1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I loved every minute of my time at L'Oreal. The culture is fast-paced, dynamic and some would say chaotic but that is what makes it such an exciting and challenging environment to be in. No two days were the same and I was given hands on responsibility and the opportunity to manage my own projects from the outset. As an Intern you are working with some of the top marketers in the UK who are so passionate about what they do, this is both inspiring and an invaluable learning opportunity. I developed a real understanding of the corporate environment, marketing and the beauty industry which has put me in a strong position for when I begin my career as a graduate.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
At L'Oreal Interns are not treated as a typical Intern, they are treated as fully operation members of staff and their level of responsibility reflects this. I always felt valued by the rest of my team and knew that the work I was producing was a key element to the success of the brand that I worked on.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I received plenty of support and guidance throughout the year. I had weekly catch-ups with my manager to discuss my projects and deadlines for the forthcoming week. The rest of the team were also very supportive if I had any questions or needed help. The 'MAP' form which is used by all employees at L'Oreal to review their performance bi-annually was also helpful for providing guidance on my strengths and weaknesses. You meet three times a year with your manager and also HR to discuss your progress so far and areas of improvement if you want to benchmark for the graduate scheme. This proved invaluable for my professional development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As a member of a very small and stretched team I was constantly busy and often the workload could be unmanageable making things a little stressful. However the type and variety of tasks meant that nothing was ever boring and all members of the team worked together to make sure everything was delivered on time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As soon as you join your team there are tasks that need to be completed and you are required to start delivery immediately. This is challenging but means you pick up the skills you need fast. As mentioned above you are given responsibility and projects that are genuinely vital to the success of your brand.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have returned to University much more focused as I now know that I definitely want to pursue a career in marketing. The skills I learned on placement will be invaluable when I begin my graduate role.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office has a real 'buzz' about it. It is always busy, something new and exciting is always happening and its a really creative environment to be in. All the staff are really friendly too. The only negative is that things could get a little tense during very busy periods.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was structured well, all Interns received an initial induction and relevant training. There were regular catch-ups with HR throughout the year but the team were available for help or to discuss any issues whenever you needed them. The graduate scheme internal application process was very strenuous but again this was an efficient and well-organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Apart from the initial basic excel & outlook training, there were no 'official' training courses or programmes as such. However the extent and diversity of each role meant that you were constantly developing new skills and learning on-the-job.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing. The Management Trainee Scheme is an amazing opportunity because you are given the opportunity to rotate around the different divisions and various roles within the company. This means that not only do you gain a wide variety of skills and understanding but you can also make an informed decision about which direction to take your career. The only negative is that you are not guaranteed a job at the end of the scheme, although most graduates are offered an operational role.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Great social environment especially as there were over 100 interns which means there is plenty of people to make friends with. My team were also social, we did lots of things together outside of work too.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Hammersmith is relatively cheap and has really good transport links to the rest of central London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There isn't much in Hammersmith in terms of nightlife but there is a few good pubs for after work drinks.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. We set up a netball team and some of the male Interns set up a football team. There were a few organised socials such as the sports day on Hyde Park and the intern leaving party and we organised a lot of our own socials on the weekends. The L'Oreal christmas party and the Luxe christmas party were also great fun.