“I never thought I’d end up working in beauty” — Francesca, Armani Beauty General Manager
When we say that L’Oréal is a place for everyone, we really mean it. You can have a degree in political science but work in research and innovation. You can go to live in New York, but catch a meeting in Shanghai. You never know what might happen here. This is the case for Francesca, General Manager of Armani Beauty. With a degree in Economics, Francesca tells us how she arrived at L’Oréal and why she hasn’t left!
If the beauty industry wasn’t your goal, what brought you to L’Oréal?
Why did I choose to apply to L’Oréal? I have no idea. Ask my instincts! It was totally random and unexpected. I was 23 years old and I had just graduated with a degree in economics. At that time, I was mostly interested in doing consulting, but one of my professors told me to first get some professional experience from within a company. So, despite my ambition, I followed his advice.
Quite frankly, neither cosmetics or marketing were something I had ever considered. And yet, life sometimes takes you through unexpected paths, that if you have the courage and confidence to follow, it can lead you to peaks you never imagined!
You're still here! Tell us about your path at L’Oréal.
OK, let’s go back to the very beginning. When I joined L’Oréal, what struck me most was the humanity of the people who surrounded me. Initially, I really thought that I would only be staying at L’Oréal for maybe 3 to 6 months… As it turns out, this was the start of a career I would have never imagined! I realized right away that I wanted to give this company a shot because I felt that L’Oréal could give me a lot from a human perspective.
After completing my internship in marketing, I continued working as a Product Manager in Italy, and later in France. Working in the headquarters in Paris was a great experience — the environment is super dynamic and multi-cultural. I got to work with different markets worldwide and through this, I really learned to appreciate the diversity of people at L’Oréal. Creativity and innovation became the necessary ingredients to deal with everyday work and projects.
After two years, however, I decided to return to Italy because I missed the business there… and afterall, it is my home. Over time, I held different positions in marketing, from Group Manager to Trade Marketing — but the great common aspect is that I never stopped learning new things or working with amazing teams. And now, 17 years later, I am at Armani Beauty!
Working for Armani Beauty… in Italy? That must be a dream come true!
Being General Manager of this brand really fills me with pride. To be honest with you, being General Manager of Giorgio Armani Beauty in Italy makes me extremely happy and excited! I feel a high level of responsibility towards this Brand. As an Italian, I feel extra motivated and passionate to do better for this Brand in the “home country”. Specifically, being General Manager of Armani Beauty in Italy is all about supporting your team and their brilliant minds. I always say that it’s like being the bubbles in a bottle of sparkling water — it’s all about vivacity and bringing that extra fizziness to the work that makes everything come together and come to life.
Has anything at L’Oréal surprised you?
The most surprising thing is probably that I’ve been in this company for over 17 years, but I’ve never held a role for longer than 2.5 years!
I have an extreme fear of “forever”! And, trust me, living one day at a time makes the thought of “forever” less scary.
Being always open and enthusiastic about discovering new things, I have always responded positively when chances knocked on my door! After a while, you get used to it. After all, I have been married for ten years and have been in L’Oréal for seventeen! Is that contradictory? I don’t know, but I choose to live every day uniquely.
17 years later… what would you say about your experience L’Oréal?
Ultimately, at L’Oréal I learned not to be afraid to make mistakes, to test my limits and to really be hands-on. This is a company that has given me a lot of confidence and opened the door to many possibilities — it believed in me more than I ever did. Now, one could characterize me by my courage to dare. L’Oréal has taught me to always trust who I am and to always be myself.
Inspired by Francesca’s story as much as we are? Explore available opportunities in Marketing and build your own brilliant path at L’Oréal!