Kathryn McNeil

Marketing Coordinator

Company:

Croda

Education:

BSc Biology

Kathryn McNeil(Marketing Coordinator)

What made me interested in Science

As a child, Maths and Science were my favourite subjects; I liked the logic and the conclusiveness of experiments. In primary school one of my teachers particularly focused on Science, and in secondary school I had a great Biology teacher which cemented it as my favourite Science. I then studied it as my degree.

My career so far

I started working for a relatively small company that supplied valves to the process industry. My role involved marketing, accounts and procurement. I really enjoyed the marketing side of the role and thought that if I can be passionate about butterfly valves then I can be passionate about almost anything! 

Three years ago I started my current role in marketing for Personal Care at Croda, working in the sun care, biopolymers and biotechnology division.  This job is perfect for me as it combines two of my favourite things: Science and beauty products.

Day to day role

My role is hugely varied. A lot of my time goes in to new product development which involves working with many different divisions from synthesis and applications to purchasing and legal. 

Closer to launch I create the required literature and promotional pieces – such as marketing and data sheets, adverts and technical papers. A significant amount of time is spent on strategic marketing, researching and analysing market trends alongside customer/consumer needs. 

I also help to organise and host various events. I am the marketing contact in my division for our sales teams in Asia, which involves a lot of early morning meetings hence a new found love of coffee!  

How I use Chemistry in my job

I use it all the time. For day-to-day conversations with technical teams, answering customer questions or discussing new product development.  And, when I'm creating technical datasheets and papers, having an in-depth knowledge of Chemistry saves me hours of time.

Favourite part of my job

The variation. I really enjoy meeting customers and hearing about their needs and future plans, which is vital for marketing. I enjoy attending industry events as it gives me a chance to learn more and meet with other companies.

Through Croda, I am part of a STEM programme which gives me the opportunity to go out and teach Science in local schools and give talks at career events. My job isn’t what you'd typically think about when you consider a career in Science, and it's great to be able to make students aware of their options.

Most challenging part of my job

Developing new products is challenging. There are a huge number of things to consider when launching a cosmetic ingredient to the market.

Most exciting career moment so far

Seeing a product you have worked on appear on the market is great. Attending the industry event In-Cosmetics Asia was also very exciting. I learnt a lot about the similarities and differences between the European and Asian market, and the many trends that have come from East to West. 

What I find most exciting about the cosmetic science industry

Finding out about a new chemistry technique or ingredient, and then seeing how it is converted into a market application fascinates me.

If I didn’t do this I would

I'd possibly be working in the travel industry as this is another big passion of mine, or might have ended up in accounting (which I nearly did!).

When I’m not at work…

I'm seeing friends and family, playing tennis, cycling, swimming and I love a good film or book. Most of my weekends are spent away with friends and I try to get up to The Lakes to go hiking as often as possible.