Top MBA Recruiters: Breaking Into Personal Care Empire L’Oreal


Considered by many as the world’s top beauty brand, L’Oreal is well known for its well-known fragrances, hair, nails, makeup, and skincare products, with a portfolio boasting legendary brands like Maybelline, Garnier, Redken, and Ralph Lauren. Headquartered in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, the company has also become a surprisingly strong top MBA recruiter. Lets take a look at what business school students need to know about the personal care empire.

The History of L’Oreal

L’Oreal was founded in 1919 by Eugène Paul Louis Schueller, who ten years earlier developed a hair dye formula called Auréale. In 1920, the company employed three chemists, and by 1950, that figure grew to nearly 100. After decades of substantial growth, the company employees nearly 20,000 chemists.

While the company got its start in the hair-color business, today it specializes in all types of cleansing and beauty products. In fact, L’Oréal currently markets thousands of individual hair color, permanents, hair styling, body and skin care, cleansers, makeup, and fragrance products.

Working at L’Oreal

L’Oréal is a truly international: The company currently has 36 different brands, operating in 140 countries and employs more than 82,000 people worldwide. It’s also ranked among the top 20 most diverse and inclusive companies in the world, with a workforce made of 158 nationalities speaking 58 different languages.

According to L’Oreal, 48 percent of the company’s American executives are women and another 37 percent of its American employees are people of color. Other interesting tidbits about the company’s diversity initiatives include:

  • L’Oreal is certified by EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) and GEEIS (Gender Equality European and International Standard) in 29 countries
  • Equileap rated L’Oréal as the top performer for 2017 regarding gender equality.
  • The United Nations granted L’Oréal the CEO Leadership Award for Gender Equality
  • L’Oreal is included among the top 100 Bloomberg 2018 Gender-Equality Index
  • L’Oréal employed 1,238 people with disabilities in 2017
  • Named one of the best places to work by Universum and Working Mother

MBAs at L’Oreal

Each Fall, L’Oréal begins actively recruiting for summer MBA internships, including opportunities in marketing, finance, and R&D. L’Oréal’s USA Summer Internship program ranked 8th in the U.S. in 2017, as voted on by interns across the country in a survey organized by WayUp. Each summer sees an new batch of 15-25 MBA candidates working at L’Oreal in various like marketing, finance, and supply chain roles.

Let’s take a closer look at the Operations Summer Internship Program for MBAs at L’Oreal. This internship gives students the opportunity to work in the company’s day in and day out activities. MBAs will be given opportunities to steer their own projects over the course of eleven weeks.

Additional internship components, according to WayUp, include:

  • Project management & presentation skills training
  • Community service & volunteer activities
  • Technical tours: learn about the state of the art technology & automation through manufacturing plants and supplier visits
  • Early consideration for a full-time opportunity upon graduation
  • Exposure to senior management
  • Networking and development activities

What Does L’Oreal Look For in MBA Candidates?

Excellent verbal and written communication skills, the ability to problem solve operations issues, and strong organizational skills and multi-tasking ability in a fast paced environment are just a few things L’Oreal looks for in an MBA. L’Oreal employees are expected to effectively work independently and in a cross functional team while also demonstrating a strong sense of urgency with the flexibility to shift gears as priorities change.

L’Oreal recruits MBA talent through on-campus events and Brandstorm, the firm’s global case study competition. MBAs from universities across the world forms teams of three to develop an idea for one of L’Oreal’s countless brands. Ultimately, three teams will be announced the winners of the competition.

The showdown pits top American students with their European counterparts, with the Finals taking place in Paris on May 17, 2018. In fact, the European-based company has strong partnerships with several Europe’s top business schools, including INSEAD, HEC Paris, ESADE Business School, and Oxford Saïd.

Innovating For the Future

L’Oreal has previously been named as one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company and Forbes. New MBA hires at L’Oreal will ultimately be tasked with carrying these innovations forward. Some will be able to be on the front lines of innovation at Founders Factory.

In 2016, L’Oréal announced its investment in Founders Factory, a multi-sector digital accelerator and incubator. Co-founded by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and Jim Meyerle and based in London, L’Oréal became Founders Factory’s exclusive partner for investments in Beauty tech startups worldwide.

Following the announcement, L’Oréal and Founders Factory committed to investing five early-stage startups and co-creating two new companies every year. Founders Factory’s entrepreneurs and experts provide support and advice to participating startups, as well as working with L’Oréal to jointly build and launch new products and services.

L’Oréal didn’t become the world’s leading beauty corporation overnight. The company has been thriving for more than a century, thanks largely to smart innovations and investments like Founders Factory, as well as the talents and diversity of its employees. Will you be next?

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About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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