How’d you get your job in the cosmetic industry? With Dan at Estée Lauder

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “How do I get a job in the cosmetic industry?”. I thought the best way to answer this was to interview people within the industry and let them share their background, experience, and how they got where they are.

My first interview is with Dan, a process engineer at Estée Lauder.


Formulations created at a small scale, such as a beaker, can often encounter problems when scaled up to production size.

A process engineer’s role is to help foresee these problems and troubleshoot them – ensuring that the formula looks and functions the same at any production level.

What was your education background?

Chemical engineering

Did you want to work in the cosmetic industry?

I majored in chemical engineering because I like chemistry and I wanted a job in the consumer goods industry (specifically food). It did not cross my mind that I could be a chemical engineer in the cosmetic industry initially. But I was exposed to chemical engineering opportunities in the cosmetic industry through my college’s alumni network and was immediately hooked on the idea.

How long have you been employed in the cosmetic industry?

7 months to date

What is your role at Estée Lauder?

Process engineer

What did you do yesterday at work?

Refreshed my knowledge of our up-scale methods in a class taught by a Vice President of the Engineering Department. Worked with a formulating chemist to discuss the next phase of up-scaling a formula for market launch.

What sort of projects do you work on?

My focus is scaling up skin-care products like moisturizers, toners, masks, cremes, SPFs, acne treatments, etc.

Do you see yourself moving around in the company? What sort of position would you like to be in, if not this one?

DEFINITELY. I chose to work for a large company for the option to move around and explore different departments. I see myself learning the business and joining the marketing team.

Besides your own job, what other interesting jobs do you see within the company?

Marketing, supply chain, innovation, and corporate strategy

Biggest perk of working at

Estée Lauder?

Industry exposure, technical and business knowledge training, and future opportunity

What would you suggest to someone who’s currently an undergrad who wants to work in the cosmetic industry?

Be flexible in your job search. Unfortunately, HR functions very slowly. Patience is key. Keep in touch with all your career contacts. I got my job because a neighbor struck up a random conversation with my father and happened to know someone who worked at Estée. Any connection, no matter how random, can land you that dream job.