Merryn Hobbs, a Research and Development Technologist for the global polymer group Trelleborg, spoke to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) recently about her chemistry journey. She explains how she secured a place on the MChem course at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), after narrowly missing out on a place at her first choice university.While at NTU, Merryn attended a number of LATi events – mostly in the life sciences sector. However, it was a LATi visit to Trelleborg in February 2016 that opened the door for Merryn to work there as a placement student, which led to her being offered a job at Trelleborg in a new role the company were creating.
The MChem course opened many doors for Merryn, and the university supported her in finding two placements. “I did a 10-week placement with a Leicester-based company which I heard about through LATi (Loughborough Advanced Technology and Innovation) between my second and third year, and then I chose to do a year’s placement in my third year – working in an international school near Barcelona as a lab technician. The job was quite challenging, and the experience showed me that I don’t want to go into teaching! But living in Spain was amazing, I made some great friends there and I really want to go back to visit, because it’s a completely different culture and lifestyle.”
During her industrial placement she was working on the development of a new coating to improve the properties of rubber, and after, towards the end of university, the company Trelleborg Antivibration Solutions offered her a job in a new role they were creating. She is now a few weeks into the job and is excited about what the future holds. “So far it’s been really varied. They’re a great team here and I have learnt so much already as well as using skills from my course.”
During her four years at university Merryn was a student member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and in her final year she volunteered at a Royal Society of Chemistry outreach event at the New Walk Museum in Leicester.