Joceline Lukman (2001) Sparking Innovation at Chanel
For many years, Joceline Lukman savoured her lunch and soaked up the sun on the Figure 8. Fast forward to today, she holds the esteemed position of Head of Technology Planning and Innovation at Chanel within the Asia Pacific region, all while relishing the stunning views of the Hong Kong skyline. She was kind enough to share her high school highlights with us, her day to day responsibilities, and her biggest piece of advice for students.
Reflecting on your time at Santa Maria College, could you share your favourite subjects in high school and whether you have any memorable moments or highlights?
Physics with Mr Ryan was a hoot! He had a unique talent for bringing the subject to life and ensuring every student was fully engaged. His ability to storytell and make a dull subject fun was quite remarkable. My fondest memory from high school was hanging out with friends on the Figure 8 during lunch, soaking up the sun, taking in the stunning city views, and indulging in way too many fundraiser Freddo Frogs.
Upon graduation, what did you do? Did you always know where you wanted to go and what you wanted to study?
I majored in Engineering and Science at The University of Western Australia. I was not sure about my career path and thought that engineering would give me the most options because of its transversality. After finishing university, I went to Beijing for six months to learn Mandarin. This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I faced new challenges, explored different parts of China, made some wonderful friends (who still remain my closest friends), and grew my network globally.
When completing your honour thesis, what proved to be the most significant challenge, and how did you navigate through such an intense time?
Navigating various priorities posed a constant challenge then, and continues to do so. Balancing the demands of crafting my thesis, engaging in rigorous studies, and fulfilling duties at a casual retail job left me scant time for familial bonds, social connections, or even self-care. The valuable lesson from this experience was the realisation that one can indeed accomplish everything, albeit not simultaneously. Ultimately, I made the decision to step away from my retail position, recognising the imperative to channel my energy towards my thesis, studies, and mental wellbeing. Although it was a temporary adjustment, I embraced the belief that it would be a worthwhile sacrifice for the greater good.
Could you walk us through your journey into the realm of management consulting? What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from this period?
I am very grateful for starting my career in management consulting. It laid out solid foundations in how I work today, gave me exposure to different industries, and helped me learn to view things holistically starting from strategy development to execution.
Now, as Head of Technology Planning and Innovation at Chanel, could you give us a rundown of your key responsibilities or some examples of tasks you may do on a day-to-day basis?
I reside in Hong Kong, where I have been for the past 10 years. My current role involves developing our technology and digital strategic plans and fostering a culture of innovation and experimentation for the Asia-Pacific region.
Like most desk jobs, most days are not very exciting, to be honest. I spend a lot of time in meetings to review the progress of initiatives, have catch-ups with my team members, develop PowerPoint decks, and answer emails.
However, I have had the chance to travel across the globe for work so that I can collaborate with colleagues and learn more about different cultures and luxury. There have been many magical moments such as visiting Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment.
In your role, how do you foster a culture of continuous learning and skill development within your team?
I encourage my team to connect and speak with people across the organisation, and especially the end users. User experience is incredibly important, especially in retail.
Taking a more personal turn, what are your favourite hobbies?
I have two young daughters, and right now my priority is to spend a lot of quality time with them. There will be a point when they are older and realise I am uncool and they will not want to spend time with me! Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland on the weekends is one of our favourite pastimes.
Other than that, I enjoy reading, hiking and travelling – being based in Hong Kong has a lot of travel perks. We are just one hour from Taiwan and three hours from Japan.
What is your biggest goal for 2024?
Last year, my priority was my mental health; this year, I am focused on my physical health – I am training for my old lady body. I am also planning a trip to South Africa without the kids, and so my biggest personal goal is to get over the mum guilt!
Based on your experiences, what is your advice to students?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. You need to be a little uncomfortable to learn. If you can go abroad and immerse yourself in a foreign culture, do it – you will learn more about yourself and the world than books or the classroom can ever teach you.
We would like to thank Joceline for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share her amazing career trajectory with us. She remains a testament to the importance of seeking further outside your comfort zone, as new experiences can lead to amazing things and places.