Alumni Spotlight: Christine Tilghman, Cosmetic Science

MS in Cosmetic Science Grad Earns Multiple Promotions, Credits Program for Career Advancement

As a cell biology and neuroscience major, Christine Tilghman initially considered the field of dentistry or medical school after graduating from college. In need of a steady income, she decided to enter the workforce, landing a job in sales and marketing. Soon, Christine moved into a district manager role. After several years, she acknowledged her passion for science and started investigating a science-related role. “I reevaluated my situation,” she says.” My job was not what I studied in school. I love science and knew I wanted to do something I was excited about.”

Christine moved into a new field as a stability coordinator for MANE, a fragrance and cosmetic supplier with headquarters in the South of France. Since joining the company in 2012, Christine has spent the last decade working her way up the ladder to a senior management in research and innovation. “Initially, I was in stability testing to understand fragrance compatibility. I would evaluate the expected shelf life for distortion or color changes. It takes a deep understanding of fragrance chemistry and the finished product chemistry, as well,” she says.

I learned something new every time Dr. Kelm (from UC) would speak.
His experience in the industry and comments were insightful.

Colleague Recommends UC Online Master’s Program

Christine Tilghman, UC Online Cosmetic Science graduate
Christine Tilghman, a UC Online Cosmetic Science graduate, is a Senior Manager – Fragrance Research & Innovation at MANE, a worldwide leader in the fragrance and flavor industry.

By 2018, Christine decided it was time to get her master’s degree. She was recommended to the University of Cincinnati (UC) by a respected colleague who had the unique experience of working with graduates from UC Online’s Master of Science (MS) in Cosmetic Science program. Learning that their technical understanding separated UC graduates from their peers, Christine became intrigued by the online program and its flexibility and believed it could elevate her technical skills.

During her two-and-a-half years in the cosmetic science MS program, Christine enjoyed her classes and recalls a few standout courses. “I loved Consumer Understanding for Formulators,” she says. “In my line of work, the fragrance itself is very subjective. So, there are consumer insight panels and focus groups on personal experiences. I now know the ins and outs because of the course. I’m able to have conversations on a different level and suggest ideas.”

Christine appreciated the Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club taught by Dr. Gary Kelm, saying she learned something new every time he would speak. “His experience in the industry and comments were insightful,” Christine says.

Christine says Dr. Kelm also taught a course on over-the-counter (OTC) drug products and cosmetic formulations — and that his experience in antiperspirant formulating was helpful because deodorants are fragrance-driven and challenging to formulate. She also recalls the Cosmetic Microbiology and Color Cosmetics courses being immensely helpful. “I was having issues with dyes and colorants at work. So, I reached out to one of the professors for insight into what I was working on. He was helpful and accommodating,” Christine says.

I applied what I learned from my UC Online education.
In return, I started getting promotions at work. As I kept growing
in my education, my company could see the positive impact.

Online Program Helps Build Marketable Skills

Studying online, Christine found it enjoyable to connect with classmates on discussion boards. Early on, she bonded with a fellow student working at Johnson & Johnson who also lived in New Jersey. They would converse online and talk through assignments. “I still talk to her today,” Christine says. “She is at a different company now, but we’ve kept in touch.”

As her MS in Cosmetic Science studies progressed, Christine found ways to reap the benefits of her education and elevate her technical skills in daily tasks at work. “As I went through the program, things clicked and made sense,” she says. “For instance, instead of large-scale raw material studies, you can look at a formula and the likely issues and test to confirm the hypothesis. This process became clearer and a lot easier after attending the program.”

As Christine’s cosmetic science expertise grew, so did her marketability at MANE. “I applied what I learned from my UC Online education. In return, I started getting promotions at work. As I kept growing in my education, my company could see its positive impact,” she says.

The MS in Cosmetic Science program provides a deep dive into the science of both OTC and drug products. It’s a pharmaceutical degree, which differentiates it from other programs … and I would recommend it for anyone who wants a better understanding of the formulation side.

Building Upon an Already Impressive Career

After a break from studying to raise her family, Christine is now back in school and working toward a doctorate. Because her superiors saw firsthand the benefits of the master’s program and provided a “modest” tuition reimbursement, MANE is now fully funding Christine’s Ph.D. And, once again, Christine will be a UC Online student in the newly formed Industrial Bio program, saying she got involved as soon as it was available. “The coursework is online, just like the cosmetic science program. I plan to do my research for the dissertation credits at my company,” Christine says.

There are many reasons Christine has twice chosen UC Online in her quest for higher education. She believes the technical knowledge of the faculty is one of the key reasons UC stands out among other universities. Christine says the MS in Cosmetic Science program provides a deep dive into the science of both OTC and drug products. “It offers a pharmaceutical degree, which differentiates it from other programs. It covers a broad scope, and I would recommend it for anyone wanting a better understanding of the formulation side,” she says.

Follow Christine’s Lead and Take the Next Step to Explore the Cosmetic Science Program

Christine’s most recent efforts at work haven’t gone unnoticed, as she received yet another promotion. She currently oversees research and innovation, saying:

My new role encompasses fragrance research and collaborating with our perfumers to understand how to formulate better. We are developing new technologies in the fragrance space to deliver customers’ unmet needs and consumer pain points. A lot is going on in the industry, with fragrances offering multifunctional health and wellness benefits. I manage these projects locally and connect with MANE’s global research and development team.

This spring, Christine will have an opportunity to meet many of her coworkers from around the globe when she visits the corporate office in France.

If you’re ready to broaden your understanding of cosmetic science, as Christine has done, consider UC Online’s master’s program or our graduate certificate program, which can be applied to the MS. Enrolling at UC Online, you’ll be part of an exciting group of people who love cosmetic science as much as you do. Our faculty, including Cosmetic Science Dr. K.P. Ananth (featured in this interview), brings their collective years of experience, industry knowledge, and enthusiasm to our programs — and you will enjoy learning from them.

To learn more about our 100% online cosmetic science programs — both from UC’s  James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy — contact us, and an Enrollment Services Advisor will be in touch.

A rewarding journey into personal care science can jumpstart your career, improve your technical skills and broaden your industry knowledge. And we’re here to support your journey, from start to graduation!

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