The College Circuit
As I mentioned in a post over a year ago, I am the secretary for my local chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, a nerdy organization to which I belong. I have been the secretary for a couple of years now and it looks like I will continue to be the secretary into the indefinite future, as no one else seems anxious to volunteer for the position.
My obligations as secretary really haven’t been too demanding up to this point. I’ve attended board meetings here and there, given feedback on ideas, sent out invoices, etc. etc. etc. However, recently my secretarial duties have expanded and required me to become an ambassador of the beauty business. In an attempt to increase awareness of the career options in the cosmetic industry and spread the word about the SCC scholarship program, I have been giving 50 minute presentations at local universities along with two of my fellow board members. Trying to make our jobs look like pretty much the coolest occupations in the world (which of course they are) has been a challenge and molding our individual contributions into a cohesive presentation has also proved difficult.
Our first presentation was at UVU. It was by no means disastrous but, due to our triangle of collaboration, the editing process took a while and we didn’t have the final final final presentation ready until the day before we had to give it. Therefore, the resulting lecture, although not too shabby, was a bit awkward and boring and had us all a little nervous. Jason was nice enough to come listen in with the 20 or 30 students present and he said that I started out talking like a robot for a few slides before I relaxed and sounded like a human being again. (Cosmetics make robots happy.) But, even with the presentation being not quite up to the standards of a hopeless perfectionist, we did get lots of questions afterward so we must not have bored the younglings into complete disinterest in the cosmetic industry.
Just a few days after our UVU presentation we had another one scheduled at BYU. Based off the questions we received at our UVU event we pretty much changed our whole spill and most of our slides to better incorporate the information that was of most interest to the students. We also added a number of interactive demonstrations to our lineup to inhibit widespread napping. The results of our presentation overhaul could have been disastrous given the limited timeframe we had to prepare for our glorious rework but things seemed to go pretty smoothly. Some nervous rambling, twitching, and uming went on during the lecturing but whether the cosmo robo made an appearance again remains unknown since my honest hubby wasn’t there to critique my performance. Either way, we didn’t have nearly as many students show up at BYU as we did at UVU. I think that UVU’s focus on the practical and applicable probably had something to do with that…and some extra credit bribing was most likely also involved.
Though we have journeyed across the far reaches of the valley on our quest to bestow the crucial knowledge of how to become a perfumer or development chemist on the lucky few, our task is not yet complete. Surely there are more students out there (driven by an insatiable desire for extra credit) willing to ponder the wonders of cosmetics with us. Until all the scholastic masses have been offered the chance to fall asleep during our lecture we cannot rest. Next month we will be speaking at the U of U career center. If the thought of me shaping impressionable young minds scares you then you should be very afraid because our traveling cosmetic extravaganza might be coming soon to a campus near you.