Josh Lee

Disruptive Innovation

"From the start I was given a lot of responsibility including line managing a student."

What attracted you to Reckitt?

‘I bet you’re sick of being interviewed about your CV experience. Here’s my CV, why don’t you interview me?’ This was the question that the Snr R&D Director asked in my first interview. It told me straight Reckitt didn’t mind doing things differently. Throughout rest of the assessment centre it became clear Reckitt was different from the other companies I’d interviewed for. It didn’t only talk about wanting to empower employees; it actually did. It was a company that gave you the ownership to deliver the new product innovations and to deliver them at pace. All of this excited me so I threw myself into it and thought, let’s give it a go.

What did you do as part of your graduate role at Reckitt?

The graduate scheme is a two year scheme split across three placements. My first placement was in Gaviscon category R&D team for 12 months where I was the project lead of their next generation Gaviscon. I then moved into the Global Regulatory Affairs team for 6 months where I managed the technical dossier registration of KY in a number of Asian markets and coordinated the licence registration update for a number of medicine and medical devices. For my final 6 months I then moved into the Aircare operations. I developed claims for UK TV adverts and looked after new fragrance developments and supply issues for aerosols and liquid vaporisers. On top of the day job, we were given two graduate projects focussed on connected innovation and branding for millennials. I really enjoyed these and they were a great opportunity to meet and work with new people, within and outside the company.

How did the graduate scheme prepare you for your first permanent role?

From the start I was given a lot of responsibility including line managing a student. This forced me to development my personal and leadership skills really quickly, ready for leading large projects in my first permanent role. The graduate scheme also gave me exposure to senior leaders across R&D who became mentors for me. The wide exposure also helped me understand what kind of roles I like and am good at. This informed my decision to move into the Innovation team after the graduate scheme.

What advice would you give to people who are considering applying for the Reckitt Future leadership programme?

Have a look at Reckitt’s core values and decide if they fit with you. Don’t force yourself to fit – if you don’t agree/align with the core values, you probably won’t like it here anyway! Apply to as many places as you think you’ll like. You’ll learn a lot about the company from the application process so will be well informed about how well you would fit in. Lastly, when you’re invited for an interview, be yourself, and remember you’re interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing you.

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