Typical day on the job:
My typical day comprises laboratory and office work. I usually spend the first two to three hours of my day handling office tasks such as emailing, planning experiments, preparing reports and presentations, and reading and researching relevant material online. The rest of the day is spent in the laboratory or in meetings. There are exceptions to this schedule, and my workflow may change based on workload and priority.
I currently work in an office space that is divided into four parallel cubicles, each equipped with standard office equipment, e.g. laptop, docking station, monitor, and phone. My laboratory is adjacent to this office area, and it is equipped with various instruments used for testing hair properties, a digital microscope, overhead mixers for batching, and standard laboratory equipment.
I typically work 40 hours per week on site, and I occasionally complete reports, presentations, experimental designs, and data analyses at home. The environment is usually relaxed, but it becomes hectic sometimes, especially when there is a major customer project deadline] or when the company is preparing for an industry trade show in which we plan to launch new products or concepts.
I am not required to travel.
Tools you can’t live without:
- Software: Microsoft Office (word processing, presentations, data management); LotusNotes (email, calendar, all of the company’s databases)
- Instrumentation: Tensile Tester for testing material properties, for example, quantifying a formulation's ability to strengthen a hair fiber or make a hair tress easier to comb.
What you like most about your job:
I like the idea of my efforts having the potential to affect people's lives by providing them with innovative and sustainable technologies for personal care applications. The personal care field is quite dynamic, and it is truly a pleasure to contribute to addressing unmet consumer needs and desires.
Best productivity trick:
I write a weekly “Get Done” list that allows me to organize and prioritize my responsibilities, and thereby manage my time and focus more effectively. I like to have the “Get Done” list in writing because I can keep it in a notebook with relevant notes. It’s also somewhat rewarding when I physically check off a completed task versus just mentally acknowledging that it’s done.
My next best productivity trick, starting the work day before 8 a.m., is almost as important as having a “Get Done” list. However, I realize that starting the day early might not always be feasible.
Best career advice you’ve received:
“Follow your heart rather than money, because the satisfaction that you get from doing something that you are passionate about can be more rewarding than monetary compensation.” There are certainly limits and exceptions to this statement, but the genuine happiness that one feels when they are passionate about their career field is unrivaled.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
My analytical nature makes me a great fit for my job. This trait is excellent for solving scientific problems and driving innovation because it allows me to think in a detail-oriented fashion, manage information, and execute work in a way that effectively addresses the key issue.
Favorite ACS resource:
ACS Webinars is my favorite ACS resource because it provides helpful information in a concise manner. It offers a more personal feel than other ACS resources, since viewers can experience and interact with the speaker.
How you've benefited from being an ACS member:
One of the key benefits I've received has been my participation in the ACS Scholars Program. The program awarded scholarships that were helpful in completing my undergraduate chemistry degree and provided opportunities to better acclimate me to a chemistry-related career. The ACS Scholars Program shared information about summer internships at The Procter & Gamble Company and encouraged scholars to apply. It was this effort of the program that afforded me the opportunity to gain my first industrial internship experience, and it ultimately led to multiple summer internships at Procter & Gamble and collaboration on my dissertation project.