Bardyke Chemicals Ltd
With a degree in Chemistry, Campbell Vaughn describes how he moved straight from university into the real world, working in his area of interest and finally bagging a permanent post in his placement company.
What is your background?
I studied for three years at the University of Glasgow to achieve a B.Sc in Chemistry.
Why did you get involved in a ScotGrad placement?
I wanted to gain valuable work experience as well as apply both the practical lab skills and the knowledge I had gained from my degree.
My placement at Bardyke Chemicals appealed to me because I would be working both in the lab and on the chemical production plant.
What project were you involved in?
My main role as a lab technician was to analyse samples of the chemical products to make sure they met the specifications set by the customers. I also tested and refined new ways of both analysing and manufacturing chemical compounds, even getting the opportunity to apply my research on an industrial scale.
How have you used your university qualifications and skills?
As well as applying my practical laboratory skills, I also utilised my knowledge of inorganic and transition metal chemistry, an area I am particularly interested in.
How has the placement benefited you?
I learned to use electronic analytical equipment as well, including an automated titrator and an ion exchange chromatographer, and scripted analysis methods for both machines. I have developed the skills I gained from my degree and gained experience working on a chemical production plant.
Having completed my placement, I was offered a full time job at Bardyke Chemicals leaving me in the fortunate position of going straight from education to employment.
Would you recommend ScotGrad to other graduates?
I would absolutely recommend the program to other graduates as it has made me more employable and I have really enjoyed becoming part of the team at Bardyke.
Any advice to students and graduates?
I would advise graduates not to be too picky when choosing a work placement. I know too many graduates who have hoped to get a position in a large international company and been forced to compete for one job vacancy against hundreds of other applicants, and as a result many are still unemployed.
There are plenty of smaller companies who go relatively unnoticed by job seekers but can offer the same thing and, as I have found at Bardyke Chemicals, they are more than willing to help you develop your skills and give you useful and varied work experience.
As to current students, I would recommend looking for internships and job placements as soon as possible since employers are now increasingly looking for graduates with work experience.