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What to expect chemist job offer (mass spectrometry & ion exchange)


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I recently graduated with a b.s. in biochemistry. My plans are to persue a masters degree and maybe go further from there. I'm not sure but I've been sending my resume to places here and there as I take a short break from school. The other day I got a phone call from a recruiter for a position at HoneyWell. I was pretty shocked considering they are a really great company and I just graduated. The recruiter asked me several questions about experience and asked if I knew anything about ICP-MS and Ion Exchange. I obviously know what Ion exchange is because my whole last year of biochem lab and recognized ICP-MS because a special topics course I took forced us to learn almost every form of new technology out there. Anyways ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) is a more efficient Mass Spec. That is as far as I know and that is exactly what the recruiter told me. It was just a higher resolution form of mass spec.


Now my biggest question is I understand both these concepts and can interpret mass specs. Are positions like this exactly how they are listed. Will I be there just interpreting mass specs? I'm nervous that I may not know everything I need to. I have yet to get the interview but this recruiter has called me repeatdly and seems like a very nice person trying to help me out. I'm worried that they will want me to know how to operate the equipment immediately upon hire. As many know, my university didn't have ICP-MS because its super costly and I just don't know what they want to expect from an employee. I have always been under the impression that most of mass spec had built in computer software to just spit ou the data already interpretted.


Anyone have experience with ICP-MS and Ion exchange as a work place job? I mean doing it in class is one thing but for a job I just don't know what they expect me to know. I've made it clear to that I only have academic experience and the recruiter said that was fine.


Who knows, I just hope to get a chemistry job some day I mean I did work really hard for this degree and it seems like they want most people to know how to operate all the equipment when in reality that isn't what you learn in class.

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Likely, your job is to run and the instrument and to interpret data. You will have to learn a couple of things about it and it typically makes a bad impression when you say that the software is doing all the interpretation (it does not, you will have set up protocols for specific uses). What you should say is that you had no hands-on training yet, but are very keen on learning all the ins-and-outs, troubleshooting etc but since you are familiar with the basics (which you should read up and especially about potential applications that you could be running), you should be able to pick up things quickly.


Obviously, if there are other candidates that can actually use the instrument, you will be at a disadvantage, but it is important in either case to demonstrate that you are willing and able to learn everything that is going to be asked of you.

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