I really enjoyed my placement as it gave me the opportunity to work in a role which allowed me to use my own imitative and implement changes that had an impact on the wider team. I also enjoyed the relaxed working environment and social opportunities with other graduates and interns. With such a large intern community, support was always readily available when needed.
In my role I felt extremely valued by my colleagues as I was an integrated member of the team, always treated with respect. Unlike other internships I was given real responsibility and my work was often sent directly to senior management. Instead of being on the sideline, I was able to work alongside my team to meet group deadlines. My role also allowed me to interact with members of the wider team and my ability to communicate has been praised by senior management.
My manger gave me a good amount of support and guidance at the beginning and throughout my internship. The reason for not giving this a higher score is because my manager also allowed me to use my own initiative to solve problems. Support and guidance was therefore given in just the right amount but never to an extent where I felt micro-managed. I think this is one of the best aspects of the management style. Equally, whenever I was ensure about anything, I knew my manager was always there to talk it through in a catch up and help solve any problems I was having
My work load was relatively steady throughout my internship. My Monday's were always the most busy as this is when we reported the previous week. Working in finance, I saw an increase in workload during Budget and Trend but this was not to the extent where I could not cope. During these periods my team worked together to share the workload which made it seem less overwhelming. I have never been bored on my internship as there has always been small projects for me to work on to help improve processes.
I was given a large amount of responsibility which allowed me to show my analytical abilities to senior management on a regular basis. In addition to my weekly tasks I was also given the responsibility to work on new projects that helped simplify and standardize the way my team worked. Had I not been given this responsibility I don't think I would have felt as valued within the team or been able to show my capabilities as well.
The skills I have learned will be significantly helpful beyond my time at the company. Not only have I been able to improve my analytical and communication skills through my role, I have also been given training that has given me the confidence to use a number of financial systems and programs. These will be extremely helpful for my future career as I will be able to apply these skills to future roles. Additionally, the training I received was often alongside more senior colleagues which allowed me to understand processes more clearly from more experienced member of staff.
The general atmosphere in the office was relaxed and the people I sat near made me feel welcomed and comfortable throughout my internship. My desk was situated near senior management which at times made the atmosphere a bit more serious but this did not affect the positive atmosphere too much. I enjoyed the work/life balance of the office as although it was often relaxed, there was an understanding of when work had to be done. Most of the staff were friendly and approachable but I did have experiences where people would challenge what I was asking of them. I think this may have been due the office being at times quite a high pressured environment
One of the more negative aspects of the placement was the lack of organization. I was given very short notice to start the job after being offered a position, this left me in quite a difficult position in terms of finding accommodation in an entirely new city with no flexibility on the start date. However, I cannot fault L'Oreal for trying to accommodate me as they found me temporary accommodation which made the process much more comfortable. In addition to this, I also noticed that some of the summer interns who started at the same time as me did not receive a desktop/laptop until a number of weeks into the internship. IT could therefore be more organized in terms of setting people of with computers on arrival.
I received a high standard of personal training and development as I was set objectives at the beginning and given frequent reviews of my performance . By having these objectives I was able to work on areas of development during my role and think of new ways to improve my skills. In addition to this, my manager and director were significantly invested in my personal development and offered me extensive advise as to how I could improve both personally and professionally. All interns were also offered a number of learning sessions to further improve out skill sets and learn from more senior members of the company.
Future employment prospects within the organization are very appealing as I would like to further my career in a company that valued me and is prepared to invest their time in my training and development. If I was to further my employment with L'Oreal I would be offered the chance to gain my professional qualifications that would be extremely appealing in terms of developing my career further and improving my skills. The company is also an industry that I am greatly interested and passionate about so to stay in the company would be the perfect next step in my career.
There was an excellent social scene among the interns with socials organized by an elected committee nearly every month. These nights out were a great way to meet new people and really get to know fellow interns. I would definitely recommended L'Oreal in terms of it's social scene as without this I wouldn't have felt as integrated within the company.
As the company is based in London the cost of living was significantly higher than where I had studied at university. The rent was more than twice the amount I had been paying prior to the internship which made socializing a bit more expensive. On top of this, the socializing itself was also more expensive as eating/drinking out was more as well. However, this would not put me off from living here longer as London offers so many things to do on weekends and during the evenings.
The nightlife was really good in the area where I worked as it was not far into London city centre. After work, there was often work drinks in the local pub around the corner which was also really good for socializing with colleagues. London offers a wide range of different night outs so I never struggled to find a night that I enjoyed! Being in London, L'Oreal was also able to hold the Christmas party in excellent venue.
Outside of work, other than drinking/eating there wasn't many other activities outside of work. I had wanted to sign up to the intern volleyball team but despite emailing my interest this never appeared to be organized. I would have liked to get involved with more activities as when I moved to London this would have been a good way of meeting new people. However, despite this, the intern committee were extremely good at organizing socials and night outs for all of the interns which made my time at the company really enjoyable.