This past weekend I was at a BBQ where techie entrepreneurs from around the valley mingled over beers and hot dogs. Someone would approach, and ask me what I did, to which I would reply that I am a business school student currently interning at Sephora.
“Sephora?” they asked quizzically
“Yes, you know, the really large beauty retailer” I replied.
“Oh…I think my [sister] [mom] [wife] buys her makeup there…do you work at a store?”
No, no, it’s not what you think. Or maybe it is. In any case, I am actually based out of their downtown San Francisco headquarters working on a project much closer to the technology side of things. Specifically, I am interning in the Direct (dot com) Marketing group and working on developing an A/B testing and targeting strategy for the company. In simple terms, A/B testing is when you show part of your audience one version of a page / functionality and other portions of your audience variations. This way you can compare differences in response rate/actions of the variations against the control. Pretty technical! But that’s the beauty of Sephora: the stark contrast and intimate blend of beauty products with technology. An average day might include attending a meeting where we play with a bunch of samples and design sample bags for the upcoming holiday season (probably most fun meeting of the summer so far), followed by another meeting where we discuss what tags we want on the back end of the site or what’s going to be part of the next Sprint. It’s two worlds and two languages that manage to coexist so nicely.
Lastly, because Sephora is always working on very exciting, innovative things, there are often fun events to attend! Today I spent an hour painting new nail designs as part of an event to celebrate the new Formula X for Sephora nail polish that will debut in stores September 5th – can’t wait!
– Emily Wang, MBA 2014