How does one find one’s career calling? Sometimes it finds you, says Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Singapore Nanyang Business School (NBS) alumna Melissa Lee, Advocacy and Innovation Manager at L’Oréal.
One day when browsing books at a bookstore, the young Melissa stumbled into the world of Purple Cow by Seth Godin. Properly titled Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, the book, published in 2003, argues that traditional advertising is less effective today because consumers are more discerning, and there is just too much noise. In order to succeed, companies should instead turn their efforts into making remarkable products that people will truly love.
“I finished it in two days and decided that I had found my calling in marketing – this was what I absolutely had to do,” said Melissa, adding: “I had also taken on a marketing internship earlier on and was fortunate to have worked with an amazing boss. So everything sort of built up my interest in this field.”
For Melissa, a good marketer is someone who is always excited and ready to
take on a new challenge.
In her role at L’Oréal Italy, Melissa helps brands in the group on digital transformation and acceleration of their brand advocacy goals.
She counts her undergraduate days at NBS as pivotal in helping her put her best foot forward when stepping into the working world.
“My undergraduate days were an incubator for important life skills and networking that prepared me for the real world. As the business and communications officer in the student executive committee, I oversaw all campus communications, events, brand sponsorships, and student welfare.
The experience gained was instrumental in helping me achieve success during my internships, as well as in my first job. Most importantly, you acquire a strong sense of confidence and invaluable social skills,” she said.
Navigating Career Challenges
What’s her advice for students looking for a career in marketing? “To find success, always be honest with yourself, be conscious of what drives you, and the compromises you are willing to accept. This will help you reflect on your current mental state and goals.
A tough but rewarding physical and mental challenge – Melissa completing
the Inca Trail at Machu Picchu in Peru in 2014