Rebecca Susman, Vice President of Clinique North America Marketing, was a self-proclaimed late bloomer when it came to ambition. But, as her career at Clinique evolved, so did her ambition. “I love the challenges, decision making, confronting and solving issues,” she said.It’s not ironic that the greatest piece of advice she received was from her mentor, Agnes Landau, who told her, “Believe you can do more…and go for it.”

“I love a challenge but change is something I don’t naturally look for so this advice and guidance changed my life,” Rebecca added. “It’s believing you can do more but more importantly, it’s going for it that makes all the difference and has led me to this point in my career.”

How did you wind up in beauty?

I was fortunate enough to start at the bottom up at The Estée Lauder Companies many years ago. I am still here…because I love it. I love the challenge, the people, the complexity of the business and the products.

What’s been a defining moment for you?

A few years ago, taking on the role of Vice President of Clinique Global Promotional Marketing after many years of being in the same position, and very soon after realizing that I loved it! I loved the challenge and loved the complexity of my new role.

Best advice you can offer?

Be passionate, be detailed, be flexible, and keep an open mind. What has changed drastically is that you must know the global market, know your customer because she’s smarter and more tuned in than ever, know your competition because they know you. And learn how to multi-task. So much comes at you on any given day — try to do it all with a smile. And very importantly, “lean in.” Get involved and speak up because your opinion matters. You can do it all.

Over the course of your career, what big skill sets have you had to gain that you didn’t anticipate?

For years, I was terrified to speak publicly and almost considered a different career to avoid it. I had to get over that fear and after many sales conferences (too many to count) I’ve learned how to do a pretty good job…although watching Agnes Landau or Lynne Greene give a presentation…I realize I still have a ways to go.