DEGREE: STUDIED ECONOMICS AND FILM, BERKELEY
UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA, 2000. MSC IN GENDER AND THE MEDIA, AT LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, 2001
OCCUPATION: ASSISTANT PRODUCT MANAGER, L’OREAL
What do you do in your job?
I work on two international brands: Ralph Lauren fragrances, and Diesel fragrances. I run the brands, which involves everything from making sure stores have the right products, to in–store advertising. Plus making media plans and developing a strategy for marketing.
What was your motivation in applying?
Before I applied to L’Oreal, I worked at The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). I was dealing with the same clients every day, working with the same people, and I lost interest in it after a few years. At L’Oreal it’s like running a small business. When I joined L’Oreal I was 25 so I was a bit young to do an MBA, which I thought was the only option to changing my career path. Working at L’Oreal is like doing a degree because you are learning from the beginning.
What did the application process involve?
The process involved applying online. Then I got a first round interview. I was speaking with the recruitment director. She asked me to talk about something creative I’ve done, so I talked about my interest in film for about 15 minutes. Then I was called to an assessment centre for a day. It was really rigorous, covering everything from numeracy to a creativity test. After that was a final round interview with a general manager.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The best thing to illustrate that would be when my boss said I needed to build six two–metre birch trees! That was on Tuesday, and they were needed by Friday. So, I spoke to people in PR and other people in different departments to get it done. No two days are the same: you could have a budget meeting one day; the next day a photo shoot, followed by an international meeting.
Most challenging part of your job?
Having the responsibility for a brand, I have to justify why I’m spending money on something. You can’t say "I have a gut feeling", you have to have a logical response.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
I know someone who works for similar company to L’Oreal so I spoke to them about what they do. Also, internships give you such a good view of the day to day business.