Formulation Research Specialist
Proctor & Gamble
"I was most afraid of moving somewhere new without my college friends! It was the biggest life transition I’ve ever had, but I’ve made some amazing new friends since graduating from Purdue. Moving somewhere new can be tough at first, but I’m really happy I embraced the newness. Cincinnati feels like home now."
What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?I majored in ACS Chemistry with minors in Mathematics, Biological Sciences, and Statistics. I graduated in spring 2017.
What was your most compelling class and why?I loved taking Inorganic Chemistry II with Professor Wilker. He was a really engaging professor and I loved the subject matter. I’ve applied what I learned in his class many times during my career so far.
What are you currently working on?I formulate deodorant, specifically for the natural deodorant brands that P&G owns. These mostly include the Each & Every and Native brands. My days in the lab involve coming up with new formulas, making deodorant in beakers in the lab, running technical lab methods on my prototypes, and placing prototypes in consumer tests to get data back on what people like and don’t like about my formulas. Thanks to my statistics minor, I also design new predictive lab methods that can produce technical data on my formulas that correlates to consumer data results, which helps me better understand my formulas. When I’m not in the lab, I analyze my data, prepare reports and presentations, and research new technologies and materials that I could use in my next rounds of prototyping.
Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?I did pursue academic research my freshman year. When I started at Purdue, I thought I’d go the academia route and eventually get my PhD. Instead, after completing a year of undergraduate research, I realized that it wasn’t the best match for me. Luckily, I had also applied for a summer internship after my freshman year with Procter & Gamble. I loved it and kept coming back! I completed three summer internships with P&G during my time as a Purdue student, which led me to be hired full time when I graduated. I’m very grateful that I had these internships, because they helped me shape my education along the way to best enable me to be successful in my field. My internships gave me an opportunity to recognize skills or topics that could help me be even better at my job, and I used that insight to pick the classes I took at Purdue when I was back at school.
Are there any special accomplishments you've achieved after college that you might not have been able to do without your college experiences?I wouldn’t have gotten my full time job with P&G at all if I hadn’t first been accepted as an intern while I was a Purdue student. We had a recruiter visit our freshman seminar chemistry course, and that connection led me to apply for the internship, which I wouldn’t have known anything about if I hadn’t been in that class. Additionally, I was a College of Science Ambassador while at Purdue. I loved working with high school students to mentor them in their decision to pick a college and tell them about all the opportunities that Purdue gave me. I learned that I’m passionate about mentoring others, so I decided to apply to coach a P&G intern on a project in summer 2019. It was a very rewarding experience that I likely wouldn’t have pursued so early in my career if I hadn’t developed those skills as a Purdue student. Getting experience in managing others is a big step for my career, and I’m sure I’ll be coaching more interns in the future!
What drove you to pursue your current career path?I always knew I loved STEM, specifically chemistry, so the College of Science was a great place for me to take classes in many different fields of science to get a taste of everything. Studying Chemistry can lead to medical school, academia, industry, or many other things. I explored different options, and I found that I’m highly motivated by working on products that wind up on store shelves and directly impact people’s lives. There’s a certain amount of art to the science of making beauty products which is a great fit for me, since I probably would have gone to art school if I wasn’t so passionate about science.
What advice would you give to prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?Don’t be afraid to try things or take opportunities just because you may not like them. Learning that you don’t like something is just as valuable (if not more valuable) than learning that you do like something. I never would have committed my time as a Purdue student to preparing to work in the consumer products industry if I hadn’t tried undergraduate research as a freshman and realized I didn’t like it. Try things early in your time at Purdue if you’re not sure if you will or won’t like them. Those realizations will shape your path for the rest of your time at Purdue.
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