Here is the team that got us to Paris. Can’t think of a better team!

Free things are often the best kinds of thing. Think free food and free pens during exhibitions. How about I let you in on my little secret of getting a free trip to Paris? Follow these 2 “simple” steps:

Step 1: Enrol yourself in a 6-month long competition which promises a said free trip to Paris if you manage to pass through 3 rounds of competition on the semi-finals,  national finals, and regional finals.

Earlier in January, my classmates and I were sitting in our school’s cafe (The Cake Shop), discussing about how SUTD students should join more competitions to gain exposure. There, I was introduced to “L’Oréal Brandstorm 2017“.

This case competition was asking for ideas to innovate in the field of men’s cosmetics. Specifically, L’Oréal Men Expert. Then, I recalled that my sister has a diploma in cosmetics science.

It was that moment where my sister, her friend, Chernis (who also studies cosmetics), and I formed LUMOS to take on the world of men’s cosmetics, determined to win ourselves a free trip to Paris.

Step 2: Work relentlessly day and night, and also pull many all-nighters with the free trip in mind.

There are hardly things in life that are actually free. Ok, maybe free food in SUTD where walking along a random corridor can yield free breakfast. #onlyinSUTD

Getting back to the point, our trip to Paris was anything but free. It started innocently as a submission of 3 slides that described our idea. Before we knew it, we burned many midnight oils and rigorously worked on our idea both at home and at L’Oréal’s office.

Throughout my journey, this is the most intensive competition I have gotten myself into. This competition  saw us, 3 science and engineering students, present a full marketing plan to the top management in L’Oréal, SPH and Google where we presented on the magnificent stage in Google Asia Pacific no less!

With some luck and a lot of hard work, our team managed to pass all 3 rounds of selections and got selected from a pool of roughly 15,000 participants to compete internationally in Paris!

Parting thoughts: So here you go! The 2 simple (read: exhaustive) steps to get yourself a free trip to Paris. 

Previously, I mentioned that hardly anything is free, and that is probably true. In retrospect, through this  6 months, I learnt a tremendous amount about the cosmetics industry (most importantly, to not use public toilet hand soap to wash my face), and new skills such as marketing and illustrator.

So, if I count that as money earned….. Undoubtedly, this is a free trip after all.

Till next time!

Hei Kern

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