After graduation as a History major with a French minor, Ilsa worked as a nanny in Paris, got an MA in History in England, and taught English in Poland. Then she decided it was time to start earning a living! "After about a year of temp work, I landed an administrative role in the UK sales office of Givaudan, the largest fragrance and flavor manufacturer in the world. When I started I knew nothing about the industry, but my English and French skills set me up for success to work with French and American development centers, and to learn all about perfumery." That experience motivated her to found her own company, Ilsa Fragrances.
Thinking about how a history major prepares you for an unpredictable career path and future success, she says "The biggest thing is to have transferable skills. How can you use the skills you learn in your program to answer big questions in the workforce? For history students, we do research and data analytics to make conclusions. Those skills are absolutely necessary in sales and marketing for answering questions like - where do we go next? What is selling now and how can we do better? As a researcher, you have to analyze all the data available to understand the gaps and complete the full picture of history, and one of my favorite parts of sales is finding those merchandise gaps to create a killer product and increase sales."