1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
L'Oreal as a whole is a great place to be, quite simply because the people around you are excellent. During 12 months I have met a range of intelligent and inspiring people that have always been willing to share their time. The work is fast paced and expectations are high but the workplace is fair and you feel valued and appreciated. I enjoyed my placement greatly and feel that what you gain from a year in industry is unrivaled.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
During my placement I felt my role and the work I did was consistently valued by the team and wider stake holders. Credit is given where credit is due and a hard working, inquisitive attitude is respected at L'Oreal. The internship includes the opportunity to receive 360 feedback from your team and wider business towards the end which proved an excellent tool in assessing how I had performed and how others viewed my efforts during the year.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Whilst every member of the business is carrying a significant workload, I never experienced any one unwilling to help. I found that in the beginning, there was a lot of expectation for new starters to understand each and every process and so certain areas lacked guidance. However, the company operates in a way that if you are proactive and seek answers, someone will always have the time to train and help you understand. L'Oreal is a place you have to find your feet quickly which was daunting at first but forces you to progress quicker.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Working in a Marketing capacity, my role was particularly dynamic including launching new products into the market, event planning, reporting, competitor research, liaising with supply/ demand planning and digital channel management. There's never a quiet day, especially in the run up to Christmas, but teams are supportive and work loads are generally manageable.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The level of responsibility given to interns at L'Oreal is second to none - there is a large network of interns who play key roles in each team and so have to be relied upon more than perhaps in other businesses. In my own personal experience, I managed my own project with a budget allocation in the second half of the internship and also managed most of Christmas gift set production along with my manager.
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 skills you learn in any business are completely invaluable to life. In terms of application to studies, I can imagine I will be more organised and proactive when I start university again in September but the most important factor is that you become more employable and understand the importance of your degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Referring to an earlier comment, the people at L'Oreal are what make the company. Interns, grads and full tim hires alike make the office fun, vibrant and diverse. My particular part of the office was excellent as my team were great fun!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship is particularly well set up. You are given targets at the beginning to meet which are reviewed mid year and then reviewed again at the end of the placement. I had well structured weekly meetings with my line manager and always felt tasks and priorities were outlined with clarity.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In my cohort, investment in interns was increased somewhat. You are trained on most systems and asked to attend numerous training courses throughout the year. Some courses were excellent, however, grads and experienced hires will always have more invested in their development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
If you want to be a part of L'Oreal into the future, the option of the MT Grad Scheme is very appealing. Interns have the opportunity to apply for the scheme at the end of the year which is before the scheme is advertised publicly.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
If you get involved and actively network, you will find it easy to meet people and make friends. I made some excellent friends among my cohort which makes work so much easier. Socials were organised monthly for interns, usually club events with free drinks. The Christmas party is also a blast.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is obviously outrageous - if you're planning on living in, try live close to work so you can save on travel costs! Also, if you're thrifty, there's quite a lot to do for little outlay.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Hammersmith is a-ok if you fancy a pub or restaurant - otherwise everything is extremely close!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Interns are always willing to go out and socialise. I always had things to do and had to force myself to stay in sometimes. Everyone is very sociable, even in your teams - people just get involved! There is also a football/squash team!