As an organic chemist, Emily works as a lab-based technician at Pfizer conducting high-throughput screening (HTS) tests while studying part-time for a BSc.
Now two years into her apprenticeship, Emily has been working through the coronavirus pandemic doing essential work designing, developing and manufacturing the active ingredients in medicines.
At an early stage in her career, it’s clear to see that Emily has hit the ground running in her apprenticeship and is getting a wealth of hands-on experience. But this route has come with its own challenges.
My journey into chemistry has been less traditional than some and I don’t have the same qualifications as a lot of my colleagues. Most of them have PhDs. “My membership with the RSC and working with them to get accredited through the Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) scheme, has been so helpful in this regard. It shows that I am devoted to improving as a chemist and that I’m just as qualified as anyone else in the field.
Becoming an RSciTech has allowed Emily to demonstrate high levels of competence in her role, which is recognised within industry settings and education. This dedication to learning has been aided further through Emily’s use of the RSC CPD facility, which she has found really useful in keeping her skills sharpened. In the future she is keen to progress and achieve her Registered Scientist (RSci) designation.
Since joining the RSC, Emily’s interaction with the organisation has evolved to fit her needs. “Honestly, when I initially joined the RSC during my first apprenticeship a few years back I did it because I thought that’s just what chemists do. But once I was signed up I realised that there were a whole host of benefits to be had through the membership.
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“I go to RSC social events to network and meet new people. That’s actually how I discovered that I wanted to go into organic chemistry - by getting talking to someone over dinner! I’m now a member of the Separation Science Group, which hosts really insightful lectures and symposia. These events make it easy to chat with like-minded people.”
I’ve also been responsible for making sure that our network of 50 apprentices know about opportunities through the RSC, such as member benefits, discounts and events.
All being well Emily will be graduating from the University of Greenwich in 2024 and is considering a masters, although she says she might need a little break first! One thing is for certain, the RSC will continue to support Emily in her passion for chemistry right through what promises to be a worthwhile and fulfilling career.