To assist Product Manager in all areas of executing Holiday 2016 for Kiehl's. This stretched from selecting artwork and writing titles and taglines for Retailer Giftsets, to pursuing Subcontracting and allocation to stores. Other tasks included a competitor review of male skincare brands which was presented at senior level,
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my internship in that it gave me insight and responsibility in a field that, although being new to me, I could find myself interested in and impassioned by. Opportunities for creativity were incredibly valuable to me, as this is a strength of mine - and I feel as though I left my mark in this respect. However my time also had moments of lack of clear direction and it became hard to prove my worth to more senior management.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I really enjoyed working with my colleagues, as they appreciated my personality and all had good humour and patience. In terms of work load, it was occasionally difficult when taking responsibilities they were unfamiliar with to explain how significant or lengthy processes became. I found it difficult to have time with my more senior Manager, but the rest of the team were very accessible.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I received a huge amount of support from my manager and this made it much easier to induct myself into the business and world of Beauty. We often discussed tasks together beforehand, and would aid each other on more lengthy processes together. However, during time of leave I was not left a lot of guidance until midweek, so I felt a little lost at certain times. Towards the end of my internship I didn't have the regular catchups with my manager which may have given me stronger focus to prioritise certain tasks.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For the majority of my time I was occupied the right amount of time - I had clear tasks which were projects I oversaw or was in the loop on and I felt motivated and satisfied by. There have been weeks in which I have stayed later than felt fair due to HR tasks as well as deadlines which would appear late in the day,
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a good amount of responsibility, but not always a much wider view of the consequences following. This however meant there was a strong learning when pressures began to have recognisable real world impact. Opportunities for exposure were hugely appreciated, but unfortunately have fallen after my end review, meaning I don't feel I got chance to hugely prove myself before my final feedback session,
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Now that I am aware that managing complexity and priorities is a weakness of mine in a professional capacity it feels very important I implement this further in life. Knowing my enthusiasm and creativity are valuable, appreciated skills was also a wonderful learning.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My team had a great sense of fun and humour and the surrounding departments were also incredibly friendly and welcoming, so there was often good conversation and warmth. Sometimes conversations might happen loudly over the top of desks, but this wasn't too much of a distraction. There was occasionally a frostiness between senior management and the interns.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I found my experience very well organised, and I think this came from the drive of my manager and the guidelines HR had implemented. I quickly felt acquainted with how the office worked and who I needed to contact. More importantly, learning the tone of voice to use to address people meant I could action things myself.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt invested in in that before my internship I was quite unfamiliar with how business was structured, whereas I have never felt at a disadvantage for not studying business or having worked in many places beforehand. Time and effort was invested in me and I like to think I provided the same back. There were further trainings I could complete, but a number of factors have meant these have come at inopportune times personally and professionally,
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I unfortunately have not been endorsed to apply for the grad scheme internally - but this does not mean I wouldn't be able to look online or go through a different channel. I have become more aware that perhaps this exact strand of Marketing isn't a perfect fit for me, and the commitment and drive needed to apply myself to that long term means it is more fortunate that I will not be going further in this area of L'Oreal for now. I would however be very interested in pursuing time in a DMI, and have begun actioning this through contacts made.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Although interns were incredibly friendly and we would often meet at the pub after work on a Friday, I feel it would have been brilliant to have had the Social Secretary HR mentioned at the start of our internship, as it would have been nice to have a central cause to go to places. There were a couple of team socials and these have been fun,
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It has been a culture shock realising how expensive Hammersmith is. Although there are subsidised lunches at the canteen, these were limited in range and could quickly add up, and surrounding food outlets were even pricier - this has meant going for dinner or doing much outside-socialising quickly adds up.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The local area in which I worked had a very sparse and expensive night life, so we often travelled to other ends of London. This often became very pricy, and though was enjoyable meant nights out felt like things which had to be built up towards, rather than something to quickly arrange and look forward to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
A yoga class was ran on Wednesday nights at work, and although this was of good quality, it felt like there were very few other options of things to do or participate in. For example, it would be interesting if the office had a community board somewhere, for which people could post flyers and adverts for local events - this may encourage more a of the team socials I mentioned earlier.