Internship Advice

Hi Guys!

I'm starting a new internship in the research and innovation department of a company that makes skincare and hair care products. I was told I would be back and forth between the two labs.

I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice on anything I should maybe refresh my memory on before I start my internship ( practices in the lab experiments normally run things like that)

I'm a biology major and chemistry minor with 2 courses left and want to do a really good job while interning so I'd like to go in as prepared as I can be.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    as these are industrial labs, they'll be run very differently to academic labs, and the chances are you'll have to learn a completely new way of working

    the best advice I can offer is just to pay attention, work conscientiously and document your work clearly
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I agree with @Bill_Toge

    One thing I think would be helpful would be to understand that the name of an ingredient does not really tell you everything about the substance you are using.

    I remember in Organic chemistry we worked with a number of compounds. They were usually from Sigma Aldrich and were 99%+ pure.  In a cosmetic lab you work with materials that are made up of lots of different ingredients even though they might have a single name.

    For example, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is much more than just Dodecyl Lauryl Sulfate. See this post I did on the subject. 

    https://chemistscorner.com/what-is-in-a-cosmetic-ingredient/
  • Awesome thanks so much guys I will take everything you said into consideration and go over the article sent!
  • They will teach you everything you need to know.  Each company has its own cGMPs and SOPs that you will need to read and follow.  Just enjoy your time there.  Be a sponge!!!
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    also, chemicals are usually referred to by their trade names and common names rather than their IUPAC names, e.g. acetic acid and Hyamine 1622 rather than ethanoic acid and N-Benzyl-N,N-dimethyl-2-{2-[4-(2,4,4-trimethylpentan-2-yl)phenoxy]ethoxy}ethanaminium chloride
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • We have an intern at the moment. My advice is to be flexible. OK, she is working with our QC Manager across two labs and is doing some of the tests.... but at times she is helping out in production and other times in the labelling room. I have had her communicate with ingredients suppliers following up orders, and also research and contact potential suppliers for new ingredients.  Had her meet a German product supplier who was visiting, and problem solve a few issues.

    No need to refresh your memory on stuff you have learnt. Industry is a different ball game.

    Don't make the mistake of a gal I interviewed recently for an internship. The only question she asked was if we paid interns an allowance.

    Good luck with your internship.



    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
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