The End of an Internship

So yesterday marked my last day of my internship, 12 weeks of working for the largest beauty company in the world and it flew by. I spent the last few weeks preparing for my final presentation that basically makes or breaks you getting an offer. My topic was to look at new opportunities that Ralph Lauren fragrances could utilize to market and distribute to the 18-24 year old man. I can tell you that I know more about the 18-24 year old man then I ever wanted to know. I was at work until 9 and up working from home until 2 am for about three weeks prior to my presentation to the General Manager of Designer Fragrances, senior HR managers, and the marketing team that I had been working with all summer. And this was not at all unusual. Most interns pulled at least a couple of all nights, I chose not to, but did stay up until 4am over the weekends working. The thing about top internship programs is this, the company only selects the best of the best, so your fellow interns are the smartest kids from the smartest schools (Wharton, Harvard, UVA) and you’re being evaluated against them, but you really have no idea of how their internship compares to yours. So what can you do? Better than your best, you have to be so on top of your game that the GM of your division quotes your presentation in a meeting with your divisions’ top retailer. While this may seem like a nerdy thing to be proud of, my GM grilled me during my presentation so the fact that quoted my presentation and had a copy of it with her was pretty awesome. I’m extremely happy that I was offered and accepted this internship because it gave me a reality check as to what a marketer really does. In my head it was much different than the reality and if I hadn’t taken the internship I would have taken a job post b-school only to find out that it was completely different then my expectations. It’s not all about being creative, it’s also about being able to manage p & l, work with cross functional teams, and having mean Excel and PowerPoint skills. I went to L’Oreal thinking that it was going to be this glamorous place, where everyone wore Louboutins and lip gloss. In reality, it’s a business, a beauty business yes, but a business and at the end of the day all that matters is your bottom line.

On a side note, and to piggyback off of Eric’s post, check out the August issue of Entrepreneurship magazine. There is an article about the rise of entrepreneurs in New Orleans, and LaunchPad and playNola are both mentioned.