L'Oreal Marketing Intern - Working within the marketing team for one of the L'Oreal brands.
I have really enjoyed my time at L'Oreal. For the most part it has exceed my expectations, and has been an incredibly valuable experience. There has been times when its been difficult or there has been some conflict however I feel like looking back this has enhanced my experience and allow me to learn even more. Overall it has been extremely rewarding.
I have had a mixed response among the people who I have worked with. Within my immediate team I have felt extremely valued, everything I do is always recognized and I have been given a lots of trust and responsibility, managing my own projects. My team are extremely supportive and always endevour to help me get as much as possible from my time there. From the wider team however I feel like there has been quite a few situations where I have been expected to act above my role, but then have no felt any respect for this, for example being cut out of decisions on the projects I am working on, or my opinions being ignored because 'im an intern'.
I have been given so much support and guidance from my manager. From day one I was made to feel comfortable. I feel like our working styles fit extremely well together. We structured our projects, meetings and catch ups in a way that worked for both of us, and was always made to feel like any questions where welcome. She always take the time to understand what I am doing, what I want to get from my time there, giving me projects to suit this and helping me to learn as much as possible. She provided endless advice on how to succeed at L'Oreal, develop my competencies and gain exposure to the right people.
For the first four months I felt I was busy. Since then my responsibility have increased significantly which does keep me extremely busy and does mean I work late most evenings. There are times when this can be extremely stressful and occasionally I do feel like people don't realise quite how much I am doing. Since a change in my team structure in the last few months this has intensified and I feel like my work load is slightly to much and it is impossible for me to complete everything within desired timeline. However I would say there are some positives in this in terms of the development of my time managements and having to manage peoples expectations.
Since my first week I have been surprised as to how much responsibility I was given. In the past few months this has significantly accelerated. I am running several of my own projects, am involved in all aspects of the brand and have been given a lot of autonomy in my decisions. I do find some frustration when not all member of the business adhere to this and sometime exclude me from decisions regarding my projects which makes it more difficult for me to succeed.
I am almost at the end of my time at L'oreal. I
L'oreal offers quiet a good balance of environment. Everyone is extremely focused for the most part but also extremely friendly. There has been some situations where there has been tension between different teams but I feel these don't occur to often. I felt welcomed from the beginning.
I feel like there is room for improvement in some of the organisation of the placement. Initially I feel like the handover period between the previous interns and the new interns lacks structure and there is quite alot of things which were not included. I also expected we would have more interaction between interns at the beginning so there was more of an intern community however this didn't happen and as such I felt quite disconnected from the other interns not in my department. I think the continuous training through out the year was good - however it may of been good to have slightly more of this.
I think there was some investment into it through the general intern scheme, where we attended talks and training sessions through out the year. However I think there would be room for more of this. I feel as its such a large company a lot of this comes down to your manager and the people you work with on a daily basis exposing you to opportunities to develop. Fortunately I felt like I gained a lot of exposure to the different functions and was encourage to shadow different people to gain insight into the roles. I was given a great amount of responsibility and advice which allowed me to develop alot during my time at L'oreal.
L'Oreal offer a grad scheme which I am planning to apply to. My understanding is that this is extremely competitive however if I am successful I will be extremely excited to return to L'Oreal. The opportunity to work in three different roles and brand across the business I feel will allow me to further develop my skills and equipment to further my career.
I feel this was a weakness at L'Oreal. I felt like there wasn't much opportunity to get to know the other interns and quite a lot of cliques developed. I wish there had been more opportunity initially for us to get to know each other before this happened. As a result of this I did find moving to London more difficult as I had a really strong friendship group at University which I didn't have here.
Being in London the cost of living is high. The cost of rent and travel as the major costs. However London is a great city to live, there is lots to do and really efficient transport. I enjoyed being based in Hammersmith as I was able to have a relatively short commute and avoid to many crowds. Due to the salary it was difficult to socialise to much and I did have to be aware of how much I was spending at all times however I think this applies to any internships based in London.
The local pub which L'Oreal frequents is really nice, if slightly pricey, however its well located and a nice environment. Beyond this there isn't much in the immediate area so we would typically end up going to other areas in London, but due to the easy transport links this wasn't really ever an issue.
There was some opportunities which you can get involved in - namely a few sports teams. However beyond this there wasn't really anything else.