In a 3M laboratory scientists come to work every day prepared to research information, explore new possibilities to impact the world and propel innovation to make life better.
Here's how one 3M Scientist, Delony Langer-Anderson, recently described a day in the life of her role as a leader in 3M's technical community:
"I have an awesome job. I come to work and use my imagination, education and experience to translate ideas into physical products that people can use every day in their homes and at work. Today I am lucky enough to be working in the Heath Care industry. Developing 3M products for people who are in pain and need a way to feel better is fulfilling in a way I could not have anticipated when I was in school as a student. In graduate school, I was focused on fundamental chemistry research, creating experiments, running them, analyzing the data and drawing conclusions...a lot like what you go through to create a science fair presentation.
Now I still do those things but I am also focused on understanding my customers. I look for ways to make products easier to use, and for new materials to make those products more comfortable or durable. I love the part of my job that allows me to watch my customers using our products in their homes. This practice of observation is called ethnography, and it's a critical step for successful product development. When I was in school, I had no idea that someday complete strangers would allow me to come into their homes and look through their medicine cabinets, and that this would be called product development and not snooping! In this case, the more I can understand about human behavior and the needs that people have to make their lives simpler, the better I can be at developing solutions to real world problems...a very exciting aspect of innovation.
Because a company like 3M is so diverse in the industries it serves, my career has enabled a variety of assignments, from working on the development of huge graphic films that stick to the sides of tractor trailer trucks to painting products that help keep rooms clean while painting, and currently, medical products like bandages and wrist braces to help people feel better. I love to invent and work on product development, and doing so at a company like 3M allows me the opportunity to work in a fun, technology-rich environment. A science career can take you so many different places in life. I had no idea that a Ph.D. in Chemistry would open the door to developing products at one of the world's most innovative companies, but I am sure glad that it did!"