Today’s Notable Young Professional is Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint-Laurent Beauty and L’Oréal Fragrances Communications Leader Sarah Orlando, who made a major decision to change her personal and professional life in 2009 that has been one of the most rewarding in her life so far…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
My job is about building relationships. The beauty industry is saturated and very fast-paced, so it is essential to understand the media landscape and those curating it. As Communications Leader for Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint-Laurent Beauty and all L’Oréal Fragrances, my days consist of introducing the media to our newest collections while suggesting products that I feel resonate well with their readers. Now having gotten to know one another personally, we understand our respective goals and work together to figure out the best medium through which to accomplish them. Like any relationship, it just won’t work if it isn’t genuine.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I love meeting people, as I truly believe it is the best learning platform – everyone has a story! L’Oréal as a company is constantly moving forward. More importantly, all of my colleagues are engaged, motivated, inspired; I’ve always wanted to be in an environment that fosters creativity and opportunity. My job in public relations allows me to network, learn, travel, and connect with people on the regular.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I get to work with some of the most iconic brands, the groundbreakers. The thorough thought process behind each collection is absolutely inspiring! The most challenging part: not keeping the products all to myself.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
As YPs, we feel that our worth is determined by our success at work – and nothing else. I love my job but I do have many other interests that I’d like to dive into a lot deeper than I have. It’s a work in progress but I think we’d all be more engaged if we stopped trying to brand ourselves as just one thing. Let’s face it: that to-do list we all have will never actually end.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This has always been the one question I have trouble answering. Five years is a long time. I’d rather hone in on the now and allow life’s opportunities to guide me along the way.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
2009 was one of the most challenging years of my life, both on a personal and professional level. I was working at a job that I knew in my gut wasn’t for me but the comfort it offered was hard to ignore. I finally pulled the plug the day I got promoted (I know, right?), ‘upset’ a few people, and promised myself I would try different industries over the next few years. I did exactly that, meeting incredible people along the way, and I am so happy I did.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success isn’t about a title or an award – it’s about consistency. It’s about being the best version of you, personally and professionally. Success is being real with everyone you cross paths with, including yourself (if not most importantly). And no, money most definitely does not equal happiness.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I don’t think there is one specific moment to isolate. Every day has its highlights. I try to focus my energy on the little things; they add up pretty quick!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I feel awkward offering advice as I feel that I myself have just begun my journey! But I guess I would say that it is impossible to make everyone happy. We have to learn to be selfish at times and make decisions based on, and only on, what we want. I am still coaching myself on this one, but it really is the key to building a life that we want to wake up to every single day.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Oh man. Toughest question – I LOVE to eat! Being a vegetarian, I am a bit more selective. There are a few great veggie spots in MTL, one of them being Aux Vivres. Their tempeh burger is amazing. And if the soup of the day is mushroom, do yourself the favour! A classic go-to, however, would have to be Bottega. Two other favourites are Satay Brothers and Icehouse – good ol’ comfort food that isn’t fast food. As you can see, it’s a bit hard for me to narrow it down to one!!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I love to read. I love to cook. And I will never refuse a night in with my man, watching a great movie! (insert sigh here).
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
California is definitely at the top of my list. Its laid-back energy is infectious.
#1 on my bucket list: Africa. My parents went to Kenya as a young couple and slept at the foothills of the Kilimanjaro. Ever since I saw those pictures as a little girl, I have been itching to go.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
One by U2.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Walking dogs in California.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
A few years ago I sat on a committee of driven young adults to plan an event in support of Hope & Cope; it is a wellness center in Montreal, which opens its doors to anyone battling cancer. The event, Denim & Diamonds, raises funds specifically for the Young Adult Division (those aged 18 to 35). The cause is extremely important as only 10% or less of all funds raised for cancer research in Canada go towards our age group.
Another organization that I support and respect is PETA. Yes, I’m an animal lover. Yes, I’m a vegetarian. But PETA, to me, represents so much more than that. It’s about being human and humane. It’s about respecting one another – even when we don’t fully understand each other. It’s about being conscientious.
What to you is notable?
Being a good person, no matter what.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone, no doubt! But I am a sucker for a hand-written note. Taking pen to paper is too rare these days.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)