Abby Howse

Technical Administrator

Company:

Acheson & Acheson

Abby Howse(Technical Administrator)

What made me interested in Science

To be honest, when I was at school, science wasn’t my favourite subject, so I was glad to see the back of it when I finished! Now I’m completely the opposite. I love visiting the lab and talking to the chemists about what they are working on, watching them work or even working at the bench myself. Since joining A&A its really opened my eyes to how interesting science is.

My career so far

When I left school, I didn’t really want to learn anymore. I was 16 and just wanted to earn money. My first job was office based, selling car body panels to garages in the UK. After a few years I decided I wanted to go to college and train to become a hairdresser. I completed my qualifications and worked in quite a few salons. Although I enjoyed my time in the hair industry, I felt it wasn’t the career for me and I wanted to learn more about the products I was using. I then found Acheson & Acheson and it has been my home ever since! I finally feel like I have found my place.

Day to day role

Daily, my work load changes. When I first started at A&A I looked after the raw materials which involves reviewing documents annually, checking the latest information with suppliers and updating information to our database. As time progressed I also began working on the Product Information Files for our customers and other customer documentation. I have also been involved with the REACH regulation and have developed a database to monitor our raw materials. No two days are the same which always keeps me on my toes!

Favourite part of my job

It’s hard to pick just one favourite part! I think because I started off looking after raw materials and have since moved onto helping with the Product Information Files. Masses of technical information needs to be gathered during the development of a cosmetic product and it’s my job to coordinate all this work. I really get to see the start to finish process of a product from the technical information side. It’s always great to complete a PIF for a customer and have all the boxes ticked.

Most challenging part of my job

Sometimes, deadlines can be quite tight for customer documentation and there may be a rush to get huge amounts of paperwork complete quickly. This is something that doesn’t happen often and if it does I always try my best to complete the documentation in time.

Most exciting career moment so far

Last year, I was asked to go to a cosmetic regulation seminar in London with my manager. It was quite scary sitting in a room full of very knowledgeable people who had been in the industry years with me coming from a hairdressing background, not knowing anything about the cosmetics industry at all. As the day went on it made me realise that I have become very knowledgeable in this industry and it gave me a massive confidence boost, so much so that I stood up in front of the room full of people and spoke about the regulation!

What I find most interesting about the cosmetic science industry

There is so much I find interesting about the cosmetic science industry! I never knew how much went in to making a shampoo, body lotion or hand wash. It really amazes me and I love telling people what I do! From selecting the very first raw material right up to seeing the products being produced in the factory, I find the whole process fascinating!

How I use Chemistry in my job

Although I’m not a chemist I work closely with the chemists in our company. I have to understand what the raw material are and what function they perform in the products.

When I'm not at work

I’m at home decorating! My boyfriend and I bought our first house together this summer and it’s a project that needs a lot of work: most weekends are spent painting or at B&Q!

If I didn’t do this I would…

If I wasn’t at A&A I have no idea what I would be doing! I’ve always fancied travelling so maybe I would do that.