Vincia Jackson is Interning at Clorox

Vincia Jackson is interning at Clorox.

Vincia Jackson is interning at Clorox.  It’s a company that needs no introduction, since most American households contain its brand-name cleaning products.

And Vincia, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, is thrilled to be working there. She is based in the company’s office in Pleasanton, California, near San Francisco. She’s a Regulatory Compliance Intern in its Research and Development division. She is helping the company comply with federal environmental regulations. It’s an internship that’s ideally suited to her interests: At NJIT, she has a double minor in Environmental Science and Policy and Business.

Vincia has many accomplishments at NJIT. She also is the holder of The Robert Sydney Needham Memorial STEM Scholarship, an award that supports NJIT students who study science, technology, engineering or math.  As part of that scholarship she has done research to help develop a computer model for a mechanical alloying process. She’s also a McNair scholar and a member of the Educational Opportunity Program.  In the below interview, she talks about her internship at Clorox.

How is your internship going?

The internship is going really well.  The director of our department is a chemical engineer who graduated from NJIT, which was really exciting to find out.  The culture here is very laid back. I have heard of the open door policy, but Clorox takes it a step further: Here, no one is assigned a cubical. We have adjustable seats and desks and we are encouraged to change seats within our departments daily. I have met people from all different functions, which is exciting. Our department works closely with a variety of departments. There is never a dull moment. I met the CEO Don Knauss during one of his visits to the campus.  I’ve attended some social events held for the employees.  I am having a great experience. My assignment is really exciting. What I like most about it is the fact that I am getting to use my creativity to help me come up with solutions to problems. 

How did you get the internship?

I am a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and am aware of the national conference the group hosts every year.  Around the time of the conference, I went on SWE’s national website to look up what companies would be attending.  I saw that the Clorox Company would be there and that immediately sparked my interest. I thought how cool would it be to work for a company whose products are used regularly in my house.  I navigated through the company’s website and applied for the regulatory compliance position. I received a follow up e-mail asking me for a screening interview.  Afterwards, I moved on to a second interview.  A little more than a month later, I got the call making me the offer.

Where are you working and living?

 I am working in Pleasanton, California.  It is not too far from the San Francisco Bay Area. I am living in a hotel called the Hyatt House, which is walking distance from work. The company paid for all my housing and shipping costs. Clorox even provides a complimentary shuttle for their employees.

What, in general, do you do there?

I am working in Research and Development under the Global Stewardship Department, where I have the title of a Regulatory Compliance Intern.  I am in a group that focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) regulations for Clorox’s products. Very generally, my responsibilities will be to help the company build a matrix to evaluate product registrations and analyze product claims to build opportunity on labeling solutions for Clorox’s EPA regulated products. As part of this, I’ll have the opportunity to explore a bit into categorizing Clorox’s products vs. their industry competitors based on chemistry and product types

How will this experience expand your education?

I am an environmental science and policy and business double minor. I think this job will definitely strengthen my expertise in both areas. What better way to exercise all of what I learned in these two minors than to be working in a business environment and dealing with EPA regulations. I am slowly learning how all different departments come together.  Also, I am experiencing for the first time being away from home for an extended period of time. I am learning to become more independent, which will help me as I finish off my learning at NJIT.  I am going to use all of what I learn here and apply this experience to my classes.  The Global Stewardship department has a variety of professionals that have diverse educational backgrounds, I’m excited to see how we will all work together to collaborate on ideas.

(By Robert Florida)