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June 2021, LVMH Japan organized a one-day DARE event for 30 students from 20 schools. The winning team members, Samantha Wutuh, Airi Sotoku, Ryo Senga, Melody Law and Marii Komiya share their feedback of their experience at the one-day DARE event and about their project that they are now managing.
1. Describe the DARE LVMH Event in 5 words. Why did you choose those 5?
“Unconventional. Unique. Challenging. Engaging. Enticing. “
The standard method of recruitment often follows the pattern of multiple interviews, which determines whether a candidate is qualified for an internship or not. With most of us judged by what is written on our CV and how well we interview, the process is somewhat limited. What stood out to me about DARE was the unconventional recruitment process. Candidates first send in video recordings of themselves in both English and Japanese. Based on these recordings, candidates are invited to the DARE LVMH event. This does not guarantee that participants will be offered an internship, however, this unique process gives candidates a chance to showcase their innovative thought processes through the formulation of a marketing pitch. Hence, we, as candidates, are not solely judged based on numbers portrayed on our CVs or how well we articulate in an interview.
Candidates are placed into teams and under a time crunch, are asked to come up with a marketing pitch with a realistic timeline to present to juries and other teams. Though challenging, it provides candidates the opportunity to exhibit their interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, and their competence to work under a limited amount of time requiring all parties to engage and put in group effort. What was most enticing to me about DARE LVMH was how a marketing pitch can be brought to life if selected. Now, 4 other teammates and I intern as project managers to make our project a reality.
2. Give a brief description about the project the 5 of you are working on. What are some challenges?
We are currently working on a “student ambassador program”, which is a volunteer-type internship where students will be appointed as the face of advocacy for the INSIDE LVMH website and the INSIDE LVMH certification program as well. These student ambassadors will be tasked with promoting the content of the website and boosting the number of signups. We decided to give creative liberty to the ambassadors and see what kind of innovative ways they would use to spread the word regarding INSIDE LVMH.
The idea started during the DARE LVMH
event and after being presented the chance to bring it to life, we immediately started designing the program from ground up. It was definitely a fun experience because most of us did not have any prior experience being in a position where we got to call the shots, much less have the power to decide on how a program with a duration of almost half a year would unfold. However, it definitely came with its own set of challenges. One of them being communication, as this internship is done completely online, sometimes miscommunication or misunderstandings happen when we exchange ideas through messaging apps or documents. To overcome this, we kept communication very open and checked up on each other frequently. In addition, we have high trust amongst the members of our team and that really kept us going even when things uncertainties were stopping us from progressing with the program.
We handled almost everything from project designing for the ambassador program, planning for seminars from scratch, approaching potential applicants and communicating with the Paris team who we are direct reports under. Of course we also received plenty of support from our supervisor, Mr. Naomi Takase (Talent Acquisition Director at LVMH Japan) and also the Paris communications team to answer all our inquiries and get approval for ideas. We have already finished our first webinar where we briefed applicants about the program and got to know future student ambassadors. We are super excited for what’s in store for us with the expansion of our ambassador network and also on our journey as part of LVMH growth amongst the younger generation.
3. How can students attending Japanese universities benefit from the Student Ambassador Program?
The student ambassador project was first designed by us to be the bridge between LVMH and the student population in Japan. The reason why we chose students to advocate for us is mainly because we want to utilise the vast number of offline and online social networks that they have access to and also because it would make the INSIDE LVMH program seem less daunting to deep dive into when it’s being recommended by a peer. Not to mention, this position also comes with various benefits for student ambassadors besides the experience to represent a globally-known multinational conglomerate. Through the program, students will be given the chance to bring an idea to life as we encourage them to try out their own creative ways to advocate for INSIDE LVMH, be it just by word-of-mouth, or by employing social media, we want to empower students through this initiative by letting them know that their opinions and ideas matter. Working together with the company will also be a great resume booster for any job-hunting student, especially when the job market is getting more competitive each year. In addition, ambassadors also get the opportunity to take the INSIDE LVMH Certification program where they get to enjoy the modules offered by the program and get another certificate added to their portfolio when they complete it.
4. What do you like about INSIDE LVMH? Why do you recommend it and why do you think it will benefit students in Japan?
What I like about INSIDE LVMH is its inclusivity and its enriching content from the actual experts at LVMH and professors from prestigious universities. Many people have the image of the luxury industry as exclusive and mysterious, assuming some sort of special skills or experiences are required. Still, INSIDE LVMH is an entirely inclusive platform where anyone interested in luxury sectors can learn about this industry’s fundamental keys and the challenges they are facing. And the contents in this platform are undeniably high quality lectured by great professors from top universities in Europe and experts at LVMH. This learning experience is only possible by a company like LVMH, the most significant leader in the industry with many networks. And we can really see that LVMH wants to support you to better understand the reality of the professional world and gain the keys to thriving personally and professionally.
5. What is it like working as project managers? How do you think this internship at LVMH differs from others?
This internship at LVMH is a far cry from fetching coffee or doing mere grunt work. Though we are only interns, as project managers, we are given near full control of our project from the planning stage throughout all decision-making. While it is quite intimidating to be given the reins in a project within such a prominent firm in the luxury industry, it feels extremely gratifying to be given such trust and confidence.
Currently, we are managing a student ambassador program with over 100 students representing over 25 universities and colleges across Japan. We aim to share the benefits of INSIDE LVMH to hundreds and thousands of students and young talents. Our hope is to create momentum, longevity and a legacy for the INSIDE LVMH program both locally and globally.
We are all able to take initiative and lead this project to its fullest potential with the help of our mentor, Naomi Takase. We have also gotten inner peeks into LVMH through meetings with executives and teams from LVMH Paris. To put simply, this internship is intensely immersive and though it has only been a month since the DARE event, I feel as though I have a far clearer view of the luxury business.
Samantha A. Wutuh