1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement at L'Oreal. It has been an eye-opening experience with regards to how I can react to a working environment. I have been challenged on my work-ethic, how I behave socially and the way I am able to adapt and work towards solving problems. Would recommend to anyone.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The first few months were challenging due to the demands of the role and the nature of the business. However, once I became comfortable with the role I have been able to deliver a significant amount of positive change to the team and the business. I barely feel like an intern at all.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My Manager and I have a fantastic working relationship. I am consistently challenged, not only with workload but with the ideas I can offer also. My Manager, Director and Senior Directors have offered me a platform to receive guidance on how to improve myself and any way that I can help them improve. This support has allowed me to feel extremely comfortable in the role and within the entire business.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
During the first few months there were times where I would lack a sufficient workload, therefore I would seek out additional work to get involved in. As I approached the latter stages of my internship, I was able to get involved in more meaningful projects and even lead my own. My current daily schedule is difficult yet manageable and has taught me to manage my time more effectively.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I have been very much in charge of my own internship. My Manager was not comfortable micro-managing me which required that I take responsibility for the role and the tasks I am undertaking. It has been a steady increase in the level of responsibility I have been given. I began working on small tasks that are not too demanding and slowly built my reputation and skillset to be considered for more challenging tasks and 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 I have developed while working at L'Oreal will put me in good stead for my following years at both degree level and in my working years. My communication skills have improved dramatically through presenting to new employees and Senior Directors. I have learnt to convey my ideas with conviction and to demonstrate that I am well informed while doing so.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As the reputation precedes, L'Oreal is an extremely fast-paced environment with a variety of backgrounds and personalities within. I believe that the atmosphere is extremely interesting at L'Oreal. There are a number of different nationalities and personalities, making it a fascinating place to work. Furthermore, my team have become an extremely enjoyable group of people to work with so overall, the atmosphere is good.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was fairly well organised in my case, however a number of my colleagues had been accepted with little notice. As a result of this, there was a delay with contract distribution for me and I was waiting for almost 2 months without any communication between L'Oreal and myself. Furthermore, my assessment centre was based in Littlehampton which required the other applicants and myself to travel a fair distance as we were not based anywhere near this location.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I believe that L'Oreal have invested a great deal in my personal development. Not only through the natural progression with my role, but through training sessions and learning opportunities. I have been able to undertake a course through L'Oreal that will allow me to gain a certificate in my chosen module and have been encouraged to pursue further training.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future prospects within L'Oreal are fantastic, particularly with interns. There are a high number of graduate scheme opportunities with a large proportion of these offered to the intern cohort that year. Additionally, there regular store openings for many of the brands at L'Oreal so the number of opportunities is always growing.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene at L'Oreal is brilliant! At an intern level, there are approximately 150 interns that begin the year which includes summer and year-long interns. There is a strong intern community within L'Oreal as we have a committee that helps us organise a number of social events such as nights out and charity events. Additionally, the work teams are very social. The offices are rarely quiet and there are numerous opportunities to go for coffees, drinks after work and more.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It is fairly expensive in Hammersmith. As it is surrounded by affluent areas such as Fulham, Chelsea and Kensington there is naturally a higher cost of living. It is manageable, but it is not surprising to be struggling for funds towards the end of the month.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is good in London, particularly on intern social nights where we can be given a number of free drinks. Other than that, it is easy to grab the tube to other areas of London for nights out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
In London there is almost everything imaginable to get involved in. Activities organised through work include the company football and netball teams and a yoga class every week. There is a subsidised gym close-by and plenty of areas to eat.