Michelle Frank

Director, Global eCommerce, Harman International (of Samsung)

How did you start working in eCommerce?

I’ve been in this field for about 15 years now. I started my career at Bloomingdale’s. I was doing marketing for their catalog and then their eCommerce site, which had just launched. At that point, they were really just launching their catalogs online. And then they fully transitioned, closing down their catalogue, and just building out a straight eCommerce business.

After Bloomingdales, I worked at Louis Vuitton in marketing, in a CRM role again, and started to transition through email, online, and in-store. At the time, they didn’t call it omnichannel, but that’s what it was: an omnichannel role. And that’s when I started to realize that I wanted to focus solely on eCommerce. That’s what I believed the future was going towards.

Don’t be afraid to take risks and don’t be afraid to fail.

Michelle Frank

Director, Global eCommerce, Harman International (of Samsung)
Michelle Frank

What does your typical work day look like?

I go by the work hard, play hard model. I work crazy hours in Global Business. I’m managing early calls, late calls, different regions, different personalities, and different cultures. You have to love what you do and be passionate about what you do, because you’re going to dedicate so many hours of your personal time.

My work-life balance lies in enjoying the people that I work with. It’s important to be able to step back and have a drink with your colleagues, and get to know them on a personal level, out of the workforce.

What do you love most about your job?

The constant opportunity. The constant change every day, every month, and every year. It’s something new, it’s something exciting. I’m learning so much and continuing to learn. I don’t ever feel like I’m getting stagnant or complacent. Especially working in Global Business — we learn so much about cultural, economical, financial, and legal aspects of different regions.

What advice would you give to others looking to work in the industry?

Don’t be afraid to take risks and don’t be afraid to fail. Failing and making mistakes are your best learning experiences, and with risk-taking comes great rewards.

After Louis Vuitton, I went to Jones Group, which is a fashion retailer. I was doing eCommerce for a few of their shoe brands on their North America site. And then I got presented with this opportunity to join Harman. I didn’t know the brand. I didn’t really know about electronics.

But what I did want to focus on was international experience. I saw that as the evolution of where eCommerce was going to grow, as the US is starting to taper off in its growth. I saw that international was where the next big wave for eCommerce, so I went ahead and took the risk.

What do you think is the next big trend that will define the industry?

Voice. Voice-enabled technology is changing the way that consumers live. And that, ultimately, will change the way we shop.

Are there other women in the industry that you admire & why?

Jennifer Hyman, CEO of Rent the Runway, is a disruptor in the fashion and technology industry. She has paved the way for women in leadership positions, and fights for equality among all her employees.