A Future in Chemistry - Your career starts here
Fluorescent glassware

Applications Chemist


My job is linked to sales and marketing even though I work in a lab.

00:00 We’re a long-established European-based company and we make hair dye intermediates,

00:05 for use in hair colouring products for companies such as Wella and L’oréal,

00:10 and we also make photochromics, which are dyes that change colour in the sunlight,

00:15 which can be used in plastics and inks and things,

00:19 and we also make photographics, which are used in X-rays and also photos,

00:25 and we also make fluorescents which are used in things like tennis balls and marker pens.

00:30 Chemistry’s used in our company in a wide range of fields, we have research and development laboratories,

00:37 so chemistry’s used to develop new ways of making products and also to make new products.

00:43 We have chemists which test which products to make sure that they meet all the required

00:49 tests and specifications.

00:51 There’s also things like chemical engineers, accountants, so there’s lots of careers in the chemical industry.

00:57 The majority of the jobs at James Robinson require a degree in chemistry for the research-based jobs,

01:04 but you can actually study at the same time at the same time as working, which I did myself,

01:09 so I was working four days a week and then I went to university for one day a week to get my degree that way.

01:15 The skills that you need in the chemical industry are, you need to have good problem-solving skills,

01:21 and you also need to be able to work well in a team as well,

01:24 so you need to be imaginative and obviously have a good knowledge of chemistry.

01:30 The processes that we mainly do in the laboratories are things like filtration, distillation techniques,

01:38 titrations, so there are a lot of things that we do in the labs that you actually

01:44 used to do at school, just follow through.

01:46 If you were looking to work in the chemical industry,

01:50 I’d personally recommend that you keep your options open, there are a lot of degrees and courses

01:55 where you can do chemistry but also do, say, a language, at the same time,

02:00 or do business studies, because chemistry isn’t just chemistry

02:04 behind a fume cupboard, there are a lot of different careers to take on, such as in the sales department or

02:10 working on the plant, so just to keep your options open.

02:13 While I’ve been working at James Robinson my job is linked to the sales and marketing department,

02:19 even though I’m working in a laboratory at the same time,

02:22 because we do a lot of work supporting customers and because of this,

02:26 I’ve had the opportunity to travel to places like Brazil and Thailand,

02:31 America, and all across Europe, so it’s not just limited to standing behind a fume cupboard.

02:38 I did my A levels in biology and chemistry, maths and general studies,

02:43 and then I went on to do an HNC in chemistry,

02:46 and then a degree in chemistry with chemical engineering,

02:50 and actually was able to do the HNC and the degree whilst working at the same time through James Robinson.

“If you were looking to work in the chemical industry I'd personally recommend that you keep your options open if you do, say, a language at the same time, or business. ”

How did I get started?

I did A-levels and then went into work. My company, James Robinson, let me work and study at the same time, which is how I got my chemistry degree with chemical engineering.

Career progression

My career has let me travel to places like Thailand and Brazil, whilst also providing further development as I've worked.

“Chemistry isn't just chemistry behind a fume cupboard; there are a lot of different careers such as in the sales department or working on the plant, so just keep your options open.”