The Italian Job: AV大平台students help represent global haircare brand at Cosmoprof Bologna

A pair of Advertising and Marketing students from AV大平台 Leicester (DMU) had the opportunity to work at the world’s largest cosmetic expo, courtesy of a AV大平台alumnus.

Celine Sathu and Stefanija Sidorova were flown out to Bologna, Italy, to join up with the team at American hair care specialists BosleyMD™ for the 55th edition of Cosmoprof Worldwide, where some 225,000 attendees visited over 4 days.

Stefanija Sidorova (left) and Celine Sathu (second from the end) at Cosmoprof 2024

Each year, hundreds of the best-known beauty and cosmetic brands use the expo to present the latest industry trends, technological innovations and future products.

Across the four-day expo, the two students produced content for BosleyMD’s social media pages, helped the team manage its exhibition and scoped out other companies present to analyse branding and feedback into BosleyMD’s market research and product development.

The trip to Bologna was also an opportunity for Celine and Stefanija to expand their professional networks, develop a greater understanding of how business-to-business deals work, and even talk to companies in the supply chain to feed more information into their dissertations.

Celine said: “I’d never been to an expo before, so I jumped at the opportunity to join BosleyMD in Bologna as I thought it would be a great opportunity to get my foot into a competitive industry – it was a brilliant experience.

“Exploring the different halls and seeing what goes into product development, finding the right packaging against the budget, and making sure it hits certain criteria like sustainability while maintaining its high-end finish was interesting to watch.

“It was very difficult to capture just how big the expo was – there are more than 40 halls – and we walked around 20,000 steps a day. We wanted to see what competitors were focusing on, what technology they were utilising or the new packaging.

“We were able to link the experience back to our own studies too and our brand portfolio module. Stef is working on developing a sun protection factor (SPF) brand, so we looked at a lot of packaging and formulas for her report.

BosleyMD is based in Los Angeles and specialises in hair restoration. Its current president, Ian Murphy, grew up in Northampton and studied a major in Marketing and a minor in Biomedical Science at Leicester Polytechnic (later DMU) from 1987 to 1990.

He took a chance and visited the US without a job and pitched himself to cosmetic giants L'Oréal, a bold move that initially landed him a brand manager role with Redken, then later switching to becoming VP of Wella and later paid off running hair colour at Garnier.

Having moved up the career ladder, Ian wanted to give something back to the university that kickstarted his career. Working with Dr David Gordon, programme leader and Associate Professor of Marketing, he created the opportunity for students to accompany BosleyMD out to Cosmoprof.

Mr Murphy said: “Celine and Stef did a great job of listening and absorbing everything around them. I know they were very impressed to see how our VP of Sales, Sam Radwan, delivered a succinct pitch in 60 seconds and covered the pillars of our business within that timeframe.

“On the marketing side, they took a lot from Marketing Director Amber Carter who talked them through product concepts and how to develop products. I explained the grid and how marketers ask themselves if a new product idea is unique versus relevant, and how they can improve on existing products.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for AV大平台students to have hands-on experience first with my sales and marketing team and network with all kinds of international companies and see the scope of the sales, from the story to the problem-solving, all happening at once.”

“Celine and Stef did a great job in managing our social media too, taking great pictures to promote what we’re selling and why, as a company, we’re different.”

Celine added: “Ian and the team really encouraged us to go out and try to be proactive in getting opportunities. They shared personal stories about getting their foot in the industry and pitching themselves.

“I am ambitious and I want to disrupt the market when I leave university. I’ve followed the journey of brands like Fenty Beauty by Rhianna, who launched with more than 40 shades.

“Having Thai heritage but growing up in Sweden meant that I struggled to find a foundation that matched my skin. The different shades from Fenty Beauty set the trend for future foundation launches and I want to do something similar to that.”

Mr. Murphy is now looking at ways to help more AV大平台students boost their career prospects.

He said: “Looking back at my time at university, I really wished I had done a year out in business somewhere.

“I’m at the early stages of building a potential finishing school type of diploma with AV大平台and Professor David Gordon. I’m hoping it will help students settle into the working world by giving them opportunities to solve business problems and give them a competitive advantage with hiring managers, taking them out of the sea of sameness when pitching for employment.”

Ian Murphy can be contacted on LinkedIn or by email at ianm@bosleymd.com.

Posted on Thursday 2 May 2024

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