Society Showcase: Oxford University Chemistry and Biochemistry Society (OUCB)

This Autumn, Hype has been working with some incredible societies from universities all over the country as part of our campaign with BP. All the societies have put in the grind and worked hard to secure some goodies for their societies. This month, we wanted to showcase the amazing work the societies we work with do, and what they’re about!

We spoke to Lloyd Smith, the sponsorship officer at Oxford University Chemistry and Biochemistry Society (OUCB) all about their society and what they get up to.

Hype: Hi Lloyd, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your society?

Lloyd: Hi! I’m Lloyd, a second year undergrad studying Chemistry at Jesus College, Oxford, and have been a committee member of Oxford University Chemistry and Biochemistry Society (OUCB) for slightly over a year now. OUCB is one of the largest scientific societies here in Oxford – staging a wide range of social, academic and careers events to over 500+ members. We cater to both undergrad and postgrad students, and accept members from all degree backgrounds!

Hype: Tell me about your role in the society?

Lloyd: I joined the committee as initially Freshers’ Representative and then Sponsorship Officer. My role entails securing financial sponsorship agreements with companies, to include BP, to fund society events and to minimise membership costs, alongside more generally aiding other committee members in the organisation and staging of our wide array of social events.

Hype: What are your goals as a society?

Lloyd: OUCB serves to provide a well-rounded academic and social environment for our members to thrive – offering opportunities to discuss chemistry and biochemistry beyond the stresses of set university curricula. We hope to accessibly and inclusively reignite some interest in science that often-time diminishes through Oxford’s immense termtime workload.

Hype: Recently you worked with us and BP on a campaign, how was that and what did you get up to?

Lloyd: The campaign entailed using our various social media platforms to promote BP’s virtual Milkround events. Having substantial Facebook and email followings, we were able to coordinate a series of posts, using materials provided by Hype, to attract attention during the run-up to the event. This, in conjunction with some in-person event promotion, allowed the campaign to generate a great deal of interest – and to become a great success!

Hype: What kind of events and socials do Oxford BioChem Society get up to?

Lloyd: This last term we offered weekly talks on cutting-edge research in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry, covering a great range of fascinating topics – from bird navigation to molecular machinery! These offered an insight into ground breaking research across the country – and an opportunity to ask pointed questions to experts in a relaxed setting. Aside this, we offered multiple unlimited cocktail and prosecco nights. Our events tend to garner great attention – our latest hosting well over a hundred participants! We hope, covid-permitting, to further this in the upcoming term – allowing continued opportunities for our members to meet other students with a shared interest in chemistry and biochemistry!

Hype: Your society often gets speakers to talk to your society, which has been your favourite speaker thus far and why?

Lloyd: Tough question! My favourite talk this term, from an admittedly biased perspective (one speaker was my tutor…), was delivered by Kylie Vincent and Holly Reeve. The talk involved an insight into Hydregen, a biocatalyst start-up company aiming to develop more sustainable pathways to key molecules used in the pharmaceutical industry. The talk was not only scientifically fascinating, but also provided an interesting demonstration of how to the commercialise chemical understanding in a business-setting.

Hype: What have you and society members gained from the society?

Lloyd: Personally, OUCB has offered me a stress-free social environment to meet a wide range of interesting people from across varying year groups and subjects – an especially impactful opportunity given last year’s restrictions! Further, the impact of OUCB’s ability to connect new students to other year groups cannot be understated; you can often find me in our events delivering helpful advice to current Freshers or – admittedly more likely – seeking that of those in 3rd and 4th year!

Hype: And finally, what is your favourite thing about Oxford BioChem Society?

Lloyd: My favourite aspect of OUCB is definitely our social events – through which I’ve met friends across the entirety of Oxford! I oftentimes find it quite difficult meeting new people during the pressure of lectures and labs – and OUCB critically offers a relaxed environment which conversely encourages this. To put it bluntly… I’m looking forward to our next unlimited prosecco night!

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