00:22 Actually a lot of people have asked me ‘why chemistry?’ and I have to say that I loved it from my first exposure.
00:30 I think I was a kind of a ‘Why? Why? Why?’ child,
00:32 I know all children go through that kind of ‘Why? Why?’ stage but that stayed with me a long time.
00:37 And what I really found really fascinating about chemistry
00:40 was that you learn about things you can’t see,
00:45 at a molecular level, but it explains the things you can see in the world,
00:49 why some things are solids or gasses,
00:52 and I just found that fascinating, it was you know, rather like magic.
00:56 I started to study chemistry as a standalone subject at secondary school,
01:01 and I had a wonderful chemistry teacher, Mr Salmon,
01:04 and it was him who actually told me the reason that there is life on Earth is because of hydrogen bonding
01:09 of water, so as soon he told me that I was really hooked.
01:13 I did a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry,
01:16 and with a case award I was very focused on a career in industry.
01:20 After my PhD I was thinking very much about the pharmaceutical industry or the agrichemical industry,
01:27 but actually as I studied more I recognised that I actually wanted to work in an industry
01:32 where I would be able to apply the chemistry and see the products that I worked on,
01:37 actually be in the market relatively quickly.
01:40 So I actually chose to work for Procter and Gamble.
01:48 At some point in your career there’s very often an opportunity to live and work abroad.
01:53 And actually, that’s what happened to me after working for two years in Newcastle.
01:58 The company said ‘would you like to go to Germany for just a couple of years?’
02:03 You know, at that stage, as a young person I thought ‘well this is a little adventure’,
02:09 to go and live for a couple of years in Germany, so I jumped at the chance to go.
02:16 And as it’s turned out, I then spent the next 23 years out of the UK, working in Germany and in Brussels.
02:23 I’m currently responsible for all of the packaging across the company,
02:28 so it’s really a huge range from a very simple polyethylene bags that you would find around Pampers,
02:34 really right through to prestige fine fragrance, Dolce and Gabbana, and Gucci.
02:40 I would say that if you ever get the chance to live and work abroad, I would jump for it, I would take it with both hands.
02:49 You just learn so much when you’re living in a different culture, you’re exposed to people who think differently.
02:57 So at first I think it’s just very enjoyable, but second it helps you grow just because you have these different experiences.
03:10 So as I think about students joining Procter and Gamble, I think the first thing to know is that
03:15 Procter and Gamble is a promote-from-within company.
03:18 So we don’t bring people into the company mid-career,
03:22 so that means that everybody that is in the company today, all started at entry level,
03:28 and we actually have just two entry levels depending on academic qualifications,
03:34 and then people move up different levels as they spend their career in the company.
03:39 A large majority of the people that we hire come from our internship programmes,
03:44 so we would call that ‘mutual trial’,
03:47 and it works really well because we give the students real projects to work on,
03:51 actual business projects, so we get to see them working on a real project.
03:57 And it’s equally helpful for the students because they actually
04:00 are able to experience what it would be like if they would actually decide to come and join us at Procter and Gamble.