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.