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Miaoran Cheng
Miaoran Cheng

Product and packaging manager at Typology

How did you find your career path?

At the very beginning, I'd say it took me a while to find out what really attracted me. The programme I was doing at the school was a combination of communications and marketing.

So I had a lot of choices in terms of career opportunities after my studies.

My first choice was the luxury goods and Champagne sector, which really appealed to me. I thought it would be easy for me to find a marketing position in the luxury sector.

I then spent a year and a half working for a start-up as part of a business challenge programme organised by the School. After that experience, I decided to switch from marketing to purchasing. This enabled me to combine marketing with negotiation. 

My second experience was in a company that designs and manufactures promotional items. This was a very competitive field, so I was able to apply my negotiation skills.

After these two experiences, I realised that what I really liked was product development, and that's what led me to the job I have today.

When I started my professional career, it was really difficult to find the ideal job. But I was keen to explore different types of job related to the specialism I had studied during my programme at the School. And I finally found my way into product marketing.

A first job thanks to the School

I got my first job thanks to a business challenge I carried out as part of my course. The founder of the start-up was present throughout the challenge, i.e. for 2 months. 

She really appreciated the work I did as part of the challenge. So she offered me an end-of-year internship with her company. I immediately accepted her offer because it was going to be a rich experience. What's more, it's not often that a company comes to you with a direct offer of a work placement.

So I did my placement with the company, followed by a fixed-term contract and finally a permanent contract.

Discovering the world of Champagne

When I joined the company, I started by studying everything there was to know about Champagne, in particular everything there was to know about the 'Champagne' appellation. 

After this introduction, I started looking for commercial outlets for the brand in Europe and China.

I worked on developing Champagne exports to these destinations.

The company didn't just sell Champagne. It also offered customised blends for other brands. So I canvassed a lot of customers on behalf of the brand. For a year and a half, I was in charge of champagne sales and product development.

That's when I discovered that I was totally passionate about product development.

At the time, it was quite difficult to export this product to a developing country like China. A lot of resources had to be put in place to inform consumers there. It was quite complicated to find the right sales mechanisms. 

That's one of the reasons why I left the luxury sector to join a field that was more accessible to this target group of consumers. Initially, I was very attracted to this sector, but I realised that it didn't correspond to my career aspirations. 

Getting out of your comfort zone

I think I'm a pretty brave person who's not made to stay in my comfort zone. That's why I've been studying and working in France for nearly 7 years now. 

I also wanted to challenge myself by moving from one business sector to another and exploring different professions. At the same time, I've changed town each time: Besançon, Caen, Lille and Paris. 

I don't want to spend my life in the same job or in the same town. It's in my DNA to move around. 

There always comes a point where I know I have to change. So I take my courage in both hands and tell myself that I need to put an action plan in place and get going!

My first steps at Typology

This company was set up by a Chinese man who came to France when he was very young. I joined as product and packaging development manager.

From the outset, I had in mind to explore the Chinese market when I'd been with the company for 2 or 3 years. There's an enormous amount to do with China. 

It's a leading 100% online cosmetics brand in France. I thought it was a really ambitious project, which is why I wanted to work on it.

Being in tune with the spirit of your company

Corporate values are extremely important to me. I want to be able to find meaning in my work. 

It's also important for me to work in a diverse, open-minded environment. When I saw Typology's mindset, I was immediately attracted by the fact that the company holds B Corp certification and is very committed to sustainable development. 

All the product formulas developed by the brand are completely vegan.

I think that every company in the world should take its share of responsibility when it comes to CSR.

During the Covid period, I thought a lot about this issue. I came to the conclusion that it was better to focus on protecting the planet rather than the economic aspect.

Moving to Paris

If I had known 5 years ago, I would have gone straight to Paris. There are so many opportunities in this city, far more than any other in France.

I could have found a job even faster and developed my career even further. But I have no regrets about the experience I've accumulated over the last five years, because it has enabled me to move forward and get the job I have today.

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