“As soon as I got to Bentley, I felt like it was my shot to dream big,” Medha Prakash ’22 says. She made a plan for what that dream would look like by creating a vision board. The No. 1 goal? A career in the beauty industry. And that happened in 2022 when she landed a job at global beauty giant L’Oréal.
“I was that girl who would curl everyone’s hair and do their makeup before we would go out in college,” she says. “I would watch Youtube videos on makeup for hours and hours a day. I just knew that beauty is where I wanted to be and once I was at Bentley, I was confident I could combine that with my love for business.”
To kickstart her journey, Prakash did what so many career seekers do: a Google search. She typed queries like “What is the biggest and best beauty brand” and continually landed at L’Oréal.
“That’s when I decided to go for the No. 1, but it wasn’t easy,” says Prakash, a Management major with a concentration in Supply Chain and Operations Management and a minor in Health and Industry. “It took more than one try, and my friends would ask me why I didn’t accept offers at other companies. I told them I wanted to be at the best.”
Confident yet practical, Prakash spent hours researching case studies to prepare and identify ways she could stand out. “I put my head down and tried to think from the perspective of a recruiter,” says Prakash, who leveraged her experience as a recruiting intern in Bentley’s Pulsifer Career Development Center. She also worked closely with the center’s associate director, Paul Stanish.
“Paul uplifted me every single time things didn’t go the way I wanted,” Prakash says. “I don’t know how many times he sat with me to talk about my journey and different ways to apply to job postings and explore what I could do to stand out.”
Persistence paid off when Prakash was hired for a human resources internship in summer 2021 before joining L’Oreal full time as a supply chain analyst after graduation. Among her responsibilities: ordering inventory for more than 9,000 CVS stores in the U.S. for the Consumer Products Division, which includes L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier, Essie, NYX, Thayers, Carol’s Daughter and SoftSheen-Carson.
“My scope is big; I work with brands with many categories like hair care, hair color, cosmetics and skin care, place orders to ensure that all CVS stores in the U.S. maintain products on store shelves, track and report orders and analyze large amounts of data daily,” Prakash says. “Every single day I come into work, I feel good about making an impact. It’s a challenging job, but I’ve learned so much — technical skills like Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint, but also soft skills like building a relationship with my CVS clients. It has been invaluable.”
In her role, Prakash is a liaison for various internal functions and CVS reps, which has presented her with opportunities to combine her analytical and creative sides.
“I really like storytelling, and I get to tell stories through data, let our customer know what is happening with the product and then share recommendations on next steps,” Prakash says. “Effective communication is an art form, and I have a strong passion in utilizing my curiosity to develop innovative solutions to problems in fast-paced environments. I value meaningful conversations.”
Prakash remembers the opportunities she had at Bentley — from studying abroad in Barcelona to dancing with the CRAZE hip-hop crew and a career services internship — but believes the most important takeaway from her time as an undergraduate was experiencing the power of networking. She got ample chances to network as an orientation leader and member of the Women’s Leadership Program, a four-year undergraduate program that enables women to develop skills and strategies for self-advocacy and leadership advancement. Being around successful women, though, wasn’t new to Prakash, whose mother immigrated to the U.S. from India and became an entrepreneur.
“My mother was only 21 when she moved from India to the U.S. after she married my dad,” Prakash explains. “She didn’t speak the language but knew she wanted to support my father and make an impact — and she knew she was good with kids — so she started a daycare business in our neighborhood in California. After a while, some women in the neighborhood were inspired to open their own daycare business, seeing how successful my Mom’s was. It was so inspirational to see her build a community. She taught me about customer service and marketing small businesses, and I grew to love communications and business.”
Prakash started Bentley with plans to major in Finance but says she didn’t connect with the curriculum after taking an introductory course that was part of the General Business Core. After considering Marketing she ultimately decided on Management.
“At the end of the day, I wanted to be a leader, to manage people so I could provide them with resources so that they can be successful,” Prakash says. “I added a concentration in Supply Chain and Operations Management because I wanted to have technical skills to make myself stand out. I wanted to understand business from start to finish and supply chain offered that for me — analytical skills and a global perspective.”
Now, Prakash has achieved the vision board goal she created during college. “I’m living my dream come true. Every time I tell people that I work at L’Oréal, it feels like I made it and all my hard work paid off.”