Meet Jessica, Chief of Staff
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Every journey begins with a single step. My journey with Richemont...
...started with an internship at the Richemont office in London, the summer before starting my final year at university. As an intern, I was part of the team responsible for the development of Purdey's digital flagship. I worked closely with the project manager, liaising between the Maison and technical teams, as well as on ad hoc tasks and reports for the team. A two day ‘discovery’ programme was organized for the interns, which offered us a small insight into the inner workings of the Maisons. We visited the Purdey factory and the head offices of Dunhill, Chloé and Lancel. This opportunity to enter the workshops, and see the creative processes developing in the hands of expert craftsmen, was inspiring. Looking back, it is easy to pinpoint this experience as the moment when my aspirations became set on working behind the curtains of the Maisons.
From intern to Chief of Staff...
Following the summer internship, I was delighted to be introduced to the Jaeger-LeCoultre UK team. From the beginning, I was determined to throw my all into every task, opportunity and project I was given. Given the streamlined structure and encouraging dynamic of the team I was exposed to all aspects of the business, from media buying and implementation, to training and retail report consolidations. The self-starting, enterprising atmosphere of the Maison – itself a marker in creativity and innovation – allowed me to flourish and install myself as an integral part of the team. Keen to develop my skills further, I joined the Montblanc UK team as Marketing Manager (one floor above my previous team) to work on a more complex product portfolio and distribution. Here the task was even more complex, working across the retail, wholesale and digital teams with the objective of aligning communications with our clients. The pace and range of challenges meant I was constantly learning – evolving the understanding of our digitally savvy, internationally based clients.
Having expressed my desire to explore opportunities within the group, but outside the UK, from the outset, after 2 years with Montblanc I started the mobility process. Supported by the central and UK teams both within Montblanc and Richemont I was introduced to Eric Vallat, Head of F&A, who offered me the chance to work as his temporary Chief of Staff. With this move, I changed country, entity and role, and have developed my scope from operationally focused to a more strategic perspective. Our travel is primarily focused in Europe (London, Paris, Hamburg and Florence) to visit the F&A Maisons, but I have also travelled to the Middle East and China for market visits.
My journey so far has been stimulating and challenging in equal measures. The experiences I’ve accumulated within the different Maisons and Richemont teams continue to shape my perspective, and I look forward to seeing what the next five years will bring!
No matter how diverse our backgrounds, education and experiences, there is incredible synergy that can be built around a shared mission.
The international appeal of the Richemont group, and the range of people I work with, continues to excite me. What impresses me is that, no matter how diverse our backgrounds, education and experiences, there is incredible synergy that can be built around a shared mission. Some of the most demanding projects I have worked on have revealed new levels of team identity and integration, in turn eliciting an even deeper passion for the success of both the project and Maison.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I have made some of my closest friends while working at Richemont, as well as meeting a number of incredible mentors who have helped and encouraged me to forge my own path. Seeing my colleagues, and friends, evolve and move through the Group, changing countries and Maisons, makes me proud to be part of Richemont and to have shared those first years in our working careers together.
From London to Annecy, France
Definitely! Aside from adapting to a new way of life, from London to Annecy in neighboring France where I live, I think I have developed a more international outlook. The opportunities available continue to excite me, and I have enjoyed delving into aspects of the group which I had not originally considered, furthering my digital learning for example.
I'll never forget that episode with the dogs in Hyde Park
Ha! Having packed the last of my belongings and waved them off in a moving truck, I was horrified as it dawned on me that I had dispatched the keys to my new flat in one of the many boxes. It’s funny now, but not so much when it happened. I had no choice but to grab a hire bike and chase down the relocation van, only possible thanks to heavy London traffic, and have it pull over in Hyde Park for me. Box after box was deposited onto the grass and the contents of wrapping paper, clothes, smalls, bags and shoes were splayed out in disarray. If this wasn’t bad enough, I had company. The park is always full of energetic, inquisitive and not always so well behaved dogs and today was no exception. A pair of Jack Russell terriers had noticed my ‘situation’ and arrived at great speed and in a state of heighted expectation and excitement. The spectacle, of my possessions scattered across the pavement with a couple of very excited little dogs attempting to pack themselves into my boxes of clothes, certainly roused interest amidst the passing train of tourists. Nonetheless, the keys were recovered and my small, yet dramatic, experience of #parklife (so well expressed in Blur's theme song) seemed a fitting end to the London chapter of my life.
*Since the publishing of this post, Jessica has transitioned to a new role as SWM E-Business Project Manager.
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