This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I really enjoyed my year at L'Oreal as I both learned an immense amount about myself and ways of working, but also because you're fully integrated into the teams in place and valued as a key employee. In addition to this I was able to develop my presentation skills, and general excel skills, so I was really able to get the most out of the year.
At L'Oreal they make the interns a key part of the structure, and so the opportunities for you are there to excel and have your work recognised. In most roles there are opportunities for you to get exposure to the highest levels of the business with the work that you do. In ACD especially, as a smaller division, your work can be seen by almost everyone within the division, and there is an 'appreciation award' monthly, which is a platform for showcasing how much the team values each other, and the interns regularly feature. At no point, after handover week, do you really feel like an intern instead of a 'proper' employee, the only difference being the support that's available to you to develop your skills in the role.
Having a good manager is key to enjoying any placement, and team at L'Oreal are fantastic. Everyone is incredibly supportive, and the mid year / end of year review system gives managers a very clear framework through which they can help you develop your skills and make sure that you undertake projects that interest you specifically. Support from the wider teams is also available with people always willing to put some time in to have some additional training, or to go over something again.
L'Oreal operates with very lean teams, so even as an intern you will be given a large amount of work to do. As you become more proficient at the regular reporting / standard aspects of your role, you will gradually be given additional tasks, and projects to lead. Time management is very much self led, so it's important to be organised and stay on top of your own workload. You should be willing to work beyond 5 to finish off work, should it be necessary, but no more so than at any other business with external deadlines.
You are given a lot of responsibility immediately in L'Oreal, as you're treated like a full time employee. Lots of the standard reporting is shown to the highest levels in L'Oreal, and you're expected to make sure everything is correct without much oversight. As you settle into your role you will be given projects to lead that may help determine future business decisions.
My role required a vast amount of excel knowledge, and so my proficiency with this tool has increased massively, which is exceedingly useful when returning to final year, and later in further employment. The increased time soft skills of time management, organisation & prioritisation, how to write a decent work email and how to interact effectively with people in a role will all have a positive effect on the ret of my degree. It's important to remember whilst lots of the learning is self led, there are ample opportunities provided by L'Oreal to develop in every way, and my advice would be to always go to training sessions!
The atmosphere in ACD is fantastic, as it's very friendly, and everyone is willing to have a chat or go for a tea. You're expected to do all your work, but it never feels too stressful as everyone is very supportive and you can talk to anyone for help or advice. The work itself is varied so it's seldom dull, and as you're given agency over some reporting, you can (and are encouraged too) improve it and make it more your own.
Fairly well organised. There are lots of intern-wide training sessions and lunch and learns to help you understand the wider business and fit into your role more. One week of handover is very short, so make sure you get as much out of the previous intern as possible. Any questions or issues though can be worked through with HR who are all very supportive and are there to help.
There are lots of training sessions available, and most of them are voluntary. So you really reap what you sow in terms of how fast, and how much you develop. The key area is to always learn from your colleagues around you, and not just in designated times.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
I would go back for the grad scheme or a full time job in a heartbeat! I've really enjoyed my year here, and have learned so much that I feel that L'Oreal has been an excellent fit for me. The grad scheme is very competitive however, and there is a process to go through, but it's well worth putting the effort into achieving, as all the positive aspects of L'Oreal become even more pronounced.
There were several intern nights out, and visits to the pub etc. and you do become fast friends with the other interns. If you get a role in London, obviously there's an incredible amount to do and see, and there is 'Social Sec' intern position on the intern committee which is responsible for organising intern wide events, so make sure you put your vote in to get the vest candidate.
In the Hammersmith office, obviously you have to contend with London prices! It's not ideal, but there's plenty of housing around, and you can certainly manage it on the salary without consigning yourself to never going out.
In London, there's something for everyone, whether you're a pub, club or cocktail bar person. There's also days where the museums are open to the wee hours of the night, and always some kind of theatre / cinema event, for the culturally inclined.
There's lots of opportunities outside of L'Oreal to get involved in. Netball and football teams, but mainly lots of charity events either helping out in the local community or raising money for other causes. Every intern (and full time employee) gets one 'Volunteer' day, where they can take a day off work to do some volunteering work, and there is an annual Charity Day throughout L'Oreal where you help in the local community.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
15th May 2017