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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Jess » Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:43 am

I am really interested in research and development in the cosmetics industry. I am going to be going into my fourth year for a bachelor of science in chemistry. I am not sure of the best way to get into the cosmetics industry. Should I get a job, and then later get a masters? Or should I get a masters right away, and then look for a job in the industry? And if so, what kind of masters programs are there that would help me get a job later? I know that the University of Cincinatti, University of Rhode Island, and Dickenson University have cosmetic chemistry programs, are there any others? Any advice would help...thanks!!
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Val » Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:07 am

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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby AM » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:22 am

Enthusiasm is a beautiful thing - use it to your advantage! Seek out people doing the type of work that you're interested in, and ask them about their career paths. You'll make contacts that could be very useful to you when you're looking for a job, and you'll learn a lot about the work. These people should be able to give you detailed information on what makes a candidate attractive for the type of position that you want.

Good luck!
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Coco » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:20 am

I would do the following.

1. Decide what I really want to do based on my interest, life styles, geographic reasons, finance, etc. For example, what is my career goal in my life? Am I going to enjoy the lifestyles of a certain profession? Do I have enough financial resources to support my education? Do I mind living anywhere? In other words, enthusiasm is not enough. You will need enthusiasm, strong committment, and sacrafice to succeed.

2. Once I come up with all the answers to those questions listed above, then I will see how to get into the real practical life. You can go to graduate school or you can talk to people engaged in the same profession. Until I open the bottle (never seen/done before), I wouldn't simply guess what is inside.

Just think carefully and big and then explore.

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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Alison » Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:42 pm

Hi Jess,

Have you considered applying for a summer internship for a cosmetic industry company?

Between my third and fourth year of an undergraduate chemistry degree I did a 6 month industrial placement (part of degree in UK) for a very well known consumer products company. They had a really big summer internship program as well as the program I was on - three months, sent on training programs just like 'proper hires' They were offfered in all aspects of the company including R&D and each intern was given a genuinely important project to do. It was a fantastic chance to sound out this type of industry. Alot of people who did this were offered jobs at the end of the process, I turned them down twice because I realised that I wanted to do a PhD.

My feeling for this sort of thing is that summer internships are a really good way to suss out the environment and see if you like it. I realised pretty quickly that it just wasn't fundamental research - very consumer market and problem orientated, and therefor I wasn't interested. I'm definately a chemistry lab person, but I don't think I would have realised that properly without the experience.

Anyway, if you want more information on these programs, your university careers service should have a lot - you maybe too late for this year, but next year perhaps. The recruitment process I went through for the internship was identical to that of their hiring process (aptitude test and all). Also try the recruitment websites of all the cosmetic (and general consumer goods) companies you can find online.

Test drive them before you commit to anything in this industry!

Alison
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Tara » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:18 pm

I am in Amanda's boat. I graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in Chemistry and I have been working as a Research Assistant at a medical school for a little over 2 years. Cardiovascular Research. Sigh. I feel I may be behind the curve because I don't think I can get an internship because I'm not in school anymore. Cosmetic companies want you to have relevant skills so I'm applying to master's programs with no responses yet. Do you think I should try to contact someone to break through? Who? I'm lost and have been doing research into this line of work since I got out of college. Help!
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:27 pm

Tara,

Cosmetic companies, just like Pharmaceutical companies, utilize the services of large staffing companies such as Kelly Scientific Resources, Manpower, etc. My recommendation to you is to start getting close to these companies. Find out which ones work with the cosmetic companies you are interested in, and get a job on a temporary basis through a company like this. After a short time, you will know whether you enjoy this work and the employer will have the opportunity to hire you fulltime on an inexpensive "transfer to permanent" basis via the temp agency.

One advantage of this is that you will pick up a number of skills that you don't have currently, and it will give you that elusive "industry experience" that employers are looking for. Plus, your networking rolodex will expand.

Dave Jensen, Moderator
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Tara » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:39 pm

Thanks Dave!!! Awesome advice. I wasn't sure if putting all of eggs in the master's degree basket was a good idea. And I really want to break into this industry.
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Derek McPhee » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:30 am

There is a fairly lenghty article in this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News (The ACS membership periodical) about lots of what we would consider traditional chemical companies now setting up R&D groups in the cosmetic chemistry area - a potential source of links to non-traditional employers.
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Pursuing cosmetic chemistry

Postby Mandi Li » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:14 am

Hi, i am currently studying diploma in science and like applied to do Cosmetic Science BSc in London, my future goal is to work for L'Oreal company, i'm not as clever as other scientists out there and i'm quite concerned with the finance in London too are there any advice available? I do have a huge passion for cosmetics and it's all i want to do for life. I really dream to pursue a career in L'Oreal...
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