Carnegie Mellon University
September 28, 2015

L’Oreal USA Works


For those not sure if a glittery gold eye shadow or a purple lipstick will look good on them, L'Oreal has developed a new way to try on makeup without wasting any money — a virtual makeover that you can get using their app, Makeup Genius. This first of its kind beauty app uses advanced facial mapping technology to transform your iPhone or iPad's front-facing camera into a virtual mirror where you can try on L'Oreal Paris products and new beauty looks in real time.

It's also found a way to let potential employees do the same thing — through a popular summer internship program, the company has recruited many CMU students to try out the company. Many go on to receive full-time offers.

Celia Ludwinski (E 2012) is a senior research and development scientist at L'Oreal who works on the technology side of products like Makeup Genius. A double major in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering, she originally saw herself doing medical research. She met with a L'Oreal representative during an informational session at the Technical Opportunities Conference, and she applied. Ludwinski's chemistry knowledge mixed with her programming experience made her stand out — of the 13 students who interned alongside her that summer, three accepted job offers.

"I think our work ethic is part of it. It's a really rigorous school, but that's why lots of companies really like us. We're capable of doing dedicated hard work." — Madeline Sverdlove (S 2016)

"While everyone else was doing their work manually, I was able to code and create a series of tests and algorithms," Ludwinski said. She's now been with the company for three years.

CMU has long had a relationship with L'Oreal — Candace Sheffield Matthew (E 1981) is a former L'Oreal executive and a former CMU Board of Trustee member who delivered the keynote address at the 2004 CMU commencement. She currently is region president — The Americas at Amway.

David Chan (E 2009, 2010) is a senior chemist at L'Oreal in the US Skincare Lab. He researches new chemistries to better deliver active ingredients, product types, and textures for consumers.

Chan didn't expect that his double major of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering would lead him to the cosmetics industry. He — and other students — don’t always associate L'Oreal with science, but the company invests more than $1 billion in research & innovation annual and has a myriad of roles in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Chan visited the L'Oreal booth at a CMU career fair. He landed a summer internship, and it was followed by an offer for a full-time position.

"During my internship, I found the fundamentals of materials science and engineering were applicable for hair and skin. I was able to apply the MSE paradigm of structure, property, process and performance to my work," Chan said. 

Chan and Ludwinski's experiences at the CMU career fair is expected by McKenna Houston, the associate director for Employer Relations with the Career and Professional Development Center staff.

"As a career center, we strive to have representation from all industries and conduct extensive outreach. Fortunately, many employers realize the deep talent pool at CMU and are eager to come to campus," Houston said.

The career center conducts four career fairs in the fall and host anywhere from 25 to 250 employers per career fair. The largest of the career fairs, the Technical Opportunities Conference, takes place in late September and is focused on technical majors.

Madeline Sverdlove (S 2016) recently finished a summer internship at L'Oreal, where she developed a new hair color product. Currently working toward double degrees in chemistry and psychology, she heard about the job when a recruiter reached out to her lab directly.

Sverdlove had spent a previous summer doing research on campus, and wanted to explore what work was like in different industries. While at L'Oreal, she saw that jobs she aspired to typically came to those with Ph.D.s, so the experience encouraged her to apply to grad schools.

Sverdlove was in good company during her internship — of the 17 interns in her division of research and innovation, four were from CMU.

"I think our work ethic is part of it. It's a really rigorous school, but that's why lots of companies really like us. We're capable of doing dedicated hard work," she said.