On October 8th and 9th, hundreds of Tulane students were lucky enough to hear from Marianne Diorio, this year’s Executive in Residence. Diorio, who is Tulane’s first female Executive in Residence, spent thirty years at the Estee Lauder Companies as the SVP of Global Brand Communications and Corporate Image. She’s also the mother of one of our very own writers here at The Crescent, Tiki Wojcik! We sat down with Marianne to talk all things beauty, business, and being a boss.

During her lecture, aptly titled “Confessions of a Beauty Boss: Career and Life Hacks From a Global Lipstick Maven,” Diorio outlined her path to success. After graduating from Wesleyan College, she started at Conde Nast, one of the magazine world’s largest publishing companies. After spending time at Vogue and Brides, she realized her passion lied in beauty. One thing led to another, and she eventually ended up heading the team that worked to build the massive global image of the Estée Lauder Companies and its many brands.

Marianne stressed that your career belongs to you, and you have the power to make it whatever you want. She says to “treat your career like a story—you are the author.” Though her career wasn’t without a few bumps in the road, she got to where she is today by asking for what she wanted and proving that she was the best fit for the job. “It’s important to trust your gut instinct” when deciding what to do post-grad and beyond; this is definitely advice I will take to heart as I graduate in May! However, Diorio also values having fun along the way and never sacrificing your life for your career. She talked about how proud she is of her daughter, and how she wouldn’t have changed a thing in terms of her life’s timing.

Many people (myself included) have a glamorized image of the fashion and beauty world, but it’s not all fun and games. But at companies like ELC, “it’s a huge business that requires strategic thinking and hard, unglamorous daily work.” Being business-minded and knowing how to persuade those in power to see your vision is extremely important in the field of marketing and communications. In addition, as the beauty industry continues to shift with the use of influencers and new indie brands, Diorio thinks there is huge value in diversity. She urges anyone aspiring to work in the field to “think globally and through the lens of appreciating diversity.”

Marianne Diorio will be back on campus to have one-on-one meetings with students on November. For more information, you can reach out to Byron at bkantrow@tulane.edu!

About Ally Frankel

Ally Frankel is the former editor of our Fashion and Beauty team, now the EIC. As one of the founding members of The Crescent, Ally loves the Crescent City almost as much as her hometown of Philadelphia. She loves to shop, read, eat raw cookie dough, and watch crime documentaries.