My Unexpected Path to Chemistry

January 9, 2019
Teaching & LearningTyphany Jones

For most of my life, my interest has been in business and marketing, I wanted to communicate value to customers in new and different ways. I was VERY excited to be chosen as a marketing Intern at Alchemie. That being said there was a moment in the interview, where I heard these words “If you don’t know much about chemistry now, you will”. I sat down for a moment to think about that statement for a moment. How would I pull this off? I absolutely hated chemistry in high school. This could be a problem! Would I be able to do this job without an extensive knowledge of chemistry? I was filled with doubt: Obviously, they have made a mistake in choosing me. But, I decided, I was up for the challenge!

I remember my first day like it was yesterday. My very first task was to take notes in a demo of the Mechanisms app with a college professor. Okay, this doesn’t seem to be too hard, I said to myself confidently, and then it happened. That’s right! You guessed it. The meeting was full of “chemjabber.” You know all sorts of  huge, scary chemistry words that I had no idea of what those words meant, let alone how to spell them correctly. I tried my best but, needless to say, my notes did not make much sense.

You would think I would be out on my ear after that, but the founder of the company, Julia Winter, was surprisingly understanding. “No worries, you will get it, it’s like a new language. It takes a little time, you just aren't used to the words.” Now, here I am a few months in, and I have become a bit more fluent, but a big step came when Melissa Maribel partnered with us to build YouTube videos using our Mechanisms software to help students understand and learn Organic Chemistry.

YouTube creator of Melissa Maribel, featured in Channel Success Blog Post

If you haven't seen Melissa Maribel teach chemistry, then you absolutely must check out her Organic Chemistry Channel on YouTube. Her colorful and cheerful videos bring chemistry words to life, and her attention to detail helps to reduce the anxiety and doubt that comes from not understanding this difficult language.

As the point person on social media at Alchemie, I have to curate content for posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and much of this content is related to chemistry. After watching Melissa’s videos, I started to understand organic chemistry! I could classify  primary, secondary and tertiary carbons. And could even grasp chirality and what makes a chiral and achiral molecule. I know this is unbelievable, right? I am starting to speak, read, and write Chemistry!

Of course, I have plenty to learn, but my goal at Alchemie has not been to become a chemist, it has been to sharpen my skills in marketing. Learning chemistry and having the “chemjabber” make sense is an add-on bonus!

Alchemie's Twitter

I now have a much better understanding of the struggles of Organic Chemistry students as they make sense of this language. It which makes me proud to part of a company that is determined to help students translate tough concepts and words with game-based interactives and mobile learning tools. Thanks to Alchemie and Melissa Maribel It’s been quite a journey as an intern: a new set of marketing skills and a new language! This Internship has been more of a learning experience than I could have ever imagined.

So, trust me when I say that learning chemistry came naturally for this marketing intern as I begin to learn the Mechanisms App. Who would have thought?

Co- Author

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