What we do
Empowering people to reach new heights
While we aren’t inventing new technologies ourselves, in business roles our job is to help everyone else to do what they do best. Our expertise spans finance, HR, IT, legal, facilities and administration. Whether our background is in science and engineering or not, we all enjoy working for company which is building tools and instruments that have such an impact on the world. We’re a small enough company to each have a broad range of responsibilities and really see the impact of our work, but big enough that we can partner with teams of like-minded professionals, share experiences and ideas, and continually learn from each other.
Years since we floated on the london stock exchange
nobel prizes won using our technology
spent on r&d in 2018
TRAINING & SUPPORT
Growing your expertise
From the moment you join us, we’ll make sure you have a good understanding of other departments, systems and IT you’ll be using and how our departments and businesses work together. We also support professional qualifications that are relevant to your role, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities in your work to put these to good use.
Life at Oxford Instruments
Initially, I was on a one-year university placement in the IT department at Oxford Instruments. Then, after university, I joined the software department as a Graduate QA Software Engineer. It was quite test-based, so I spoke to my boss about moving onto a more development-based career path. She told me there was the opportunity to follow the software engineer career path, if I wanted to, so I thought I’d give that a go. I really enjoyed it, but as I looked back at my original work placement, I decided that I wanted to go back to the IT department. Now I’m a Desktop & Technical Engineer.
Day-to-day, I look after our internal infrastructure and make sure that no major incidents have happened overnight. I’ll go through the internal help desk ticketing system to see what technical support people need and prioritise these throughout the day. We also have a list of hardware and software projects we’re working on, to help support and develop the business. One of the things that first attracted me to the IT department is the variety. One day you could be building a PC or server and the next you’re working on a software development project. I really enjoy the fact that as a business we’re helping universities and other research institutes to continue their research in both physical and life sciences. This is a really rewarding experience to be a part of.
Originally, I trained as a nurse, specialising in anaesthesia. When I was around 30, I realised that wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore, so I looked at other options. The law had always interested me, so I set off on the journey to become a qualified lawyer. That was over ten years ago and I’ve been with Oxford Instruments for the last two.
I wanted to be part of a business and a team that was working towards a common goal. The science interested me too, so it’s a really nice fit for me here. I can honestly say that this is an incredible place to work. The business drives innovation in any way it can and it’s always seeking to improve. There’s a great team spirit and people are valued and invested in. I think everyone has a voice, no matter what level you’re at or team you’re in.
As an employee, if you have any areas of expertise that you’d like to develop, the company will support you. I had a bit of a gap in my knowledge regarding Intellectual Property, which is a key part of our business. I’ve now done three progressively more advanced courses in this area.
When I first joined Oxford Instruments it was as an admin assistant. Then I heard they wanted someone for a HR role, so I applied. They knew I lacked experience at the start, so I was chosen to be mentored by the senior HR director for Europe. She and I had weekly calls and she took the time to mentor me into the role. We have a great working relationship, and it was a huge part of building my HR skills. I was also given the chance to earn my official HR Management certification at the local university. I feel like I’ve grown a lot since I started and even now I’m still always learning something new.
My favourite part of the job is that every day is different here. Some days I can be conducting interviews, or doing payroll or new hire orientations; other days, I might be working with regional and global colleagues to review our US benefits provision, or to localise and implement a new HR system. One of my favourite times of the year is when we have an international sales meeting in Santa Barbara. All of our staff, from around the world, come to learn about our products and what we’re doing differently each year. Everyone will go out for dinner afterwards and it’s just so good to see everyone. We have all these different cultures and this expertise coming together, but no matter what our differences are, we’re all experts in what we do and are passionate about the company and our technology.
My main area of expertise is the cost of sales of our systems, things like direct labour and materials, but I also get involved with VAT returns and doing the accounts. I’ve been working at Oxford Instruments for 18 years now. I had a baby at one point and then came back to work part-time. I was able to increase my hours once my son was at primary school and then I went back to full-time about three years ago, when he went to secondary school. I’ve had a lot of flexibility around my role and family.
In the past three years I’ve been studying at home for my Association of Accounting Technician exams. I’ve almost finished and then I’ll be moving onto the CIMA qualification. Last year, I also went on the Management Development Programme and had Operational Excellence training where I gained a green belt in ‘Lean Competency’ from Cardiff University.
The culture’s really good here and everyone is very friendly. We’re quite a diverse company because we work with customers all around the world. We’ve won Queen’s Awards because we mostly export internationally, so we’re very multicultural and still growing.
I’m the Finance Director for the NanoAnalysis business. When I joined the Group I only expected to be here for two years yet here I am ten years on, in a business that continues to change and develop, and both interests and challenges me.
As FD, part of my role is about managing day-to-day transactions and part of it is about longer-term strategic planning. On one hand, I’m responsible for all financial aspects of the NanoAnalysis business including reporting, financial planning and forecasting. As a global business, I work with Finance Managers across the world to do this. On the other, I’m part of the Executive Team who work closely together to develop the Strategy for the business. This includes developing and implementing Product Roadmaps and setting Strategic Financial Plans that deliver that Strategy. My role within this team is as a financial expert, advisor and key decision maker. This means I’m a major contributor to decisions that are critical to the future strategic direction and performance of the business.
It’s really important to me to be part of a business that designs and makes products that make a difference to the world. I love my work and the variety of what I do every day. I find Oxford Instruments a really nice environment to work in, everyone is dedicated and brings a positive attitude to their work.
Creating your own path
With a Personal Development Plan in place, we’ll work together to achieve your future career aspirations. You could choose to progress into a management role with our Management Development Programme, or deepen your expertise as a subject-matter expert in your field. And if you’re geographically mobile, we’ll support your professional development through opportunities to join different business units on a secondment or a permanent basis.