L’Oreal Announces The Most International E-Strat Challenge For 2004 Careers

Business game fast becoming one of the most innovative recruitment tools in the corporate world today

Clichy, October 20, 2003 - L’Oréal, the world’s leading cosmetics company, today launched its fourth annual e-Strat challenge with the announcement that the business competition has become the largest and most international of its type worldwide, with 17 000 students from 82 countries represented in the 2003 edition, and more expected to join them in 2004.

L’Oréal e-Strat challenge allows undergraduate and MBA students throughout the world to put themselves in the shoes of a general manager and experience the passion of running their own cosmetics company. It includes both taking decisions through an internet-based business simulation, and creating a business plan for their company’s future. One thousand teams of three students from 7 geographic zones will compete over a 7 week period. The 14 finalist teams will spend 3 days in Paris in April 2004 to participate in the international finals, where they will “sell” their company to L’Oréal senior executives.

François Vachey, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at L’Oréal said “Recruiting the best talent worldwide is the life-blood of our company; e-Strat Challenge has proved itself to be an extraordinarily powerful tool in testing the ability of potential recruits to think strategically in a highly pressured and competitive environment that is as close as it gets to the real thing. We are already reaping the benefits of this game.”

Since its launch, the L’Oréal e-Strat challenge has provided more than 25,000 students from 800 schools and universities internationally with the opportunity to gain real business experience and test their strategic thinking skills against peers worldwide.

Winning teams have come from countries as diverse as the USA, Turkey, France, Spain, Brazil, India and Poland. In 2003, INSEAD took the ultimate prize in the competition, with second place going to a team from Harvard Business School in the USA and third place to Coppead University, Brazil.

This year is the first year where undergraduate and business school students will compete separately, to allow for fairer competition based on similar levels of education and professional experience.

L’Oréal is in constant search of dynamic young men and women from around the globe with an innovative and strategic business vision. The e-Strat challenge is a means for current students to meet managers from a leading international company and for recruiters to see them in action.

“The e-Strat challenge competition is a highly selective recruitment tool,” says Jean-Claude Le Grand, Director of International Recruitment, “current students put their knowledge and skills to the test and L’Oréal identifies the brightest and most creative, outside of the classroom, in a real business environment.” Since the start of the challenge 3 years ago, 69 e-Strat “gamers” from 32 countries have joined L’Oréal’s team worldwide.

Registration for the e-Strat challenge begins on October 20 (www.e-strat.loreal.com) and lasts for six weeks. Selection will be concluded by December 15 and the competition begins on January 12. The two winning teams receive a one-week trip to the destination of their choice and the unique opportunity of gaining an inside look into the world’s leading cosmetics company.

Press Contacts:
Phone: 01 47 56 76 71
email: [email protected]

Phone: 01 47 56 48 43
email : [email protected]

Further information on L’Oréal e-Strat Challenge available at: www.e-strat.loreal.com