Digital Intern of PPD at L'Oreal

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Hammersmith Greater London
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999
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The Role



The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

It was a great experience and insight into a MNC. However, i did feel that all interns i worked with were overworked based on their role. Coming into an internship, you expect to be asked to do basic jobs and assist managers and others around you. Whilst it's great we weren't just left to do nothing, I feel we were completely saturated of our abilities, most interns worked over their contracted hours and felt the stress and pressures of their workload. Similarly, the interns and grads that I worked with had almost identical workloads, which I don't believe should be the case considering the difference in salary and 'value' within the workforce


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

By everyone I worked with I felt I was valued and treated with respect - some people relying on my abilities/knowledge for work to progress. I never felt like an 'intern' per-say. However, my some members of staff in higher positions I felt completely undervalued and like I was incapable of completing tasks and was 'worthless' to them. This was hugely apparent when part of my job role was completely taken away from me and given to another intern with no warning to me about how i was performing and no attempt to improve my abilities/knowledge in this area. The job was given to the other intern immediately and I was given varying reasons as to why this had been done - with no clear answer and no way for me to learn/improve from the experience.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

In one brand I worked completely supported by my manager who checked up that I was handling everything ok and all tasks were on track everyday. On the other brand, I was left somewhat to go at my own pace with meetings only weekly at the most. Whilst I worked more closely with other people in the team in the latter brand I felt I could've been more supported to get things done quicker when other people weren't responding and needed some authority to get the tasks done. My line manager became increasingly. distant from me as I became more reliant on the brands specifically rather than the digital team as a whole. I felt I could ask him for support where needed but I felt it was provided rather reluctantly and in haste as he's always busy. I would've preferred to felt part of one team more than being split between 4 with no real 'place' for me as this had consequences on the support I was able to receive.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Far too busy. For an intern, my workload was too much. I've had days where I sat at my computer for 11 hours straight just to get things done. I also had to take work home/on holiday with me to get things completed when day hours did not permit. I felt completely overworked with my workload increasing more and more each month. Being split by 3 brands it was extremely difficult to manage priorities when tasks in all brands was deemed 'urgent.' I think too much reliance is put on the interns - i felt as if i didn't get something done, a whole digital campaign would collapse. As many have said 'this division is run by interns' and i don't think that's a good mindset to have. With my increasing taskload I also felt like the quality of my work decreased dramatically, with no time to think of how to improve processes or provide competitor insights (which was part of my objectives). I also did not have any time to do my Uni work which was quite a big chunk of work each month.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

As i said many people say 'this division is run by interns'. I was given varying degrees of responsibility depending on the tasks. At some points I was left to do tasks completely alone which was a great learning curve. Other times I was left to do tasks alone where I could've needed more support - whilst I could've asked for help, I felt like the task was completely on my shoulders and my fault if it was not completed to standards.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I feel like I have learnt and improved on a wealth of skills this year. I have a completely different mindset to work and the way we interact with eachothers. Some things I have learnt, i cannot believe i never considered previously. I feel the skills I've learnt this year would be more useful in work after degree studies but this expanded mindset is likely to help the way I look at Uni tasks and managing priorities.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Rushed, mainly completely work focused. The majority of the time, if someone wanted to talk to you it was for work queries or chasing up on work. My team often worked from home or were OOO a lot of the time meaning some days were totally silent and dull. Whilst a loud environment can be distracting, i think a balance is definitely needed to be work efficient. Having silent days with headphones in meant I quickly lagged in concentration, stress built and I was enjoyed my work load less and less.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

HR organisation was seamless. My job description changed dramatically over the year. This is mainly due to re-organisation of the digital team in our division, which had knock-on effects to my work load so this could not be helped. I felt I could've been better prepared for my job description changes as I was increasingly more busy.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The majority of personal training and development that occurred was done through my work tasks and learning how to improve on task efficiency/results. I was rarely requested to improve a certain way of doing things and was never asked 'what do you want to improve on and how can we do that?' The only time my opinions of my personal development was considered was in the mandatory reviews from HR. I think we should have set up monthly reviews on how i am progressing and really look in-depth in my personal development. Although this would be great, I feel it shouldn't be a mandatory request from HR because this is sometimes met with reluctance and the task gets carried out in haste. This was especially difficult because my role was split between teams/brands.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Above 25 days holiday

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

Having worked a year in this role, i feel like i have saturated what i can learn in this particular role and division. Whilst I understand that higher roles and divisions will offer different challenges, I believe it is important for me to completely assess the full market of jobs for opportunities that I might miss out on by being at L'Oreal from a young career age. The graduate scheme did not appeal to me because there was no digital grad scheme and I would definitely prefer to stay in this role in this type of corporation. I see other colleagues who are constantly stressed, overworked and completely put their life into this organisation. Whilst this is a choice, I don't think it's a healthy lifestyle to lead and I definitely wouldn't want to get into that at the age of 21/22. Similarly, unless people are going for GM/MD job roles, the majority of people I work with see this organisation as a stepping stone to their ultimate goals and therefore temporary. I would prefer to find a company that I felt completely invested in, that its success benefited me as much as it did the whole business and that I loved coming to work and looked forward to what challenges i would face rather than feeling stressed because everything is 'urgent'



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

The social sec of interns did a good job at putting on social events however these became repetitive and it would only be the same, small number of interns that would show up. I feel like divisions/brands/teams could do so much more to organise fun events/socials to help the teams blend better. Being split by different brands, I felt i didn't always have a place anywhere and was often left out of social events. I feel like I would've felt more valued and integrated if i was included in everything and more social events were created.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

I paid £5000 to commute from home everyday. I do feel this is expensive although it is cheaper than living in London. I think at least some cost of traveling should be subsidised by the company. The social events i went to were fairly cheap because the social sec made good deals with the places we went. However, if we wanted to stray from the regular places, the events became increasingly expensive and fewer interns were keen to come.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

No nightlife around Hammersmith - never went out here. We went out in Mayfair area which was ok, but expensive and became repetitive. We could definitely benefit of being advised of the cooler things to do in the local area - a 'what's on' type thing


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Not really. nothing much was organised and if it was there was somewhat reluctance to join in, in the fear everyone else was coming in groups of friends already. There wasn't much organised between the interns because of the lack of numbers that turned up. I would've enjoyed more sport/fitness activities to be organised. Ability to join in was limited by 2 hour commute home.