1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the work placement. I managed to develop all aspects of my computer skills and made use of the people around me to learn as much as I could during the year. I enjoyed being challenged by the work and stretching myself.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone was extremely friendly and happy to help out. Once I had got used to the working atmosphere I would be asked to help out with other peoples tasks if they were on holiday or ill. That meant I could learn to do different jobs in that time and therefore my colleagues felt more supported by me.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was in the office for most of my placement so was really easy to get in touch with them if i had any problems. They also helped me to be placed in projects that would interest me and supported me if I asked for more/less work depending on work load.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At first I was very busy because I was still learning the fastest way to do the tasks given. Once I had mastered my day to day tasks my work load slowed down a bit. i mentioned this to my manager so when one other team member left I took on their job as well as my own which really pushed my time to maximum. However the latest I would leave the office would be 6pm and my Manager was really strict that they wanted me to go home by 5pm which gave me a good work-life balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given quite a lot of responsibility once the projects started as I was the main point of contact between the Customer Care team and head office in Hammersmith. At the same time if I was unsure about any decisions being made i could always ask my manager to step in.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe the amount of excel skills i have picked up in the role will help me when going back to university in my final year. I have developed social skills and now feel confident to use other tech systems such as SAP.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was really relaxed and friendly. We would play music every Friday afternoon and sometimes would bring in food for a fuddle (work picnic). You can always go down into the canteen for a drink and sit outside for a break when the weather is nice. Charity events also took place including a Row-a-thon and pin the nose on Olaf.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Before I arrived the general organization wasn't the best as it took several months to now I would be based in Nottingham. it was also tricky to find the building I would be working in so have advised they give any new interns a map. Once I got here my job roll was already set out for me and I never felt like a loose end.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It was compulsory to go to several different training sessions which helped me learn more about how to conduct yourself in different situations. Training sessions that were not compulsory were still offered and I still went to them so I further developed my skills. There is also a training website which you can sign up to to take different courses if you have any spare time.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
L'Oreal's graduate scheme is highly competitive and they take on a lot of interns for the year. You have to impress in both a presentation, interview and your end of year review to be offered a place so making sure you stand out during the year is a must. Taking part in the Distribution centers news letter and charity collections have improved my chances.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was the only work placement intern in Nottingham so didn't have a social life with any of the people inside work. We did have a few events during the year like the Christmas party where everyone came along for a buffet and drinks. I would suggest joining a club outside of work if not from the general area so as to still build up a friendship base.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Nottingham compared to London is really cheep if you look around for the right accommodation. I would suggest Cotton Mills Student Accommodation as it is very reasonably priced and if you have a car they have a locked car park to store your car. Drinks on a night out were reasonably priced.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is a varied nightlife both in Nottingham and Mansfield. There are a lot of different restaurants and bars around the lace markets and are also plenty of shops and cinemas to go to. Drinks are quite cheap before 11 pm and entry to clubs isn't that expensive either. There were quite a few quirky bars including an mini golf bar.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?