Student Natalie Noble is Proud To Work For Unilever As They Donate $20M in Products & Services in the U.S. Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Natalie Noble came to FIDM with her Bachelor’s degree in Business from Cal State Fullerton. Now in her final quarter at FIDM, earning her Professional Designation Degree in Beauty Marketing & Product Development, she loves her internship in global product innovation at Dermalogica, an LA-based skincare brand owned by Unilever who recently donated $20M in products and services in the U.S. to help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We caught up with her to find out more about her FIDM experience, her role at Dermalogica, and what she's most looking forward to when this pandemic is over.
Tell us your industry story and your path to FIDM: I was always obsessed with beauty. Most of my exposure came from magazines, because YouTube wasn’t around yet. That was how I heard about product development as a career, and it was just such a natural choice for me. I heard about FIDM’s beauty program through YouTube when I was in high school. Something clicked, and I met with an advisor to talk about my options. Ultimately, I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration first to save money and have the best opportunities available to me after graduation. It took six years but I’m here, and it’s really gone by so fast.
Tell us about your Dermalogica internship: I am a global product innovation intern for Dermalogica. In December, I submitted my resume to Alex Bruzzese at the FIDM Career Center, who forwarded it to her contact at Dermalogica for a certain position. That position ended up being filled, but I was contacted by the recruiter in January regarding a different position—one in product development. I quickly went in to interview, because PD is my dream position. The process took a while, but I was consistent in communicating with the recruiter. Don't overdo it, but also don't be afraid to communicate your passion and interest in the position.
On a daily basis, I report to several managers within the department and work on individual projects for them. Mostly, I do competitive research, internal product testing, and support development of product concepts. I'm learning how to use a lot of industry-standard databases and technologies. I'm also learning a lot about presentation skills, as I present my findings directly to my supervisors and upper management. Another thing I’m learning is how to showcase my abilities in even the smallest assignment. That’s the biggest thing about internships—there’s always a way to make your mark and go above and beyond what is asked of you.
What are you enjoying most about the beauty industry program at FIDM? A lot of my projects directly tie to what I’m doing at my internship, or have prepared me for it in some way. That shows how in tune FIDM’s program is with what is actually happening in the industry. Director Tina Perez has done a great job preparing courses, and she is a great resource herself.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I want to work within product development in the beauty industry, either skincare or cosmetics. I had two beauty internships before starting at FIDM, so I wasn't coming in with a blank slate. Still, I'm confident FIDM helped me get this current position because of the amazing career center and the projects I was able to present during my interview that proved my aptitude. Also, it was a really competitive position, and getting my resume in the door to hiring managers without the online application couldn't have hurt my chances.
We'd also like to hear how you're coping with the lockdown...
Firstly, I'm super grateful to still have my job. We hear a lot about people becoming master chefs or yoga experts during quarantine, but I think it's important to not feel pressure to be super prolific with your time right now. Yes, there’s time to do a lot more things, which is great, but this is also probably the only chance in our lifetime to slow down for a minute. I cope with the uncertainties and anxiety by still getting ready in the morning, just for myself- even though I don’t “have” to. I know I benefit from having a schedule and structure, and I’ve tried to keep one for myself as best as I can.
What are you doing to stay inspired at home during these challenging times? I love my job, so it's easy to stay motivated for work. I always keep up on the industry and new releases. Other than that, I've been paying special attention to my environment. Being in a studio apartment at this time, it's important to keep things tidy. When I'm surrounded by the things I love, and not a mess, it really lifts my mood. I think it’s also important to do at least one creative thing per day, which for me is usually makeup, cooking, painting, or playing guitar.
How are you showing up for your community, your career, and yourself right now? I'm working as many hours as I can right now to do my part and help everyone in their transition to working remotely. The biggest thing I'm doing for my community—that we all can do—is staying home 99% of the time, and keeping in contact with my friends and family via technology instead of in person. I'm taking care of myself, too, by giving myself necessary breaks, and not being hard on myself. We're all doing our best.
What brands are inspiring you right now, in terms of their response to the needs of the world during this pandemic? I'm really proud to work for Unilever, because I think they are doing a great job of both taking care of their employees while helping the rest of the world. They set an example of how conglomerates can and should give back. They donated $20 million worth of product and services in the U.S. and $540 million worldwide, which is incredible. There’s also many beauty brands that have switched their manufacturing over to making hand sanitizer, which is genius- it meets the needs of the country right now while preserving jobs.
What are you most looking forward to once the pandemic is over? There’s SO much I’m looking forward to. I’ve started making a list of things which helps with keeping my spirits up. I’m lucky to live by the beach, and being inside, I realized I haven’t taken full advantage of that. I want to visit my nephew in Alaska, a trip I had to cancel due to COVID-19. And beyond that, just a return to normalcy—commuting to work, getting an iced coffee at a local shop, and dropping by Ulta to see what’s new.
Anything else you’d like to share? My favorite thing about FIDM is that it matches people to jobs that they actually love. Coming from a university, I didn’t see a lot of passion from graduates. I love my job and career field so much—even with the mundane aspects, I love what I do. Each day I’m excited to get up and go to work, whether my commute is by car or a walk across my apartment. I think everyone should have that experience.
Keep up with Natalie Noble on Instagram @natalienoble_.