A confession you might not get from many leaders in L’Oréal: “I have never been in a beauty salon, or a spa. I have never had anything professionally plucked or shaved. Not to talk about using mascara or understanding various lipstick shades.” Could this be considered a disadvantage when looking to build a great career in the beauty industry? At L’Oréal, it is not. Ferit, Digital Program Manager in Human Resources, answers a couple of questions to expose more about what lies beneath his success at L’Oréal, and how he has built an international career within digital in Beauty.
Tell us about your career in L’Oréal.
I joined L’Oréal Turkey as an intern in e-Commerce in my last year of university. By the time I graduated, I started working in the Corporate Digital Organization concentrating on content, media and e-commerce for all L’Oréal brands. There, I had the chance to be part of a team launching several multi-divisional projects. After a year, I moved to Consumer Products and added digital upskilling to my scope of work by leading all the innovative digital projects of the division. For the last four months, I’ve been in L’Oréal Headquarters in Paris working on international digital projects related to Human Resources. Here I’m working closely with countries to offer them the best in Digital Upskilling programs.
What is it like working in a digital function in the beauty industry — an industry seen as female-dominated?
To be honest, when I joined as an intern, I knew almost nothing about the beauty industry. However, the great thing about L’Oréal is that it gives you the right tools and opportunities to upskill yourself both in the category and the market — starting from various trainings to consumer connects, store visits and endless online modules. Thanks to our partnership and investment in one of the best virtual training platforms, you have the chance to take online courses for free from the best universities around the world (Columbia University, HEC Paris…). Not to mention all the great people you get to work hand-in-hand with every day - your coaches, peers, team mates and buddies.
What are some of the qualities that you believe are needed to be an unshakeable digital innovator at L’Oréal?
You don’t need to use lipstick or mascara to build a fulfilling career in L’Oréal! However, you do need:
The flexibility to change & adapt. The digital moves at an incredible speed. You need to be prepared to embrace change. If you are someone who is not only open to change, but someone who thrives on it (and almost fears being stagnant), you will feel right at home at L’Oréal.
The hunger to learn. This will be a definitive factor in your digital success— hunger to learn continuously and a desire to know and keep you up with industry news and trends. We look for self motivators who are eager to become exceptional at what they love to do by having the curiosity to try new ideas and the ability to analyze their lessons learned. The best curiosity is a mix between the creative desire to try new concepts and the analytical drive to see if they work.
The drive to be a team player. The best L’Oréal digital professionals have a broad knowledge of all digital concepts and yet are really passionate about one particular area. If this sounds like you, you’re going to need a team to help you maximize your concepts and campaigns. At L’Oréal no one works alone. It is important that you like working with other people and are able to do so.