Day in the life
Chemistry Materials Science graduate
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
After an intensive interview process, I was accepted into Johnson Matthey's three-year rotational program in July 2012. My route in this program begins with manufacturing and technology as a focus, but after a year of working in one business, I will rotate to another North American site and focus on operations, and then finally on management.
As a Graduate Trainee at Johnson Matthey San Diego Medical Components, every project I work on demands the use of the skills I learned while completing my degree, and my work ethic, engineering thought processes and people skills come into play daily. I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects that interest me and are beneficial for the company. Each business unit at Johnson Matthey is run like a small company, so the impact of my work is substantial.
The invaluable career opportunities at Johnson Matthey are only outshined by the people. The quality and caliber of the people is unbeatable. Motivated and extremely focused, everyone is helpful and respectful. I am proud to be part of the team.
M. Chem. graduate
University of Oxford
On completion of a four-year chemistry degree, I was reluctant to continue wearing a lab coat and safety goggles, but I was still looking for a job in which I could put the scientific knowledge and skills I had gained to good use.
I decided to join Johnson Matthey's grad scheme. The scheme is rotation-based and, for my first year, I have been placed in the sales team of the Chemical Catalysts business unit. The industries that we serve are truly global and there are manyopportunities for travelling abroad to visit our customers. I also work on projects outside of my day-to-day sales work – currently, I am looking at ways that our business can improve its management of our global supply chain. I have even been assured by our R&D team that I'd be welcome back in the laboratory to "cook" something if I ever get too nostalgic about my degree!
Johnson Matthey is a rewarding company to work for, and I have enjoyed being given the responsibility and freedom to make my own decisions right from the start. It's satisfying both to be able to lean on my degree and to contribute technically, and also to be involved in the technology industry outside of the laboratory.
M. Eng. in Materials Science and Engineering graduate
I applied to Johnson Matthey as a fresh graduate and I am in the Rotational Graduate Programme for the next three years. This aims to place me in a variety of European business units in order to gain experience and knowledge of the company as a whole.
My day depends almost entirely upon what projects I'm working on. I typically have several projects running at the same time, and these vary both in type and scope. Most will involve at least some aspect of my degree training, and my current role in Production Support means that there's an increasing bias on understanding the links between our materials science requirements and the optimisation of manufacturing methods.
If applying, I'd recommend taking advantage of any site tours and talking to as many people within the company as possible. Despite being a relatively large organisation, Johnson Matthey retains a "small business" and personable atmosphere amongst its employees, and understanding whether that working environment is right for you will be just as important as any technical qualification. It allows for a great degree of flexibility and autonomy in your role and the resulting job satisfaction beats anything else I can imagine myself doing.
M. Chem. graduate
University of Oxford
After graduating, I first moved to teach at Tsinghua University in Beijing for two years. I chose the Johnson Matthey graduate program because it allows me to make the most of my degree whilst remaining internationally mobile.
For my first rotation, I have joined the precious metals trading team based in Royston, UK. A lot of metal needs to be moved around the company, and my daily job is to deal with all gold and silver orders that come to the UK desk. It's up to me to ensure that the risk on our silver and gold positions is minimised. Trading has been a sharp learning curve, but I have learnt a huge amount in just a few months.
My next placement will be six months with the refining team here in the UK to continue learning about the business. As I am Mandarin speaker, my second- and third-year rotations will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Although I brought quite an unusual skill set to the table as a candidate, Johnson Matthey tailored the graduate scheme to help me get to where I want to go. I didn't find this kind of flexibility on offer anywhere else when I was making my applications and it counted when I was making my decisions!
Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering graduate
University of Waterloo
At Johnson Matthey, I have been given the flexibility to decide the type of projects that interest me, and both my HR and business mentors have been very supportive. I have increased my knowledge in chemistry and applied it while learning about the practical applications of the products that we manufacture.
My day to day work in the Research and Development (R&D) department involves working with the latest cutting-edge chemistry, in which reactions can last from hours to days, and leading safety projects to increase safety awareness.
Being in the R&D group requires innovation and creativity in order to boost productivity and promote sustainability. Sustainability is a core part of Johnson Matthey's business strategy. Becoming a process engineer in an R&D environment has allowed me to integrate sustainability, lean manufacturing principles and knowledge acquired from university.
It is very comforting to know that the day to day work that I do will allow me to make a positive impact on the environment, economics, resources and human health.