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Anne Marie Lu
Management Trainee - HR
Anne Marie, B.Applied Science (Psychology) Deakin University (2013), M.Marketing Swinburne University (2018)
What's your job about?
L’Oréal is an FMCG company, and I joined as a marketing grad. Even though I joined as a marketing grad my rotations have been incredibly diverse!
I started as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) grad, reporting directly to our CRM Director. The role was a cross-divisional one, and I got to work with all of our brands on building their marketing email templates. I also had the opportunity to brief and assist in the execution of our CRM dashboards (which are used by all the marketing teams that send EDMs), as well as assist in the planning and execution of our CRM programs for our Luxe E-comm brands.
My second rotation was in the L’Oréal Paris Skincare marketing team in L’Oréal’s Consumer Product Division, and I got to experience some amazing launches like our Golden Age and Pure Clays ranges. I did everything from briefing catalogue ads to planning, designing and executing off locations for our retailers.I also got to collaborate with teams that I had no previous experience with, like supply chain, category management, the warehouse team and our internal design and production functions.
Now, I’m rounding off my experience in the HR team, working on Candidate Experience and Employer Branding projects for the Recruitment team. I’m back working on digital CRM projects, but from a HR lense! The biggest difference is that in this rotation I am leading my own projects, and have complete autonomy in terms of managing my day-today tasks and projects.
What's your background?
I’m from all over! I grew up in Singapore, my Mom’s Norwegian and my Dad’s Australian-born Chinese and part Irish. I came to Melbourne for Uni and loved it, so I stayed on.
I did my undergraduate studies in Psychology, but decided I didn’t want to practice and fell into teaching. After a couple of years, I was ready for my next challenge and so I went back to school to get my Masters in Marketing. In my second semester, I saw that L’Oreal was recruiting Interns and so I applied.
I almost didn’t make it to the assessment centre because I had a final assignment presentation that morning! Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong, and I ended up over an hour late to the assessment centre. (I was the last to arrive and they had already finished their first activity!)
I somehow managed to pull myself together and I made it through to final interviews. After the final interviews, I was called in for another interview because a Management Trainee position had opened up.
I was the first to interview for that position, and I didn’t really expect to get it, but I did!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely. In fact team diversity is encouraged! Diverse teams tend to generate diverse opinions, and as great as it is to bounce ideas past people similar to you, it’s even better to bounce your ideas past people who think and behave in completely different ways.
We love playing devil’s advocate here at L’Oréal. We have Marketing and Sales MTs who read Law, I did my undergrad in Psych and joined as a Marketing grad, and we have had MTs from Engineering in Supply Chain.
Diverse nationalities are a given because we’re a global company.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I’m the first HR grad in Australia, so I’m making up my job description as I go! For now I’m localising L’Oréal ‘s Employer Branding and revamping Candidate Experience for Australia and New Zealand, but I’m also working on company-wide onboarding projects and Luxe Retail projects! I have almost complete autonomy and my own budget to manage.
What are the limitations of your job?
You will bear a lot of responsibility, but depending on how you deal with it, it could be career defining or limiting.
Also, you are very much expected to hit the ground running as a Management Trainee. There is a lot of support in terms of expertise that you can leverage, but you are expected to seek that expertise yourself.
There is definitely no spoon-feeding! L’Oréal provides the tools and the frame, and we make of it what we will. If you need lots of structure and work best under lots of instruction, this probably isn’t the company for you.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Try many different short-term internships in your first and second year, and pick up a third or fourth language! Even if you don’t like it, you’ll at least learn what you don’t want to do.
- Join the L’Oreal MT program in your third year, no ifs, buts or coconuts. It’s going to be difficult but so worth it!
- If you start learning Muay Thai now, you’ll be an absolute gun by the time you write this. No one will be laughing at your soggy right hooks.