DSM was my first job in my field after college and I spent six years learning as much as I could. I typically worked 45-50 hours a week and was relied on heavily to release urgent or last minute samples to support the production schedule.
In my time at DSM I learned a wide array of testing methods and routinely performed complete compendial testing on API's and excipients. I ran both HPLC and GC in addition to gravimetric analyses, and I was a subject matter expert, trainer, mentor, and notebook witnesser.
I was fortunate in my time at DSM to have great management teams, and a few close coworkers that I continue to stay in touch with. I truly enjoyed working with the people in my lab. The hardest part of the job was balancing work and home life. As an unmarried woman it was often assumed that I didn't have any requirements outside of work and would be asked (or not asked) to pick up extra work for coworkers that had familial obligations. My biggest complaint wasn't the work load but the lack of recognition for the sacrifice. Ultimately, this led to the acceptance of a higher position at another pharmaceutical company where they assured me that overtime was an exception rather than the rule.
My favorite part of working at DSM was the HPLC and GC work. Frequently, compendial testing methods were transfered to the Raw Materials lab without having been performed by the Analytical Development labs so I got to really feel like I was experimenting. Finding the right column, learning which adjustments to the mobile phase would produce better chromatography and similar techniques.
In summary I was sad to leave DSM and the team I spent 6 informative years working with but I was excited to branch out to a new company, and new challenges that included the potential to gain supervisory experience.