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Top Beauty Execs on Dream Jobs Outside of the Industry – WWD

Top Beauty Execs on Dream Jobs Outside of the Industry – WWD

I’ve always been passionate about helping women succeed and am grateful to be in a field that allows me to live my passion every day. While I love being in beauty, If I had to choose a different profession, it would be to lead a nonprofit organization focused on providing support and resources to help women advance and better their lives. I strongly believe we can all realize our dreams if given the chance and opportunity, and to be in a position to help others find success through a rewarding career is not only deeply fulfilling on a personal level, but can also make a significant impact on the world. — Kecia Steelman, president and chief operating officer, Ulta Beauty

I would absolutely be a full-time fitness expert. I am a certified indoor cycling instructor and I was recently teaching weekly at Byklyn in Brooklyn. My second dream job (because beauty is still my first!) would be teaching full-time and being an overall fitness instructor teaching various classes — I love to move my body and encourage others to do the same. — Tiffani Carter, chief marketing officer, Danessa Myricks Beauty

I would be an educator. The ability to communicate, connect and enable others to grow in their knowledge, skills and understanding is powerful. Educators engage in this practice daily, and similarly, impactful executives do as well. — Reuben Carranza, group chief executive officer, Amika, Eva NYC, Ethique

If I weren’t a cosmetics executive, I would love to be a grade school teacher. Having my own kids and building Proudly, a brand dedicated to babies, has made me realize that centering my career in children is a special privilege, and being a teacher is another way to have an impact on a child’s future! — Pam Cholankeril, president, Proudly

I’d love to be a world-class skier. I love to travel and I love to ski. I could be sponsored by Italian ski companies and be the most chic ski racer in the world! — Alessandra Zorlas, vice president, marketing, EuroItalia


I have a passion for mentoring and would love to have a podcast dedicated to providing business and life advice to young professional women. I love to see women win! — Andrea DiNunzio, general manager, luxury skin care, Coty Inc.

If I wasn’t working in beauty, I would be an influencer. I would love to create a frenzy at the mall, live in a TikTok House and make viral videos with brands. Or I would be a florist, or maybe a floral influencer. I guess at the end of the day, I want to be Martha Stewart. — Drew Elliott, senior vice president, global creative director, MAC Cosmetics

I’ve always loved the idea of being a teacher, from when I was a young girl. It’s a big reason why I’ve taken on an additional role as adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Having the opportunity to learn from my students and to influence and inspire the next generation is gratifying beyond words. — Larissa Jensen, senior vice president, global beauty industry adviser, Circana

If I wasn’t a beauty executive I would likely be a coffee artisan. I love the rituals associated with coffee — it’s how I start and end each day and it brings people together. Plus, the intricate craftsmanship closely ties to what we do in fragrance — specific roasts and extraction techniques reveal different facets of coffee flavors that can be used to craft the ultimate bespoke brew for every connoisseur. — Matthieu Befve, head of fine fragrance, North America, Givaudan

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Elana Drell Syfer

Elana Drell Szyfer

William Perez/

I would work in the art world — gallery, auction house or museum. You can often find me on a Saturday in Chelsea touring a gallery or seeing a new exhibit. I’m also enthralled with the world of marketing art, the buying (and selling) process and the business of art. Boom (by Michael Shnayerson) was a fascinating read and I can’t get enough of the recent saga and legal case about the Wildestein Art fortune. — Elana Drell Szyfer, CEO, RéVive Skincare

New York, New York -  April 19, 2023. Portrait of Jesse Porto photographed in Manhattan. CREDIT: Chad Batka

New York, New York – April 19, 2023. Portrait of Jesse Porto photographed in Manhattan. CREDIT: Chad Batka

Chad Batka

I would work in the field of psychiatry. I like to investigate, and I’ve always been inquisitive and curious. I remember often asking the question “why” as a kid. The process of observation, gathering insights and creating a solution that improves quality of life is something I find rewarding. — Jesse Porto, vice president, global marketing, Algenist

I’ve always had a passion for cooking. Food is my family’s love language and I find great joy and creativity in seeking out new, innovative recipes. I’m so inspired by various ingredients, flavors, colors, textures and putting them all together to create something beautiful for the senses. I’m also quite social and l love design, so I would love to have a small boutique- style, locally sourced kitchen or even a small inn, most likely in the Catskills, where I could curate a beautiful space with unique dishes (and great wine of course!) and share in conversations with interesting people. — Brad Farrell, chief marketing officer, Beekman 102

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