Retail Intern at L'Oreal

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Hammersmith Central London and City
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999

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L'Oreal is a Top Employer


The Role



The Role

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

For the most part I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement. It has been a valuable experience and has taught me not only a lot about a large corporation such as L'Oreal but has also taught me a lot about myself. The L'Oreal culture is intense, and it is very much a "sink or swim" sort of environment. If you love being busy and put under pressure to reach your full potential then L'Oreal is definitely the company for you. It has been a very rewarding experience.


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

With my manager & my immediate team I felt incredibly valued (like family) as every task that I undertook was noted and I was frequently given positive feedback. Work that I undertook was critical for the business & also for those in store and so I was given a lot of trust and responsibility - especially by my manager. I also felt as though my work had a greater impact on the wider business I.E. effecting the P&L.
From the wider team for the most part I felt valued, however there were some teams that expected me to do things that I had not been shown to do and was not given that much support with certain tasks given to me. The only negative is that conducted a lot of work for a certain team and felt that they could have been more respectful to me considering the amount of hours I spent helping them.


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

I was often given general guidance by my manager, however this was not that frequent or specific as I think this is because I proved myself to my manager & that it was subsequent of the level of trust that I gained. With new projects or things that I haven't done before I am always given support and brief guidance. My manager is very supportive of most tasks that I do and always 'has my back' when undertaking tasks for different teams if she is aware of these tasks. Although at sometimes I would complete work that my manager was not aware and so did not receive any support or feedback for these tasks.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

When I first started I was not very busy, but I think this is due to the time of the year that I started. After a few months the workload increased dramatically and I felt a bit overwhelmed and that it was hard to juggle certain tasks - i.e. not finding enough time in the day to complete everything. However when you join you are prompted by HR to tell your line manager if the workload is too much, and once I had done this she was able to re-juggle some of my responsibilities. Now at the end of my placement I am very busy, I don't get days where I have nothing to do. But this is because I enjoy being busy & I take on new tasks to help my manager as I now feel I am able, where I wasn't before when I first joined. However this can be stressful at times and it can feel a bit too much, it just depends how you personally can deal with the level of stress.


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

I was given a lot of responsibility and felt like I was making an impact on the wider business. However the role was quite admin heavy and sometimes I felt like I was constantly undertaking time-consuming every day tasks instead of focusing on my personal projects.


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

The skills that I have developed and the training I have received from my manager are so valuable. I learnt an incredible amount of interpersonal skills, communication & networking especially and it really helped to build my confidence. I also improved on my analytical skills. These skills will really help me with general working life in the future, and it was great to gain exposure to such a large company. It has also helped me decide on the direction I want my career to take, which is actually slightly different from my degree- but is career I think I will enjoy & thrive in.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Everyone loves their job and they are so enthusiastic about the brands. The people that I worked with had a great sense of humour and this made the stressful and difficult days bearable. It is a very fast paced environment and people are constantly under pressure. This I felt could create a snowball effect in the team as if someone is stressed it would make other people stressed & increase the pressure even further.

On my brand specifically it was quite a bit more 'chilled out' than some of the other brands and a real 'family feel', I felt welcome to the role very early on.


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

The work placement and internship was well set up, there was frequent training throughout the year and HR contacts specifically for placement interns.

I think what would have been great was for a longer handover period. I think that 1 week was too short a time frame. It was very overwhelming but was definitely 'throwing you in at the deep-end'- aka L'Oreal's culture.


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

As L'Oreal is so fast pace there were not huge opportunities for personal training. My work at the beginning had been handed over by previous interns, but I was given more opportunities by being given tasks from finance and marketing, and therefore felt that I was trained and gained knowledge of different areas of the business.

I did however feel that my manager invested greatly in me. When we created my objectives I told her my main concerns being my confidence and we were especially focused on these once I was more confident in the role. I was given opportunities to prove myself & was also allowed time into store to sell as well-and therefore given exposure to customers. As L'Oreal is such a large company a lot of this investment comes down to your manager exposing you with to opportunities to develop and I feel like this could be greatly based on your relationship with your manager & their trust in you.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Working from home

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

I feel that employment prospects are very appealing within L'Oreal. I felt that my role gave me the opportunity to expand my skills and make me a potential candidate for the grad-scheme. the grad-scheme seems like a great opportunity due to the different rotations on different brands and gaining an insight into more than one division of L'Oreal's business. However there is still a process to go through before being considered for the gradscheme and it is not as simple as doing well in your placement & automatically getting a job.



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

Good social scene if you live in London. However I was living at home which I found to be quite anti-social in terms of going to socials etc..


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

N/A - Lived at home. From what my friends said West London is super expensive though.


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

N/A- On the few socials I did go to it was expensive as you'd expect from West London.


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

Opportunities with things like volunteering- I have now started with the LGFB charity.