RSC - Advancing the Chemical Sciences


Employee Profiles

Find out more about members of our team here

Niamh O'Connor

Current role:  Publisher

Background:  BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Organometallic Chemistry. Joined RSC as a graduate trainee in 2004.

Biggest personal achievement: finding a career that she really likes doing.

Personal interests: cooking, reading, cinema. 

Niamh O'Connor
Niamh O'Connor loved science, but knew she didn't want to stay in the lab. Having worked part-time for a pharmaceutical company in her hometown of Cork, Ireland and continued with her doctoral research, she responded to an online advertisement for the RSC's graduate training programme and soon found herself moving to Cambridge.  After a spell as a Technical Editor - reading literature and compiling databases - she has progressed her editorial and publishing career and now works internationally with members of the editorial boards of journals.  Recently, she's been involved in establishing two new titles.

"I've found a job I really enjoy."
"We're launching a new journal soon," she reveals, "and it's been really exciting. Members of our academic community have wanted more choice over where they publish their work. We looked at the potential, worked with other people and gauged the response. Now they have new options.  I'm pleased to have found a career that I really like doing every day. "

Richard Blount

Current role:  Sales Executive

Background: Sales recruitment. Graduate in Media & Cultural Studies from Nottingham Trent University.

Biggest personal achievement: top sales performer in previous role.

Personal interests: plenty of sport, music, films, eating out.

Richard Blount
From his previous role in recruitment sales with a digital media company, Richard Blount already knew the RSC, who were a key client. "I was aware the organisation had been expanding rapidly," he recalls, "and I liked a lot of things they were doing. The products were excellent.  And everyone I knew who worked there spoke highly of the organisation."  

"Everyone I knew at the RSC spoke highly of the organisation."
It wasn't long before Richard was applying for a job online and, after his second interview, he was offered a job the same evening.  Now, a typical day involves dealing directly with customers in the Republic of Ireland - answering queries, contacting people and developing new business.  "I've learned a lot in terms of pricing, negotiation, as well new software products and content management systems," says Richard, who spends around 20% of his week out of the office. "My day is always varied and I'm never bored. And it's the first time I've worked in an organisation which is recognised around the world."

Will Russell

Current role: Internet Services Manager

Background:  Helpdesk, infrastructure and development roles. Graduate in Computer Science from University of Kent at Canterbury.

Biggest personal achievements: moving the RSC's websites to a more reliable platform and helping to raise money with colleagues for a local children's hospice.

Personal interests: cycling, guitar, music, visiting live shows. 

Will Russell
When Will Russell arrives at work in the morning, the first thing he does is check a display screen. If it's flashing green, that's good news. All the RSC websites he manages are working well. Red, on the other hand, suggests a potential problem and he needs to spring into action. Because the Society's international, people may want to access key information at any time and the operation needs to work seamlessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"It's a dream role for me."
"I'm also involved in larger projects," says Will. "We've been working on authentication systems for university access, for instance. And we've always got to be on guard against the impact of malicious malware."  Originally, he'd joined the RSC on a summer placement and hadn't known anything about the organisation. "I soon realised what an enthusiastic, forward-thinking place it is," he reflects.  Now, I get lots of customer liaison, I manage a team of five and I keep my hand in with IT. It's a dream job."  

Charlie Ashley-Roberts

Current role:  Careers Specialist

Background: Formulation chemist, who studied Medical and Pharmaceutical Science at Nottingham Trent University.

Biggest personal achievements: becoming a parent.

Personal interests:  poetry, martial arts.

Charlie Ashley-Roberts
There's no doubt that Charlie Ashley-Roberts feels she's made the right choice of career.  The former formulation chemist - who also happens to be a black belt in jujitsu - says that she still really looks forward to work every morning at the RSC. And in the time that she's been with the organisation, her role as Career Specialist has taken her as far afield as Germany and Norway as well as visiting almost every major city/town in the UK. 

"I wake up every day and can't wait to go to work."
"It's fantastic here," says Charlie. "I love it.  People are just lovely - like a really big family. I have no problem going to see our Chief Executive.  And decisions get made, which I like."  The RSC supported her towards a Postgraduate Certificate through distance learning and even offered time off for occasional residential courses. In return, Charlie is already putting a lot back.  Not just in terms of her work with the 900 members she sees per year and universities she visits, but also through running internal sessions on professionalism, becoming a mentor for new members of staff and taking on large projects such as implementing a new online Continuing Professional Development system.