Lisa's story

I’ve explored different career paths within RSSL

Lisa, Program Manager Pharmaceutical



I’m not someone who likes to stand still. But at the same time, I’ve not always known which career path I wanted to follow. The great thing about working at RSSL is that it’s given me the opportunity to move into different areas of the business and decide where I can make the greatest difference.


My first interaction with RSSL was as an industrial placement student as part of my Masters in chemistry with forensic science. I loved the work, the environment and the people so much that I made sure to keep in-touch during my final year and was delighted to secure a full-time position with the pharmaceutical laboratory team.


Over the next few years, I picked up lots of different technical skills and tried my hand at various scientific capabilities. The breadth of specialist expertise within the department meant that I benefited from a great depth of knowledge and what was essentially on-the-job mentoring.


Alongside the technical role, I was also given the opportunity to develop my people management skills. Although it came about largely due to the rapid growth of the team, as manager of the stability team I was able to see if this was a direction I wanted to pursue. And it was.


When I got to chance to move into the commercial team, I knew I was ready for a change. I also knew that RSSL actively encourages movement between departments and is more than happy to develop people into new roles. So, although it was a risk, I felt it was one worth taking. And it paid off. I not only gained new skills, I also found that I loved the internal interaction, customer engagement and selling the science that I knew so well.


Again, just as I started to feel I might be getting too comfortable, a new opportunity presented itself. This newly created position came about as a direct response to one customer’s need. They wanted a programme manager to act as a bridge between commercial and technical teams; providing one point of contact and project oversight.


Two years down the line, I’ve not only demonstrated a ROI but also just recruited my first team member. I really do feel that this role was made for me and that all of my experience at RSSL led me here. What’s most exciting is that I still have room to grow.


Of course, there are many ways to get involved with wider activities at RSSL. When I first joined RSSL, I ran the community programme; a brilliant company initiative that encourages staff to organise fundraising activities for their chosen charities. I then supported the student placement programme; getting involved with everything from engaging universities to getting students into RSSL. And currently I am heavily involved with refreshing the mentoring programme across the site.


I think I can safely say, there is always something at RSSL to keep me interested.