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Chemistry Overview - Overview PowerPoint - Podcast

Robert Barron

Principal Scientist
Health Care Product Development Analytical Services
Procter and Gamble
Cincinnati, OH

B.S. - Chemistry, Colgate University
Ph.D. - Analytical Chemistry, Iowa State University
Principal Scientist in Analytical Chemistry
"There are many, many things that you will be unprepared for, as far as what you learned in college and what you need to know on the job, but you will pick that up as you go along."


I'm an analytical chemist, and I work in health care product development. I'm basically a problem-solver on a big scale. I work in what are called OTC or over the counter pharmaceuticals, primarily. Things like toothpaste, bulk fiber laxatives, stomach remedies, and those sorts of products. We have product development activities, wherein we might be assisting a product development team to, make a formulation more stable, make it less irritating, do something to help guide a formulation effort.

From the standpoint of the fact that I'm on the technical career path, I don't manage large numbers of people or deal with extensive administrative and budget issues, but I do have a lot of relationships with people who work for me in the technical sense, and so each one of them is different. And so even though I don't spend a huge percentage of my own time in the lab, I am very definitely deeply involved in the technical issues, because of all the relationships that I have with these people.

There are many, many things that you will be unprepared for, as far as what you learned in college and what you need to know on the job, but you will pick that up as you go along. There are just things that you're not taught in either college or graduate school. For instance, one of the things is personal interrelationships in terms of subordinate/manager type situations or how do deal with budgeting and spending money wisely and those sorts of things. It's rare that a chemistry major would be exposed to that. And those are the kinds of things that you need to learn.

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