She undertook her placement year at Reckitt Benckiser (RB), and following from her graduation from Leeds, she returned to RB and is now working there as a Research & Development Associate in the Pain & Respiratory Local Heroes team. Here, she shares her experience during her placement year at RB.
Year in Industry
Georgie had previously done work experience at BP and found that really interesting, so she knew she 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.”
During her studies at Leeds, she undertook an industrial placement year working at Reckitt Benckiser, a global company which produces many renowned products including Air Wick, Durex, Nurofen and Veet. She said, “I was working in the Nurofen team within formulation. I assisted with the start of product development: developing a formula for new products, and feasibility work.”
I think the skills that you get from working in industry and the exposure you get working in a large company is extremely valuable.
“My daily activities varied. A lot of the time I spent in the laboratory making batches of formulations, or in the office writing up the results from experiments. I had project and team meetings and training on various processes or equipment. I enjoyed the atmosphere the most. There was a big community feel and you could certainly tell that in my team. We tended to go for meals a lot, and even had an away day to one of the escape rooms and did a treasure hunt around Hull.
One of the great things my team did was having regular technical meetings, where everyone is caught up on the science behind the different projects. I found that to be very interesting and useful to understand what other parts of the team were doing. The projects that I worked on were early feasibility, which allowed me to work on a wide range of formats and exciting new products. Within these projects, I regularly worked with cross functional teams such as Regulatory and Quality, and I had the opportunity to see all aspects of how a product goes from an idea to reality.
One of the great things my team did was having regular technical meetings, where everyone is caught up on the science behind the different projects.
Staff at RB were 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 held a Devils Kitchen event, where we cooked for around 80 people, with the funds raised from the meal going to Maister Lodge in Hull.
Doing the year in industry has helped me developed my understanding of the processes that occur in industry, which I believe will greatly help my experiments after I returned to university as attention to detail is key. I also improved on my organisational skills by keeping up with deadlines set for pieces of work. I really enjoyed the experience that I had.”
Advice and tips
“Make sure that you know the company that you apply for and that you tailor the application to them. Use the Careers Service 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.”
Make sure that you know the company that you apply for and that you tailor the application to them.
Find out more
Discover more about our Undergraduate degree courses in the School of Chemistry.