Last week, LCF’s MSc Cosmetic Science course ran an industry day for its students, celebrating the course’s ongoing relationships with industry contacts and its breadth of opportunities for student placements. The day gave students the chance to hear advice from LCF Alumni, now working at a number of different companies, and also gave the perfect platform on which to network and gain contacts of their own.
One of the industry professionals in attendance was LCF alumna Antonia Kenning who now works as the Regulatory Manager (New Product Development Beauty) for Burberry. She explained that industry events such as these were so important for students because they give them the opportunity to gain new contacts and possibly work placements at the end of it. She also added how important she feels it is for companies to offer students work experience:
“Students have a lot more background knowledge and require less training than most applicants. They are also very willing to learn and Burberry offer students the opportunities to progress because of the extensive knowledge they already possess.”
Lizzie Burns, LCF Alumna from MSc Cosmetic Science and Product Technologist at Superdrug added:
“Getting work experience at a company allows students to put their learning into practice and see what it’s like in the real working world. It’s great for Superdrug to have work experience students from LCF because not only do they already have a broad understanding of the industry they can also give an outsiders’ perspective.”
A recurring theme seen from the LCF alumni invited to the event was the tendency to recruit from their own, with many choosing work experience students straight from the course on which they originally studied. Antonia said:
“I regularly offer students from LCF work experience because Cosmetic Science is such a unique course, I don’t know of any other university that offers a course like it and I know that the students will definitely have the background knowledge that they need.”
Priya Joshi, Account Manager at Kemcare and BSc Cosmetic Science graduate also sang the praises of the course, saying:
“It really does deliver. What the tutors say is true, you are taught first hand by representatives of the industry. My first job was actually through an LCF contact! You have real world industry members teaching you and coming in to speak. The course means you are truly specialised so you are snapped up straight away!”
Priya has been managing LCF work placement student Lily Simpson for the past 4 months and will do so for another 7 months. Lily explained that she currently supports the team with marketing and technical skills and said:
I’m really enjoying it! It’s a small team which means I get to see more and do more than I would in a massive organisation. I have a lot of responsibility and have been given the chance to do my own project with great support from Priya.”
The industry event truly showcased the wonderful opportunities the course can offer its students and gave them a taster of where their career could take them in the future with the help of a work experience placement.
We asked Antonia and Lizzie what advice they would give students when applying for work experience:
Antonia: “I would suggest applying for work somewhere that you have a real passion for, that’s what I did for my first role at Selfridges and again at Burberry. It’s really clear to employers when someone really knows about their brand”
Lizzie: “Don’t leave it to the last minute and apply for what you are interested in. However I would advise people not to limit themselves, because sometimes the best opportunities are the ones you least expect. Also, it is important to remember to always be keen.”
At the end of the event two work placement students were presented with industry awards for their outstanding work. Zarah Fazil received the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) prize for best presentation, Helen Sisson received a best CTPA placement report prize for her report work. They will also present their placement presentations at the Society of Cosmetic Scientist Guest lecture alongside third place winner Valeriya Sergienko, in Dec 2014.