Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Immersed in the Business of Beauty: My Internship at L'Oreal

By Susana Zazueta, MBA'15

Working in The Big Apple has always been a dream of mine. As a teenager, I dreamt about living in the city as a business woman and riding the subway to work. This summer I was able to turn this dream into a reality as an intern at L’Oreal. As the first ever Kelley intern at L’Oreal, I knew it was going to be a challenging summer, but I was ready to give it my all.

I was thrilled to be placed on the Garnier Fructis haircare brand, as it allowed me the opportunity to merge the Consumer Packaged Goods world that I want to work in with elements of the fashion industry that I am passionate about.

My pre-MBA experience in fashion and brand management, coupled with what I learned from Kelley’s consumer marketing academy, enabled me to contribute from my very first day. I was evaluating photo shoots for future product ads, commenting on promotional displays, generating creative briefs to enhance current PDQ’s, and creating weekly sales performance summaries.

The second week of my internship when my name appeared in my manager’s Out of Office email reply, I knew I was seen as much more than an intern. Fortunately, Kelley’s rigorous program had prepared me to excel in challenging situations. One of our Kelley Values is excellence—embracing challenges and continually self-improving. I felt empowered by the training I had received at Kelley, to not only embrace the challenge but also push myself to exceed my own expectations.

I was given two projects to complete during my internship. From evaluating the opportunity in a new product category to building a launch strategy for an existing product, I had a lot to learn in a very short amount of time. Working within L’Oreal’s lean team structure made it a very challenging workplace, but as a result I met some fantastic people who were willing to share their insights and offer guidance that I found invaluable.

I had an incredible summer and learned a lot about what I am looking for. My internship taught me that I really do have a passion for brand management in consumer products, and that it doesn’t matter whether I am selling toys to a four year old or hairspray to a 22 year old. It’s just a matter of knowing how to use the tools you are given to connect consumers to your brand.


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