Harry R.

Automated Formulation and Measurement Scientist
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Harry R.
United Kingdom

My employment

Automated Formulation and Measurement Scientist
United Kingdom
Science and research
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Automated Formulation and Measurement Scientist in the United Kingdom

From what I've seen a good degree isn't enough anymore. It's the experience that really counts if you want graduate jobs in large multinational companies.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I work for Unilever, a huge FMCG comapany in their Research & Development workstream. Unilever R&D is keen on pushing the boundaries of what's possible with digital and automation technology

What do you do?

My role entails working with lots of different pieces of high-tech kit and bespoke formulation robots. I'm currently working on developing assays which our brands can use to test their products. It's not all science though, much of my time is spent in meetings learning about the business and helping to deliver key projects, and I enjoy the split between the two.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Taking up an internship with YorRobots, an initiative by the Department of Computer Science at UoY made me realise that I wanted to pursue a career in automated chemistry. I undertook a summer placement a year later at Diamond Light Source where I worked on automated chemistry as applied to drug discovery. Finally, during my MChem 4th year I worked at York using a robotic system, coupled with statistical experimental design, to understand mechanistically unprobed Suzuki-Miyaura reactions.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Very different actually. I had secured a position on a graduate scheme with a large engineering firm the November before my graduation. I had previously gotten to the final stage of the Unilever Future Leader programme and was unsuccesful, however one of my interviewers (now my boss's, boss's, boss!) liked how much automation experience I had and a couple of months later I got a call from a Unilever recruiter saying that they were really keen to have me onboard. The rest is history!

Describe your most memorable day at work

I'm relatively new, but my most memorable was seeing all the bespoke robots that Unilever has at the Material Innovation Factory at Liverpool university, they were great!

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

YorRobots Venables Summer Internship 2020 (Best work award) - Developed my techinical understanding of automated chemistry and softer skills such as communication and report writing.
Diamond Light Source Summer Student 2021 - Further developed my understanding of automated chemistry, programming and digitial chemistry. Helped develop my teamwork skills as many of my teammates were renowned scientists.

What would you like to do next with your career?

Keep moving up the ladder at Unilever, becoming an expert in the robots that I'm using now.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

From what I've seen a good degree isn't enough anymore. It's the experience that really counts if you want graduate jobs in large mutlinational companies. The experience doesn't need to be exactly what you want to do, but something is better than nothing. Previous jobs/internships are a great talking point in interviews.

Get involved with what the University has to offer and make use of their careers service, they really helped me get my CV and interview technique up to scratch.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Pretty much anything :)

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Make the most of your time at York, and more importantly enjoy it!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Harry’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Harry a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Harry to be your mentor.

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