Nicole Seow, a second-year student in the Cosmetic Management program, has been passionate about makeup since High School. Dubbed the “go to friend” for all makeup needs in University, she made the hard decision to move away from her Life Sciences educational trajectory and pursue her passion for cosmetics at Humber. Since then, she hasn’t looked back - and for good reason too. While pursuing her diploma, she began working as a Cosmetics Product Developer at Orchard International, and, recently, she received the Cosmetic Management Leadership Award at The Business School. We spoke with Nicole via email and asked her more about her current job and her education at Humber.
Where are you currently working? What’s your position there?
After my first year at Humber, I had a great opportunity to intern at Orchard International, a cosmetic private labelling company. I had such a great time during my summer months here that we’ve extended my internship… indefinitely! My role here is as a cosmetic product developer.
Can you explain your role? What’s a typical day look like for you?
My role encompasses many of the day-to-day activities involved in developing private label cosmetics. This includes sourcing for new projects, daily correspondence with our suppliers, generating quotations for our clients, and of course playing with makeup! My hands are always covered in swatches by the time I go home at the end of the day.
Why did you want to pursue this industry and this career?
My interest in makeup started in my early days of high school. But after high school, I pursued an education in life sciences. While in university, I was that “go to friend” if you needed your makeup done or a simple product recommendation. It wasn’t until after I graduated from that program that I decided to take a risk and follow my true passion. I love my role as a product developer and haven’t looked back since.
How did your education at Humber prepare you for your current role?
Humber has taught me that there are many aspects of the cosmetic industry to be involved in. There’s something for everyone, and I love the diversity of interests in my program. I personally enjoy learning about cosmetic ingredients and product knowledge. With so many makeup brands out there in the market, it’s hard to decipher what we’re really putting on our skin. I believe that makeup shouldn’t only make you look good, but feel good on the inside as well. I hope that in the future, I can be more involved in making a difference towards providing high quality cosmetics made with healthy ingredients and sustainable business practices.
What are some of the challenges of your role?
One challenge of my role is keeping up with the ebb and flow of the pace of this business. As many of our client programs are seasonal (Ex. Spring, Mother’s Day, Summer, Back to School, Holiday), there are times when it’s super busy around the office, as we’re trying our best to deliver to our clients, and times when it’s quieter. You have to make sure that you’re always on top of your game and keep a very organized desk to stay on track with all the ongoing projects.
What are a few things you enjoy the most about your role?
I love how rewarding it can be to turn a project from concept to reality. With every product launch, there is so much hard work that goes on behind the scenes that many people don’t realize. To walk around in store and see the finished product of projects I had first hand involvement in is really quite fulfilling.