L'Oreal Graduate

Irini Nikitaris

University of Melbourne
Management Trainee – Supply Chain
Irini Nikitaris, B. Commerce, The University of Melbourne, 2014

What's your job about?

L’Oréal is the global leader in the beauty and cosmetics industry. I am a Supply Chain Graduate for  the company, and am currently acting as planner for Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) cosmetics.

As a planner at L’Oréal Australia, I have been given the opportunity to directly manage both the demand and supply components of the supply chain. I am directly responsible for forecasting sales and managing inventories to plan for materials needed in the future. I also spend a considerable amount of time gathering information and analysing data as well as utilising other sources of information to prepare trends and forecasting reports for my team. These are completed regularly to ensure that all expectations are met and managed appropriately. 

What's your background?

I grew up in Hobart, Tasmania and moved to Melbourne in 2013 to attend university. I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2015, with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in both finance and economics. 

I became familiar with the L’Oréal Australia graduate program through participating in the L’Oréal global program, Brandstorm. Brandstorm is a marketing-based case study competition that allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the company and the brands that fall under the L’Oréal Group umbrella. Two friends and I participated in the competition, and placed in the top five teams in Australia. The program gave us the opportunity to meet, connect and build relationships with people in the company. Our hard work paid off in the end, as we have all been successful in securing graduate positions with L’Oréal Australia. 

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes! Someone from a different background could do my Job. Coming from a finance and economics background, I had almost no experience with logistics or supply chain. However, I was provided with lots of ‘on-the-job’ training and support from my team. Although I didn’t require the key technical skills initially, someone wishing to do this job would need to be eager to learn, passionate and analytical. I also believed that when learning so many new skills so fast that you would also need to be focused and level headed. 

What's the coolest thing about your job?

I love that I get real responsibility! As a graduate I have had the opportunity to manage the forecast and procurement for a leading brand. In doing so, I get to work closely with Finance, Marketing and Sales, to present the forecast to the executives of the business division. I believe this is an opportunity not many graduates are exposed to! I also really enjoy working closely with people who have such a diverse range of skills. Not only does it make my job interesting, but I believe it provides me with a deeper, well-rounded understanding of the L’Oréal Group, and how it operates as a global entity.

What are the limitations of your job?

Being given so much responsibility is both a benefit and a limitation. I found when I was first establishing myself in the role, it was quite intimidating. With this responsibility came a high level of accountability, and hard work. At times, trying to fulfill all your responsibilities while you are still learning can be overwhelming. However, the support and guidance of my team has really put me in good stead to conquer whatever I may face.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

Grades are not everything! You don’t need a straight HD transcript to get a job. Instead, go out, network and make connections. Get as much work experience as you can (whether it be free or paid), and keep in mind it doesn’t have to be in a big corporation. There are so many options out there that I never even considered!  Also, don’t be shy or scared of rejection. Learn from these experiences and improve for the future. Opportunity can come in any shape or form, so don’t overlook the little things. You don’t know when something small can grow into significant, so take every opportunity and run with it!