MilliporeSigma Employee Spotlight: Natalie Randolph
MilliporeSigma Employee Spotlight: Natalie Randolph
As part of our employee spotlight series, we’re sitting down with Natalie Randolph, Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab coordinator at MilliporeSigma, to learn more about the work she’s doing to spark curiosity in the next generation of scientists.
1. Tell us about your background (where you grew up, went to school, your family, etc.).
I grew up in a small town outside of St. Louis. It is one of those little towns where you know just about everyone. One of the great things about my town is that most people (including me) live there forever. There is a great sense of community.
In 2015, I graduated from Webster University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. It is where I connected with a fellow MilliporeSigma employee and started my career with the company.
2. How did you get your start with MilliporeSigma?
I started at MilliporeSigma in 2015 in the Human Resources (HR) department on the Shared Services team. It was there that I found my true passion for solving problems and helping others.
I spent the next four years in the HR department in various roles, including onboarding coordinator, talent and development consultant and learning and development coordinator. This past year, I joined the Corporate Responsibility team as a Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab coordinator.
3. Explain your current role at MilliporeSigma.
I describe my current role as the most fun you could ever have on the job. It’s extremely rewarding every day! The Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab is a retrofitted shipping container that we turned into a mobile science lab. As a coordinator, I get to travel all over North America — bringing MilliporeSigma’s love of science to students. It’s my responsibility to plan and coordinate events with schools and community organizations that strive to support students in under-resourced areas.
4. What is your favorite part about working with students in the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab?
I love bringing the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab to schools and communities where access to interactive, hands-on learning is less prevalent. Seeing the reaction on the students’ faces when I tell them that they will learn about science by using virtual reality and building robots is one of my favorite things.
I believe it only takes one moment to spark someone’s curiosity. My goal is to make the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab an experience that inspires young students to change the world through science.
5. What feedback have you received from employees who volunteered at the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab?
The first response I always get is “How do you do this every day?” The Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab is so much fun, but it is also very busy! There are always a million things going on at once, and I want to ensure each student has the most engaging and safe experience possible.
Also, employees often tell me that they really enjoyed working with the students and volunteering with their fellow colleagues. In some cases, our employee volunteers are meeting each other for the first time. At the beginning of the day, they may feel a little out of their comfort zone. However, as the day continues and they connect with the students in their community, they also build connections with colleagues.
6. What are your hopes for the future STEM workforce?
I would love to see more diversity among individuals in the field. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is important to all of us, and we should all have the opportunity to learn and be a part of the scientific community — regardless of background, gender or race.
I also hope that we can build connections within the different areas of STEM in the future, such as by finding ways to bridge the gap between researchers and medical professionals to make improvements in patient care. I believe that when people come together, anything is possible.
7. If you could trade places with anybody for a day, who would you choose and why?
I would love to trade places with one of our student visitors at the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab to explore it from his or her perspective. It would be rewarding to experience the excitement and wonder of the students who come to the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab, especially those who are experiencing it for the first time.
8. What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?
There are so many amazing aspects to my role. I love watching students all over the country get excited about science — especially when they didn’t previously enjoy science or felt like they were not very good at it.
I also like seeing the benefits that come from the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab. For example, we have MilliporeSigma employee volunteers who help at every event. These volunteers may come from the same location, but work in many different departments and business sectors. In some cases, our employee volunteers have never met before. It’s great to see them bond during their time volunteering at the Curiosity Cube® mobile science lab — even making plans to grab lunch together the following week. It just goes to show that curiosity and inspiration have a domino effect, whether you are a student or volunteer.
9. What is one thing that few people know about you?
I have a chicken coop. It is definitely not a fancy one; it simply came with my house. I do not have any chickens currently, but I am contemplating getting a peacock!
10. What is on your bucket list?
I would love to learn how to speak a second language. There is a French proverb that states, “A man who knows two languages is worth two men.” Learning a second language would open the door to new and exciting opportunities.