SCI’s Rebekah Beevers talks young chemists

Middlesbrough-born Rebekah Beevers obtained an MSc in Applied Chemistry from Sheffield Hallam University. Following her studies, she began her professional career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (formerly CDC) and, following their site closure, moved to UCB (formerly Celltech) where she was first introduced to SCI’s Young Chemists' Panel (YCP). Rebekah is now Honorary Secretary of the YCP and works as a medicinal chemist at Domainex Ltd. Here, she tells us a little more about herself and her work with the YCP.

How did you first get into chemistry?
RB: This may sound rather ‘geekish’, but the first time I lit a Bunsen burner I knew I was set for a career in chemistry! After completing a placement year at Roche, I decided on a career in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal chemist.

How did you come across SCI’s YCP?
RB: I had attended several YCP organised events during the early stages of my career. One of my work colleagues at UCB decided to step down from the panel and by a unanimous vote I was chosen to be the new YCP representative from the company.

What is the YCP’s main aim?
RB: YCP’s aims and objectives are to provide a forum for discussion and share information relevant to all aspects of pure and applied synthetic chemistry. Our meetings are aimed primarily at less experienced members of the academic and industrial communities, through workshopbased residential meetings as well as more traditional one-day conferences.

What do delegates get out of the events you organise?
RB: As these conferences are mainly targeted at less experienced/ prospective graduates and students, the events organised by the YCP provide them with a range of basic tools to further their careers. The annual Young Chemist in Industry is also an opportunity for the younger generation to showcase their work to an external audience.

How does YCP interlink with SCI’s Fine Chemicals Group (FCG)?
RB: We aim to organise events which are complementary to one another. Among the many events run by the YCP, the highly successful “Intro to…” series provides a foundation on which to build knowledge. This complements the series of events “What a chemist needs to know...” run by the FCG.

Do you have a parting message for younger people interested in the field?
RB: I would encourage those wishing to begin a career in the pharmaceutical sector to complete an industrial placement year. There are many career paths one could take, and I found it invaluable in narrowing down the career path I wished to follow by working for a year as a medicinal chemist during my degree.

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