- Course: Chemistry with a Year in Industry MChem, BSc
- Year of graduation: 2017
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Technical Innovations Chemist
- Company: Stephenson
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasmine-greenhalgh-26236883/
Undergraduate life at Leeds
Jasmine chose to study Chemistry as a degree because she knew it would help her develop the knowledge and skills that she needed to progress to a career in any particular area.
She said, “The best aspect of the course was the chance to learn in all different ways including in a laboratory setting, in tutorials and workshops as well as in lectures. I enjoyed that there were many different topics to learn and you could focus more on areas you preferred each year. The laboratory sessions were great to build up your confidence with a wide range of reactions and it also set me up well to work in industry where GMP (good manufacturing practice) is so important.”
The great thing about the School of Chemistry is the staff. Everyone is always happy to help and support is always available.
Year in Industry at Reckitt Benckiser
Jasmine worked as a formulation assistant in the Respiratory Cold and Flu team at Reckitt Benckiser for her Year in Industry. She worked on several different product ranges including Mucinex, Lemsip and Nurofen. She really enjoyed her time as “Each day was varied as I spent my time between the laboratory and in the office completing different tasks.”
She said, “I was responsible for a variety of projects to improve existing healthcare products which involved overcoming various formulation issues along with working on new products. I was also responsible for the supply, management and disposal of my team's raw material stocks which involved maintaining a positive relationship with suppliers world-wide.”
Jasmine found the role to be very fast-paced and it was great to gain experience at such a prestigious company. The experience made her a lot more mature and confident in her abilities.
My advice to potential students interested in completing a placement year would be to put in as much hard work and effort into the year because you can get so much out of it with regards to confidence, experience and industry contacts. It will be worth it in the end!
Building a career in chemistry
Jasmine worked at Space NK in London straight after university. The role helped her to realise that she wanted to work in the cosmetic industry and learn to formulate personal care products. She later moved back to Leeds and started a job at Stephenson where she is currently based.
Stephenson Personal Care develops and supplies products for personal care brands and manufacturers worldwide and Jasmine is currently working as a Technical Innovations Chemist where she is working on improving existing products in the solid and liquid soap ranges as well as completing new development projects.
Here, she explains a typical working week.
“It tends to be very varied for me, but this seems to be quite common for Research & Development/ formulation roles. This is one of the things I enjoy most about my job role though as it allows me to get involved in all parts of the NPD (new product development) and EPD (existing product development) process. During a normal week I will be in the laboratory formulating new or existing personal care products, putting these on stability and then carrying out the relevant stability testing of the products if required.
Not only that, I also help with any operations/ production issues that may arise in the factory which is very interesting as it allows me to learn about the scale-up process and the engineering aspects to manufacturing personal care products. Some days, I also work in the office to assist with customer queries, creating product technical documents, sourcing and approving new raw materials and helping out with sales and marketing questions when needed.
It is a great feeling when you can make a positive impact on a business and I think that's what drives me most.
The thing I enjoy the most is the exposure you have as a young person in the business. I really like having the chance to make real changes in a company and seeing how they can make other colleagues working life slightly easier in some way. It is a great feeling when you can make a positive impact on a business and I think that's what drives me most.”