Did you know that Rutgers Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program is one of only three programs in the nation to offer a master’s degree in personal care science?
Rutgers Master of Business and Science (MBS) degree has become highly coveted within the personal care and beauty products industry—a $500 billion sector, with many of the world’s top personal care product and cosmetics manufacturers located, like Rutgers, in the New York metropolitan area. Major companies include Colgate-Palmolive, BASF, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, and Shiseido.
This geographic proximity has yielded strong academic-industry partnerships that allow MBS students to gain valuable sector experience while enabling faculty and industry experts to collaboratively design and offer relevant, trend-based conferences, workshops, and symposia such as last fall's two-day sympoisum “Ethnic and Regional Considerations in Personal Care Sciences: A Scientific and Business Perspective,” held on October 6, 2021, and October 7, 2021.
Like so many event topics, the idea for the symposium, says Beth Ann Murphy, Ph.D., Academic Officer and Life Science Coordinator, initially came from students. “MBS's Personal Care Science concentration is one of most ethnically diverse in the entire MBS program. Although I do not have the same life experiences as many of my students, I am responsible to educate all of my students,” she says. “And as one of the only personal care science graduate programs in the country—and the only program to integrate business instruction—I felt it critical to provide our students with the tools to necessary to disrupt, play a role in, and eventually become leaders in this industry.”
Murphy has watched the Personal Care Science concentration grow significantly over the past 18 months, and, early in the pandemic, partnered with industry professional and MBS instructor Kristina Kannheiser to ensure that learning continued uninterrupted and that desired courses remained available. Murphy and Kannheiser have since worked to enrich and expand program offerings in response to growing enrollment and student demand. “Most students are working professionals with significant industry experience already,” says Murphy. “Their expertise and trend-awareness add synergy to classroom instruction and generate great ideas. Kristina and I are excited to make this symposium—once a student idea—a reality.”