How to get a job at a Fortune 500 company? One professional shares her tip
When it comes to careers, everyone could use some advice — especially fresh graduates. Young adults may picture themselves leading successful lives post-graduation but many may be unsure how to make it happen. The process, however, can be a lot quicker and efficient with the right mentorship.
Whether you dream of working at a Fortune 500 company or securing a coveted scholarship to pursue your postgraduate studies at the university of your dreams to starting a business, mentorships allow you to learn from someone who’s been in your shoes and is currently standing in the same pair you wish to one day fill.
Carolyne Denzler realised the importance of mentorship early in her professional life. From struggling to make ends meet to working long hours on the weekends, guidance from a more experienced person who could share their knowledge, advice, and skills or experience with her proved to be a guiding light that helped the 33-year-old become the thriving manager she is today.
Upon graduating from Imperial College Business School in 2013 with a Master of Science in Strategic Marketing, the German-native secured a coveted role in marketing with Tom Ford and Mac Cosmetics. Despite working for a world-renowned brand, her heart was set on working for L’Oréal.
Today, she’s a luxury beauty marketer at L’Oréal, but the journey wasn’t without its challenges. Here’s how she did it and how she’s using her knowledge and experience to help others achieve their goals:
Receiving mentorship from those who have been there, done that
After being rejected by L’Oréal for the first time, Denzler’s next step was to be mentored by those she admired, some of whom were global CMOs, business founders, or investors. “I believe that mentors are cheat codes whose expertise allows us to achieve our goals faster,” she enthuses. These professionals taught her to listen, learn, and duplicate the information she received. They taught her to master the art of “adding a sprinkle” of herself to everything she does.
“I soaked up their advice, reflected on it and put it to practice with my individual touch. This procedure gave me confidence, clarity, and an actual blueprint of action steps to execute.”
The exposure enabled Denzler to draft a masterplan that would see her gaining industry experience at a direct competitor before taking another shoot at L’Oréal again – and it worked. In 2014, just a year after graduating, Denzler landed a job as a sales representative at her dream company.
After seven years, she climbed up the ranks to her current position as L’Oréal Germany’s key account manager where she manages fragrance sales while overseeing the implementation of new fragrance brand acquisitions.
The mentee becomes the mentor
Today, Denzler is passing the torch by helping others achieve their goals as a mentor. She launched EditionCarolyne.com where she offers free mentorship sessions. She created a weekly mentorship blog called “Monday Minutes”, or weekly reflections on learning, setbacks, and growth-based questions that young professionals have asked her on one-on-one mentorship sessions.
“Monday Minutes are a growth manual in the making! It is important for me to share information on career goals and setbacks, because when I was young and studying in London, I did not have access to highly successful mentors or to someone who answered all my career concerns,” says Denzler. She decided to make this information available to everyone, especially young professionals who seek career guidance.
Thanks to Denzler’s efforts, many have landed their dream roles, while some have secured coveted entry-level positions at Fortune 500 companies.
When asked about some of her favourite success stories, two come to mind. Denzler recalls helping an Imperial College student who didn’t have work experience secure a role at a Fortune 500 FMCG Management Graduate Programme. They spent several weekends working on his case presentation, going through interview questions, and recalling key advice that worked for her.
“He managed to land one of the highly selective and limited graduate programme spots and called me, crying, reaffirming that he knows that this would have not been possible without my support,” she says.
Another mentee included a student who was struggling financially while living and studying in London – familiar territory to Denzler who worked weekends in Regent Street’s retail outlets to make ends meet as a student. Denzler’s first course of action was to ensure him that she knew what it was like to “not be able to pay rent or only live off meal deals.”
They worked on developing his speaking skills while practicing for an upcoming Big Tech interview; Denzler also shared certain strategies that she has formulated over the years.
On Christmas Eve, her mentee called to share the big news – he got the job.
While Denzler hopes to help more individuals achieve success like hers and her mentees, she also hopes to see more mentees become mentors.
Mentoring is not a one-way street — Denzler herself is learning so much from her mentees. “I have learned to listen consciously, to guide, and to deal with different people with different needs. In turn, the experience has made me a better leader at my job,” she says.