So why did an Engineer join Brandstorm 2017?

The year was 2017, the competition was Brandstorm, and for the first time ever the doors were open to engineering students. Florian, who studied chemistry and formulation, took the chance to join this great experience and discover L’Oréal. Now he’s working on cutting-edge hair-applied research, where he is creating the newest shampoos and hair care treatments that will disrupt the beauty market of tomorrow.

I was always interested in the cosmetic industry. My passion spread from my everyday life, I always enjoyed checking out the ingredients of the products I use every day. It lead me to studying Formulation in the Chemistry School of Mulhouse.

The former L’Oréal CEO Charles Zviak said that the cosmetic industry is a crossroads of many scientific fields and I really agree with that, working here helps me to express my creativity with a scientific background. I’m very passionate about my work and it’s been a great adventure here. The work I did at university is very applicable to my role, but to be honest when you really work in the field there are so many things to discover that you didn’t know before, so I still learn a lot every single day.

I followed the Brandstorm adventure for quite a while on YouTube, when I saw that Brandstorm was open to engineers for the first time in 2017, I thought that was pretty cool. But, it was actually my friend and fellow student Elodie who asked me after class if I wanted to join the competition with her, and that’s how it all started. For our team, we were looking for a third person who had more of a business background because we were both chemists. Thanks to the Brandstorm platform we recruited Inès from HEC. We absolutely didn’t know each other but it was the beginning of a new friendship. Without both of them Brandstorm would not have been the exciting adventure it was for me.

We had a great coach, a product development engineer from L’Oréal; Damien. He was there to support us on our project, because he had the knowledge and overview on the market and the products. It was really funny, Inès, Elodie and I worked so hard that we were really well prepared, we anticipated all of his questions and were able to answer them. After a lot of hard work and the help of our L’Oréal mentor Damien we made it to the French finals in Paris.

Working with my team, we really connected over the nights and nights we spent on the case. Concentrating so much of our energy on this project really helped us solve all potential issues, so we came up with a really disruptive idea. We were like a little start up! It was great to see a small idea develop further as we talked about it as a team and everybody shared their vision, that’s why teams are so powerful.

Our team spirit was so good that we still keep in touch. I knew Elodie from school but we weren’t that close before, and Inès was a complete stranger. We really did a lot together in that time and shared a lot beyond Brandstorm. For example, Inès is really a really talented singer, Elodie and I went to her performance one time and we were amazed, we had goosebumps!

There wasn’t one particular thing… Maybe the most difficult part was the time it takes. If you’re not passionate about it enough, I think it’s not feasible because you have to work, a lot. It’s a project that has nothing to do with your university, it’s voluntary, so the most difficult part was to take the time to do the things well. But we took it and it really paid off!

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