On Wednesday April 29th, Aurum Cosmetics hosted Beauty Bosses in Berkeley, another one of their legendary events. As per usual, the turnout was fantastic, the panelists were enthusiastic and the event was organized to a “t”. The purpose of the event was to invite our members and the UC Berkeley student community to a safe networking space, where the attendees can participate in the opportunity to learn from successful professionals in the beauty industry.
Once logged on to the Zoom call, president Emily Graham kindly greeted us and welcomed us to the event. The External Vice President of Aurum, Alana Tran, introduced the panelists: Margaret Park, Christina Oresajo, Sharyu Barapatrey, Mollie Jensen and Shivya Bansal. Margaret Park is the Senior Art Director at Sephora, Christina Oresajo is an Omni-Channel Marketing Manager at Benefit Cosmetics, Sharyu Barapatrey is a Technical Project Manager in charge of Data at Sephora, Mollie Jensen is the Associate Director, Sustainability & Claims Compliance at Biossance and last but not least, Shivya Bansal is the Product Manager at L’Oreal. Then Michelle Tam, the Professional Committee Head, went about the agenda. “We will start out with pre-select questions, then we’ll have an open Q&A and finally, we’ll split into the breakout rooms with the panelists for some more questions”, she said. And just like that, the panelists dove into sharing aspects of their day to day, professional advice and the industry as a whole.
A popular topic throughout the night was “internships”. This is mostly because due to the pandemic, many students have been either denied or let go from summer internship opportunities. Therefore, the panelists took a special focus on this issue, as a means to comfort us students that everything will be okay. Our President Emily asked the panelists “What can we do to set ourselves apart when seeking job opportunities in the beauty industry?” and our panelists answered thoroughly with considerate advice.
Sharyu advised that because many companies may not be hiring right now, many hiring agents tend to have more free time on their hands, which means that they are more likely to answer you on Linked In if you chose to message them. They could also be more likely to accept a coffee chat. “Those relationships can go a long way” she told us, “start building those relationships”.
When asked about advice when interviewing for a potential internship position or simply having a coffee chat, Magaret Park said “wear pants!”, we all giggled but she’s right. Even if its a meeting on the phone or through a video call, you should still get fully dressed and ready as if it was in person. “In addition to wearing pants, I actually started standing for presentations. Find a space where you can have better posture, good posture will help your blood flow–it’s really those things that make a difference, it’s your chance to make an impression. Go into it with a professional mindset” she added.
Then Christina Oresajo added in her two cents. “Continue to learn and find new things to learn about” she said. “There are tons of webinars that are free right now. There’s tons of information about what companies are going to do once we leave this pandemic and how the industry is going to pivet, so take this time to read about innovation and about what our future is going to look like and seek those opportunities. There’s always more to learn, always new skills” said Christina with an encouraging tone.
Shivya complimented this idea by adding that you should take this time to research the companies that you are interested in. She said that sometimes you may be applying to positions where you have little to no experience and what can really set you apart is if you read every single piece of research that your team of interest has written, if you watch all of the videos that they’ve posted online about their launches and such. Absorb all of the information that is available so that when a company is looking to hire you “they’ll feel like you’re already part of the team”, she said.
Lastly, Mollie encouraged us to “go in with heavy duty passion”. “For me it seemed that the roles that I didn’t get were the ones that I wasn’t that passionate about” she said, “so if you have something that you love, go in there and speak to that”, and that’s some valuable advice right there.
To finish off, I want to share one last piece of advice that was powerfully given by Margaret. “I graduated in the recession. It was very scary, sort of doom and gloom. My friends and I thought we were never going to get jobs but we all got hired at some point, we all ended up having pretty decent careers. I know right now, it’s super scary but I would encourage you all to be patient and open minded”. For all my seniors out there, do not worry. We got this.
I want to take a moment to thank the panelists for coming out to Aurum’s annual networking event. During these difficult times, it’s especially important for our community to be in contact with inspirational figures that bless us with advice, support, encouragement and more. Your thoughtful words were much appreciated. I would also like to shout out the Professional Committee and the Board members for putting on such an organized and thoughtful event. Your work does not go unnoticed. Beauty Bosses in Berkeley was a success and it’s been a pleasure sharing some of the highlights of the night with you all. I hope that you all follow this awesome advice to keep working towards your big, beautiful and very much achievable dreams.
Stay faithful, safe and fabulous.