Elsa Casaliggi - Senior brand manager Europe, Middle East & Africa, Waterwipes
A decisive internship
For my end-of-studies internship I joined Evian, part of the Danone Group, as Global Innovation Manager where, for 6 months, I had the opportunity of managing a multidisciplinary project team.
I then worked for Danone Belgium where I had a role much closer to the sales side…Trade Marketing Manager & Category Manager. This was a pivotal role between sales and marketing, and crucial for understanding the functioning of, and issues surrounding, the management of a brand and a business. At the same time, I learnt to master ﬁgures, an essential skill if you wish to progress in the marketing world! Don’t worry, anyone can grasp numbers… it just needs a little practice.
After 2 years with Danone, I worked as Brand Manager for Panzani in Belgium.
As manager, I was responsible for my brand on a day-to-day basis as well as ensuring its development. After spending nearly 4 years in Belgium, I have just begun a new adventure in Dublin as Senior Brand Manager for Waterwipes Europe, Middle East & Africa where I will carry out international marketing and develop a brand, and its sales, in several countries.
Many experiences, memorable...
The international experiences of La Rochelle’s BBA allowed me to mature much quicker... they made me more autonomous and self-reliant. They really do help you when making life choices. They expand your range of possibilities so that the world seems a smaller, more easily accessible place... they expose you to other cultures and enable you to the see the world in a different way. There is the ‘before Elsa’ and the ‘after Elsa’.
My ﬁrst expatriation experience was at only 19 years old when I headed to Chile alone to take up a marketing internship in an industrial robotics company in Santiago. Expatriation is also about travelling: in Peru… the night climb to Machu Picchu remains one of my most poignant memories, in Australia… the ﬂuorescent algae at Fraser Island was a magic moment, and in Chile… marvelling at the stars of the southern hemisphere over the Atacama Desert.
… and a differentiating!
The compulsory 2 years of international expatriation, in particular my professional experiences, is my greatest strength and even now, having ‘Chile’ and ‘Australia’ on my CV still generates a positive reaction!
The main skills I have acquired are… a great capacity for adaptation, ﬂexibility, an ability to listen and an openness to the world and to others.
All this has had a very positive impact on my career. Even today, my experience never ceases to impress, interest and intrigue people. It also reassures recruiters because someone who knows about working abroad, is someone who also knows how to adapt to the different characters that they will encounter in the business world.