Alumna Kelly Morales Offers Insight into the Beauty Industry
Alumna Kelly Morales shares her best tips about working in the beauty industry
By: Jacqueline Borrego
Today’s alumni spotlight shines onto 2014 graduate Kelly Morales. Morales majored in communication studies and minored in graphic design. Soon after graduating, she worked as a content marketer for PeerSpace. After exploring other opportunities, she decided to go back to school to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and study merchandise marketing. Currently, Morales works as the merchandise coordinator for Sephora.
Q: What sparked your interest in studying communication studies?
Kelly Morales: I was interested in majoring in communication studies after I took an Asian communication class with Professor Evelyn Ho. I enjoyed being able to understand the reasons behind why we communicate the way we do. I also thought it would be useful for any career path I decided to take.
Q: How did you start working in the beauty industry?
Kelly Morales: I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty. However, I never really thought about it as a career path until after graduation when I was doing more research on what I really wanted to do. I got my start in the beauty industry by landing in internship at a natural skincare company. By having that on my resume, beauty companies were more willing to hire me because I had knowledge about working in the industry.
Q: Can you explain your role as a merchandise coordinator at Sephora? What does your normal day at Sephora looks like?
Kelly Morales: I work specifically with Sephora’s Canadian site. My role involves working aside the buyers of Sephora and beauty brands in order to get all the assets needed to make merchandise go live on our website. I also work closely with the email marketing team to make sure all merchandise is labelled and merchandised correctly. Every day is a little different! One of my main roles is to problem solve, so if there is something that isn’t live on time on our website or our products don’t look as they should, I’m the person that resolves these issues.
Q: Why did you decide to attend FIDM?
Kelly Morales: After graduating, I had a job doing content marketing. After having this job, I soon realized that it wasn’t what I was interested in. However, my mom attended FIDM, and I decided to check out its website. I looked into its merchandising program and decided to give it a shot. It was only a yearlong program since I had already completed my undergraduate degree at the University of San Francisco. I decided to go into merchandising because I believe that merchandise is important for every company. I learned a lot in a year, and it helped me get the position I’m in now.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far and how did you overcome it?
Kelly Morales: My biggest challenge, so far. was knowing where I wanted to go in my career. It can be a scary thought for any recent graduate because you don’t know what direction you want to move into. I think it’s all about taking a chance and following your gut. Before I started working at Sephora, I was working at a small beauty startup, and I thought I was going to work there for a while. However, an opportunity with Sephora came up and the thought of moving to a bigger company was really scary. In the end, it’s all about taking a chance.
Q: What tips can you offer to students hoping to work in the beauty industry?
Kelly Morales: I think it’s important to get your foot in the door somewhere, even if it means getting an unpaid internship or a part-time retail position in the beauty industry. A lot of beauty companies are looking that that type of knowledge. You don’t need to be a beauty fanatic. However, it’s important to have passion and willingness to learn, especially for an entry-level position.
For more information on Kelly Morales, please refer to her LinkedIn profile here.