Sunday, July 31, 2011

Visit to the Benefit Cosmetics Headquarters!!

I had the oppurtunity to visit the Benefit Cosmetics headquarters in San Francisco, a.k.a 'Beauty Heaven.' My good friend Mac Witmer is interning there and she invited me to come visit her at the offices. The bubblegum pink walls, glitzy chandeliers, endless amounts of makeup, and basically girly everything made my jaw drop when I entered. It felt so surreal! On top of that,everyone was so warm, polite, and friendly, and greeted me with a smile on their faces! This weekend I went out and purchased the Posietint Cheek and Lip Stain, and They're Real mascara that Mac mentioned and I fell in love! Mac took me on a tour of the office, and below are the pics! : )

LOVE the girly & pink!!

I Benefit Cosmetics!!

With Alison Haljun, the V.P of Consumer Marketing
Working areas
Love this quote! too cute 

Interview with Mac Witmer

1. Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

University of California, San Diego. Majoring in Communications and Minoring in Art History. I think it’s extremely important to find the creative balance in whatever academic pursuit you may take. Additionally, by studying art history (or a second study that taps into your creativity), you are able to fully understand the aspects of communications and marketing. Having a background in art or design enhances your visual perception of things and ability to communicate (verbally and through images).

2. How did you get the opportunity to work as a Marketing and PR Intern at Benefit Cosmetics? 

I knew I wanted a fabulous internship to come home to for the summer in San Francisco. I also knew that Benefit’s corporate headquarters were based in SF. So on a whim, one cold day in November, I checked the career opportunities page on Benefit’s website. Sure enough, there was a post about a Marketing and PR Internship. Unfortunately, this internship was for the upcoming spring (I’d still be at school in San Diego), but I decided to apply and send my resume in anyway. I whipped up a very creative (if I do say so myself) and Benefit inspired cover letter explaining why I was such a Benebabe and why I’d excel in the position. I also explained how I was not interested in a spring position, but rather a summer position. I proposed that if they’d just take the time to meet me over my winter break… they would not be disappointed. The letter was not a traditional cover letter (it wasn’t nearly as professional nor boring), instead I appealed to my audience—the Benefit gals!

Sure enough, the next day my now boss emailed me setting up an interview during the Holiday break. I immediately began preparing. I researched the history of the company, studied all of the products, and read as many articles/blog posts I could. It is extremely important to do your homework before entering an interview. Additionally, I decided to put my graphic design background to good use. Prior to the interview, I created a large inspiration board of sorts to bring with me. Through InDesign, I showcased my fashion/beauty influences, the blogs and beauty books I read religiously, and my over all inspirations. It was like a visual version of my resume. Moreover, it showed off my graphic design and layout skills (something I like to stress in my resume). I used Benefit inspired colors and images to make it truly represent the brand.

Was this inspiration board necessary? 
No, but it was an example of my effective marketing skills and was something to leave with the Benefit gals as a way to remember me (other than just an unidentifiable resume). P.S. I splurged and got it professionally printed considering it was a tabloid size layout… totally worth the $3.00!

3. What is a typical day like for you at the Benefit Cosmetics headquarters??

My tasks change daily, that’s for sure! But on any given day… first, I check email (my personal Benefit account and the overall PR account). Then I do a quick check in with the two women I report to and see what the daily projects will entail or the current status of ongoing projects. Typically, I have anywhere from 4-8 “sends” to do in a day. A “send” is a product send to anyone from beauty editors of magazines to makeup artists to celebrities to publicists. A send will consist of either a specific requested product or group of products or we will send them our newest and best. Sends are extremely important for a cosmetic company, because it is one of the best ways to promote products!

After finishing the sends and getting them up in the mailroom, I could do anything from assisting the PR team with the creation and organization of Press Releases for upcoming products and events to keeping tabs on a list of about 50 blogs that we are frequently featured on. This online scorecard of sorts is called doing “editorial.” 

Because I balance my time between the Marketing and the PR team, I often also have Marketing projects to work on. These projects can be anything from working in Excel to blogging to assisting in the creation of marketing materials.

As glamorous as sending products to celebrities and browsing beauty blogs sounds, the internship also requires its fair share of “grunt work.” In recent times, I’ve completely reorganized the PR Closet (harder than it sounds). I’ve restocked products in the product closet room (and taken inventory), and at any given hour have been sent on a wild goose hunt through the Financial District looking for a specific pink rubber band! The “grunt work” is definitely worth it though ☺. 

4. What is your favorite thing about being a Benefit Intern?

How can I just choose one thing!? This internship has been an amazing opportunity and I am looking forward to seeing my growth within the company—I never want to leave! Benefit is an amazing company because it has a brand culture that cannot be beat. The products are fun, girly, and exciting for a reason… it’s because the people behind them are too! Truly, I work with the most entertaining, smart, and beautiful people!

In addition to my amazing coworkers at Benefit, through this position I have been exposed to nearly every aspect of PR and Marketing. I am learning the difference between the two sectors and coming to find that I prefer one over the other. I am also learning invaluable lessons that can be taught only through work experience (not in the classroom).

And finally, I adore being a Benefit Intern because I adore Benefit products. It’s incredibly rewarding working for and representing a company that you adore and are a loyal customer to.

5. What is your favorite product by Benefit and why?

It’s a tie between two: Posietint Cheek and Lip Stain AND They’re Real Mascara. Posietint is the sister product to Benefit’s first and original product Benetint. It has a pink tint that serves as liquid blush and a lip color! The pink looks very natural and flattering on my fair skin and gives my lips the perfect pop of pink. They’re Real Mascara is our newest launched product and it is easily the best mascara I have ever used. The formula is glossy and long lasting and the mascara brush lengthens and volumizes. After two coats, my lashes look outstanding. More than once I’ve had people come up to me at work and ask if I was wearing false eyelashes to which I responded, “No… They’re Real!”

To learn more about Benefit Cosmetics visit:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel!!! Your post is fantastic!!! Mac is such a lucky girl!!!! I just applied to this position, I REALLY HOPE I GET IT!!!! Wish me luck :)