My name is Gabriella Bahamondes (SEBS’19) Exercise Science and Sports Studies, (GSBS’21) Biomedical Sciences. At SEBS I was a kinesiology major. After graduating, I decided to go pursue a masters’ degree and attended the Rutgers MBS program finishing in May 2021 with a masters in biomedical sciences.
During my masters I took microbiology with Lee Schein, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and became interested in living organisms that are too small to be visible to the naked eye. I enjoyed learning about how bacteria & viruses attack the body in different ways and the symptoms that they can cause when humans are exposed.
Also at this time, I had the opportunity to work at Johnson & Johnson as a microbiologist. At J&J I tested for the growth of bacteria and mold in consumer products. I worked on many different brands and tested things such as shampoos, conditioners, face masks, face washes, etc. While working at J&J I started to become very interested in how those consumer products were produced. I was curious to know the formulation process of creating a shampoo, or how to create the different shades of foundation and lipsticks. This inspired me to start doing research in different beauty product companies.
After finishing my masters, I applied to a position at L’Oréal Research & Innovation (R&I) and got hired as a chemist for haircare and styling. As a chemist in the lab I underwent training to explore and gauge the performance of each product and learn what attributes are observed for different hair types. I learned formulations, emulsions, hot pours and aqueous formulations. I gained experience with testing and comparing competitive products versus internal formulas on hair swatches and mannequin heads. After a few months in this role, I applied for a different position in the same company.
Currently, I am a scientific liaison between the lab and the marketing department for the U.S. haircare and styling team. As a liaison I provide technical support by working in partnership with all functions in corporate R&I. providing technical advocacy to marketing, labs, claims & legal teams. My role includes creating testing plans, negotiating claims with marketing and claims/legal groups and tracking all projects to ensure that all tests are completed on schedule.
I love my new job and absolutely love the company that I work for. As for continuing education, since I work for a French company, I am currently taking French classes and plan to visit France in 2023!