World of Work: Jackie Madsen '85, VP of Sales for L'Oreal Paris Cosmetics

Jackie Madsen '85

(Jackie Madsen ’85, second from left in blue)

Jackie Madsen ‘85

Vice President of Sales, L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics

5th Avenue, New York, NY

Major:  Economics

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

Each day is very different. While in the New York Office I spend days participating in meetings with all levels of our organization where we are developing how the L’Oreal Paris brand will be distributed in the US market to include pricing, promotion, displays and in store environment.  On the other days I am traveling to the Headquarters of our Retail Partners, including Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, and Target meeting with their beauty teams to execute the plans we have discussed internally.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

The beauty business is extremely exciting to be involved with. It is a very high-energy field that requires flexibility, adaptability and quick reaction time. From a sales standpoint, people successful in this field truly need to be extroverts who are comfortable in presenting and leading people. In addition sales has become extremely analytical in terms of the selling process, using available data is how the trade expects to be interacted with. People motivation and management are also key competencies.

What is your favorite part of your work? Most challenging part?

Favorite part is absolutely presenting in front of our retail partners. Also, being a female, I enjoy using the products. It’s very exciting to represent products that are so much part of my daily life! Because our business is so trend sensitive, change is difficult for some people to adapt to and ensuring people who work for me understand why the changes are necessary and how to manage them is always challenging.

Tell us about your best day at work.

Any day that I have been able to work through an issue with a major retailer that results in us having a successful launch of a new item, or an event in a major chain is a good day!

Did you expect to hold this job when you were a college student?

My path has been all over the L’Oreal Paris Company. From direct sales, to consumer promotions, to customer marketing to sales planning and back to direct sales. When I left college I had no idea what I wanted to do. In all honestly I didn’t think of sales as any particular interest for me but as I took my first job with L’Oreal (Territory Manager) I realized sales was a terrific option for me and met my desires to have days that varied, and opportunities to interact with people.

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