1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Met THE most amazing people, had the time of my life in London and woke up looking forward to going into work every morning. The work was challenging but it was something I felt comfortable expressing my opinions on. You truly felt part of the team.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
As I said before, I met the most amazing people at L'Oreal. Everyone was extremely nice, my boss was an absolute angel and I got on with the majority of people. Nearing the end of my placement, my brand merged with another and so we had to move floors. It was hard to get on the same relationship level with my new colleagues but I really valued the people I met and still keep in touch with many.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was absolutely phenomenal. She understood everything that I wanted/needed and pushed me when I needed to be pushed. She could read me like a book! I loved being able to do things that I enjoyed for the brand and she made the effort to make sure I was. At L'Oreal, you have three meetings to discuss your performance over the year. At the start internship review, Mid year review and End of year review. This gave you and your manager the opportunity to discuss your wants from the year as well as see how well you are doing.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Constantly busy with always something to do - but the work was a great balance of fun and 'boring' jobs.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
You truly felt like you were running the show! As an intern, you have to project manage to the best of your ability - and more! You are given many responsibilities and you had to make sure you were organised to the max! For example one hour you could be working on outsourcing a christmas coffret and the next you could be sharing ideas for a new launch next year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Absolutely skills for life - I have become so much more organised as well as can summarise everything I read so much more easily now. I feel more confident in what I am writing and can refer to real business experiences in my essays.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
At times, everyone needed to knuckle down but there was always someone you could rely on to have a chat to or a laugh with. The people were generally very nice and were always up for a laugh.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Extremely well - as I said before, L'Oreal have a system in place which makes sure you have a meeting with your manager at the start of your internship, mid-year and end-of-year in order to feedback to HR how you are getting on. At the beginning of the year, an internship committee was set up which gave us a voice and seamless communication with HR. Every week, I had a catch up with my manager who helped me make sure my priorities were correct.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At Christmas time, the brand decided to put some of the staff from head office on the shop floor in department stores instead of hiring in people from agencies. This was hard work but it was a lot of fun seeing the brand from an employee point of view as well as getting feedback from customers to send back to head office. The training was very brief and it all happened very quickly but you learned on the go.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I loved the company and miss it very much. You have to be a very strong individual to work here with a strong work ethic. I don't think you would work here if you wear your heart on your sleeve. It is a very hard company but the people make it worth it.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
At the very beginning, a social sec was organised. However, a few months in, he left and that was it for the whole year. We didn't socialise a lot during the year which was a big shame but I hear the cohort of replacement interns now have it figured out and are having a lot of fun.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The canteen is subsidised which made it a bit cheaper to eat lunch in, however, it didn't compare much to going outside to Pret or Wasabi (L'Oreal favourites!). Hammersmith has loads of bars/pubs and your typical restaurants (Byron, Nandos, Bills...) The Queen's Head is where it all starts!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn't spend enough time in Hammersmith nightlife to be able to give a full review on it but we had some great afternoons/evenings in Queens Head
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities but nothing worth shouting about - I think there were a couple of sports groups.