Karen Gerrie - Lead Specialist and Laboratory Co-ordinator

Karen Gerrie - Lead Specialist and Laboratory Co-ordinator

What is your name?

Karen Gerrie

What company do you currently work for?

Chivas Brothers Ltd

What is your job title?

Lead Specialist and Laboratory Co-ordinator

Provide a brief description of your business

Whisky distillers

Describe your career pathway after leaving school

I left school to join an accountants but realised that this was not for me. I then moved to working in a laboratory and then applied to go to university to study chemistry. I have worked in the distillery industry since then, starting from a laboratory technician and then becoming a distillery chemist and then becoming a development chemist and now I have been Lead Specialist and Laboratory Co-ordinator for three and a half years.

What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Maths

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

No two days are the same. There is a lot of variety in my job, both within the job itself and the people I get to work with.

Why did you want to work in this industry?

Having grown up in Moray and around distilleries, it was the obvious career choice for me. There are many different career paths available and development opportunities available meaning you can stretch within your role. The distilling industry is unique in that different companies come together for the good of the industry, so you get to know lots of people across the industry.

Did you ever want to pursue another career?

I started work in an accountants office but knew straight away that it wasn't the role for me. This led to me being a medical laboratory assistant and although I knew laboratory work was the way forward, I didn't want to work in a hospital long-term.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

My days are very varied. I work in collaboration with engineering, production, business support, suppliers and procurement. I manage a team of analysts and work with them to ensure the analysis is carried out, equipment is fit for purpose and production have the information they require.

What skills are required to do your job?

Working collaboratively allows me to work with different departments across the business. Problem solving is another useful skill I use regularly; I will keep digging until I have all the information so that a resolution can be found.

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

The distillery industry is a great sector to work in with lots of opportunities, both locally and worldwide. My advice to young people would be to take every opportunity offered - you never know where it might take you.

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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!

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