With graduation just a few short months away, L’Oréal USA is helping to shape the future of a number of Manhattan College students.
In the year since Manhattan College announced a joint partnership with L’Oréal USA, six 2011 chemical engineering graduates received job offers and five went to work for the company last summer. In addition, two undergraduates received internships with the company during the 2011 summer.
“Once I started interning at L’Oréal, my number one goal was to get a full-time position there. I knew very early on that L’Oréal was the perfect company for me,” says Michael Sullivan, a senior majoring in chemical engineering. Sullivan interned for L’Oréal’s Franklin Manufacturing facility (Somerset, N.J.) in the processing and packaging of liquid makeup, and will return to L’Oréal after graduation as a full-time employee.
It is amazing how we have become very close with L’Oréal USA, and Manhattan College is a first phone call for them when they are looking to hire.
Thomas Decina, also a senior majoring in chemical engineering and math, interned at the same facility as Sullivan but worked in the UP2 processing department. “I definitely think that we should be forging new partnerships with companies like L’Oréal USA because of the great opportunities they offer,” Decina says. “It gives us the exposure we need and a foot in the door.”
Ann Marie Flynn, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Chemical Engineering department, worked directly with L’Oréal USA in developing the College’s partnership, while consulting with the company to create Manhattan College’s new option in cosmetic engineering. The option launched in fall 2011 as part of the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering program, and was devised based on a need expressed by industry experts from L’Oréal USA, Revlon, Avon and Cosmetic Essence.
Fast forward to 2012 and L’Oréal USA’s presence on campus is evident. The company returned to Riverdale in October as a sponsor at the College’s job fair and to host an information session and conduct interviews with students.
“It is amazing how we have become very close with L’Oréal USA, and Manhattan College is a first phone call for them when they are looking to hire,” Flynn says. “They called at the end of the summer to get involved in the career fair, and their booth was by all accounts the most visited booth at the career fair.”
On Oct. 18, the team from L’Oréal USA hosted its second information session at Manhattan College and provided more than 100 chemical and mechanical engineering students and M.B.A. students with insight on the company’s brands and operations. The L’Oréal USA team broke the large group of students into groups of five to seven, and students had the chance to shine for L’Oréal while conducting a problem-solving exercise. The students wore nametags on their backs, so the L’Oréal team could observe as they worked with their peers to formulate, analyze and present their findings. The exercise demonstrated how various departments within L’Oréal USA work together on products from start to finish ending with the distribution process.
“I really enjoyed participating in the case study as it gave me insight into L'Oréal USA,” says Brian Korney, an M.B.A. student. “It also allowed me to work with the engineering department in cross functional teams, and gave me the opportunity to solve a complex problem in a small time frame with the engineering students.”
“Teamwork and communication were the key takeaways from this case study and everyone who participated realized the importance of both those skills,” adds Joanna Kaminski, an M.B.A. student. “It was a unique opportunity to network, learn more about future job opportunities and experience a real-world simulation through the case study.”
As well as watching the students work as a team, the group from L’Oréal USA conducted interviews with Manhattan students during the career fair visit. Many of these students will find out in the coming months about possible job opportunities or internships with the company.
Mary Minnucci ’11, a chemical engineering major, is about to finish her first year at L’Oréal USA as a component supply planner. After taking a plant tour of a L’Oréal USA factory in New Jersey and participating in the first information session in early 2011, Minnucci went through a series of interviews and received an offer.
“The new partnership with Manhattan College and L’Oréal USA, and similar partnerships are very important for new graduates finding employment in their specific fields,” Minnucci says. “These partnerships help build trust between the companies and the colleges. The company will more likely hire from the college that they feel more comfortable with the students.”
Another 2011 graduate, Janine Crivelli, a chemical engineering major, accepted a position in the Management Development Program (MDP) at L’Oréal USA last year. “The interview process alone is an excellent learning experience – it helps you think on your feet and allows you to be creative in order to solve real life situations,” says Crivelli. “Being a member of the MDP, I have been offered several opportunities and responsibilities early on in my career. I think any graduate would be happy to work for L’Oréal USA.”