1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my work placement. All of my team members, interns and colleagues were very friendly and helpful. My role itself was very interesting, providing the opportunities to learn about and engage in multiple aspects of L'Oreal finance. Working for 3 major brands also allowed me to engage in a variety of out-of-the-office activities that a smaller firm could not have provided.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was made to feel welcome from the start. My opinions and feedback was always valued and I was always shown a great deal of respect. This was illustrated by the work I was given, whereby I had a great deal of autonomy which allowed me to approach my tasks in a manner best suited to myself.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was the best! She always supported me and I could come to her whenever needed. As my role progressed I received more additional tasks which allowed me to take on a greater degree of responsibility. When given these extra tasks my manager would always check in to see how it was going, however she also left me to use my initiative which was incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In my role I never had a quiet day, whilst it could get hectic I always felt I was able to balance my tasks. This meant time went really quickly and there was never a dull moment! As such I was able to develop my time management skills in my role. L'Oreal is definitely not a company that you will be bored working for.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
In my role I was given a great deal of responsibility, I had direct contact with senior stakeholder as well as the marketing and PR teams. The work I created was used by the teams and at corporate level to allowing me the opportunity to develop a variety of skill sets.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I now have a far greater understanding of the Profit and Loss sheet and the various lines that go into it. This will assist in my financial accounting studies. I have also developed my communication, negotiation and time-management skills which has given me a new perspective for final year and should therefore help in my dissertation.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very lively is however I would describe the atmosphere of the office, there is always events going on from pop-up shops, to brand launches and charity initiatives. The office is very welcoming and friendly and always has a general buzz going on. Campaigns are celebrated and there is an active team spirit. This makes it a very fun and vibrant place to work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement is fairly well organised, the roles are clearly outlined with everyone receiving a one week handover. There is lots of training at the start in order to help build the skills needed immediately for the role. The intern committee's organisation was slightly delayed due to HR changes but this is unlikely to adversely impact future years.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In my role I received on the job training for a variety of software tools - these tools are used globally and has therefore allowed me to achieve a very useful skill. I have also been able to experience days out of the office where we have been able to develop ourselves through self-reflection, allowing us to assess what we have achieved and what we need to do to reach our goals.
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?
The prospects are L'Oreal are great. The internship is the perfect stepping stone towards the respected Graduate Scheme. The experience I have received over the last year has definitely confirmed that I want to work for L'Oreal in the future due to the huge career opportunities they provide.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene has been great. To fully enjoy the year I would strongly recommend living in the area - the costs are higher but are able to experience so much more. The intern community is very friendly and I have made life-long friends on my placement year. London has so much to offer that there is always something to do!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socialising is high. London is expensive if you want to fully experience the city, but it is worth the cost. London has so much to offer and their are various activities that are cheap/free however nights out is not one. Rent is also high in the immediate area, living further out is cheaper but the cost of travelling and the travel time does not outweigh the gains of living in zone 2/3.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Hammersmith is mainly pubs/bars, however Soho, Kensington, Mayfair and Clapham aren't far - they all offer a variety of clubs. There are also numerous music venues in the areas such as O2 Shepherds bush, as well as comedy venues such as the Hammersmith Apollo which is across the road.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I participated in a variety of team activities, team lunches, pub trips and socials. If you fully immerse yourself in the team and the intern community then there is always plenty to do after-work. Working hours finish at five p.m. this means you have time to still socialise after-work without being too tired the next day.