|Programme Manager, Science Divisions|
|Royal Society of Chemistry|
|Science and research|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
More about Ross
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A day in the life of a Programme Manager, Science Divisions in the United Kingdom
I act as the interface between the scientific community and the wider organisation, contribute to our ‘voice strategy’ and support scientists in their innovation.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
The Royal Society of Chemistry’s purpose is to advance excellence in the chemical sciences. It is a professional body for chemists in the UK that supports and represents more than 50,000 members and an international community.
What do you do?
I am a Programme Manager in the Science Divisions team. I act as the interface between the scientific community and the wider organisation, contribute to our ‘voice strategy’ and support scientists in their innovation. I work to develop strong relationships with scientists at a variety of levels in universities and companies as well as with funding bodies and our sister societies.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I did a PhD at the University of Warwick after my degree at York and also studied in China as a Schwarzman Scholar to earn a Masters in Global Affairs (business and economics stream). These experiences showed me the importance of enabling research and innovation in tackling global challenges and supporting society, which led me to work at this interface of government, academia and industry.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Yes - I thought I would work in industry as a lab scientist but later realised this wasn’t for me.
Describe your most memorable day at work
I met with MPs at the start of this year to chat about the importance of the chemical sciences - it was great to see so many interested and enthusiastic about our work.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
My role is largely about stakeholder management - learning how to manage and bring together different groups of people when they may have different goals and expectations despite working together on the same project. This can be challenging at times and takes careful consideration.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
Very open, supportive, and collaborative. My colleagues are all very mission-driven which is great.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
Throughout my university years I was involved in my SU chemistry society, my LGBT+ staff and student network, helped with open days and helped run lab days for local school children. These experiences taught me a lot about communication, teamwork, and community. These ‘soft skills’ were really valuable to develop alongside my scientific education.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I’d like to work in sustainability to help us move towards a low carbon, circular economy. I’m not sure where or how I’ll do this yet but I’m working on it!
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
While you might find yourself looking for a job for a longer period that expected or even having to take a job that isn’t your first choice, you can still find ways to develop the skills you think you’ll need for the next thing you move onto. This could be online classes or programmes, voluntary or remote opportunities. I try to think long-term about my career, and try and collect skills as I go even if I’m unhappy with my current situation.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Higher education, careers, anything else
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