Student Internship Spotlight: Laura Zelmanowicz at Montblanc Parfums
Laura Zelmanowicz, BBA Strategic Design and Management class of 2020, shares her experience interning during the summer of 2019.
Where did you intern?
Created in 1982, by Phillipe Bénacin and Jean Madar, Interparfums creates, manufactures and distributes prestigious perfumes and cosmetics based on exclusive worldwide licensing agreements under the brands Boucheron, Coach, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Spade, Montblanc, Paul Smith, Repetto, S.T. Dupont and Van Cleef & Arpels. The group also owns the Lanvin perfumes and the Maison Rochas. 40 employees work at Interparfums’ Marketing department, under the direction of Stanislas Archambault and Delphine Pommier. This department is responsible of a fragrance’s creation, from its initial brainstorm to its in-store staging. Working closely with the companies, each creation ensures respect for the brand’s universe.
Montblanc is a German manufacturer of luxury writing instruments and leather goods, part of the Richemont Group. Since 2010, Montblanc Parfums is under a license agreement with Interparfums. Montblanc Parfums includes the Legend franchise (Legend, Legend Night, Legend Spirit), Emblem, Explorer and Lady Emblem franchise (L’Eau and Elixir).
What were your roles within the position?
As an Assistant Product Manager Intern, I had versatile missions on various topics. My main missions were to develop promotional plans for gift sets and gifts with purchase, to design tools to support global launches: training kit and English-French launch book, to create digital content and to analyze competition and trends. I have been formally trained on many important corporate skills.
What did you learn during this time?
At Interparfums, not only I participated in very interesting challenging projects, I also learned a lot about company life. I learned how to work in a structured company, to follow guidelines and how to be proactive.
Since the beginning of my internship, my managers gave me their trust. They gave me responsibilities and supported my work. They would always listen and give constructive feedback. A challenge, in the creative industry, is that a lot of work is subjective. In our team, we did not hesitate to exchange ideas and to help each other. This collective desire to be successful as a team resulted in the creation of quality products.
Every team member shared their personal experience in the fragrance industry and gave me numerous tips and advices. They were very supportive. It was amazing to work for this company. I woke up every day excited to learn more and to contribute to their projects.
My internship at Interparfums was an incredible experience, which prepared me well for a future career in the luxury industry. I am grateful for everything I learned, and would love to work for them again in the future.
When did you start/end your internship?
My internship was 3 months, from June to August 2019.
What was the best part of your internship?
The coolest part of my internship was when I contributed to the French and English launch book of a new feminine perfume and created their training content, a kit and a presentation, intended for international beauty advisors. A challenge was to develop a coherent storytelling and sensory experience around a fragrance.
How did you find the internship?
I found and secured the internship via my network. I sent a motivation letter and my resume to the HR department. Following that I had an interview.
What was ideal about my profile for this particular position was that I am a French-English bilingual student and that I worked the previous year as a Sales Assistant at Chanel. I had the opportunity to sell all their range of products, including perfumes. I therefore knew the customers of a prestigious Maison, how to maintain deep knowledge of trends and how to work in teams where I had to stay rigorous, proactive and fast-learner.
What advice would you give to others looking for an internship at this company or in this industry?
My advice would be to gain retail experience before applying for a position at a company’s headquarters. It is key to know your customers and how to sell a product.