Campus Community: Holly Steel


York Biotech Campus (YBC) is a bustling science park nestled in the rural heart of Yorkshire. With over twenty years of scientific heritage, YBC is a proven facility for discovery, innovation and success within the bioscience sector and this is in no small part due to our fantastic community.

With a range of bioscience occupiers and over 1,100 employees onsite, there’s a whole host of people who contribute to the community and culture at YBC. In our new blog series ‘Campus Community’ we’re shining a light on some of the people who contribute to making YBC a great place to work and support the invaluable work that takes places on campus.

First up… Holly Steel, Digital Marketing Apprentice at Fera Science.

What does a typical day on campus look like for you?

“I’ve been working at Fera for just under three years now during my apprenticeship. My day usually starts with a coffee from the Lakeside Restaurant before moving to the office where I check emails and get small admin tasks done first thing. On a day-to-day basis, I can be doing anything from supporting events to working on digital assets such as emails, website content or social posts, as well as working on core campaigns with the team.

“As an apprentice it’s important for me to be able to learn as much as I can on the job during my course, which means shadowing people on the team doing a range of different activities. I quite enjoy this because it means my day is always varied and I get to see different parts of the business!”

Can you tell us a bit more about how you got into the apprenticeship with Fera?

“I chose to go into an apprenticeship after deferring my university acceptance, as I realised I prefer to learn in a more hands-on way. After looking for an alternative route, I found out that there were apprenticeships covering all sorts of subjects that really interested me. So, I researched marketing and graphic design to see what was out there and found lots of different courses, certifications, and apprenticeships to do.

“I picked marketing as it seemed the most interesting to me and there’s a whole umbrella of opportunities underneath it. I was drawn to working with Fera because the company’s purpose and mission aligned with my own personal values. The work we do at Fera is so varied, so there’s lots to get involved with but it all comes back to creating a more sustainable world and I love to be able to say I’m a part of that, by promoting the work we do. Being able to work with such an array of incredible scientists and minds is so rewarding.”

What are your biggest achievements?

“There are a few pieces of work I’m proud of creating, but a notable one is the work I did for National Apprenticeship Week 2024. This involved me talking to science apprenticeships within the business, gathering case studies to share online and creating some noise around apprenticeships at Fera! It’s the second year I’ve done this now, and I love getting to network, share ideas and advocate for other apprentices in the business to make sure their work is being recognised.

“One of my other biggest achievements has to be the LinkedIn workshops I’ve been carrying out across the business, encouraging people to be more active on the platform. It was a work-based project from the first year of my apprenticeship which I’ve since implemented at Fera as part of my colleagues training and development. Since then, I’ve carried out loads of workshops and it’s been really rewarding to see more people showcase their experiences on the platform, generating conversations about the important work they do.”

Are you involved in any YBC community activities?

“Yes, each year I’m involved in supporting the content for International Women’s Day and International Women and Girls in Science Day, where we showcase the brilliant women in STEM at Fera. It’s brilliant to hear from women in the business and how they got into their careers in science.

“I’m also part of the leadership team for Fera’s Early Careers Network which was created as an inclusive group for all scientists in the business to attend, share ideas, collaborate, and learn from one another. We host monthly meetings, workshops to build soft and technical skills and social events, as well as monthly journal clubs to discuss and share research papers selected by the members of the group. The aim is to create a sense of community within the business allowing people to network across departments and within their own whilst learning and developing their careers.”

What’s something exciting that most people may not know about you?

“Last year I took part in a 10,000m skydive for charity! It was an amazing experience and we raised over £2,500 for Blood Cancer UK and Bowel Cancer UK.

Finally, what one word would choose to sum up YBC?

“Innovation – the campus houses so much innovative science, with a vast range of projects, research, and original thinkers, it’s a truly inspiring place to work. It makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger, and being able to contribute to this is a great feeling to take home at the end of the day.”

Thank you to Holly for taking part in this interview. If you’d like to share your story at YBC, or nominate someone for the Campus Community series, please email: