Commercial Analyst - Support function for the commercial teams in reporting, data and providing insights into business strategy.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Great feeling of responsibility, clearly valued as an intern in the wider company. L'Oreal offers a really unique opportunity to have such a social scene in a great area of London both in and outside of work.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Often felt in technical or support roles credit was not given, with successes attributed to management and failures attributed to interns.
On a personal level, you build some great relationships with some great individuals both professionally and personally.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My role had great support 1 to 1 by my management, with great patience on teaching and trust. However later in the role with my direct manager leaving the company and subsequent failure to replace his role quickly often left me under a lot of pressure with little support.
There is definitely a culture of approachable learning, but at times the level of responsibility given to interns can leave you in a 'sink or swim' position.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
L'Oreal as a culture quickly give you responsibility and encourage you to get involved in divisional projects.
In my personal case I was working in a small team, being able to lead and take part in a real variety of technical and business driven projects - this coupled with on-going ad-hoc work really did leave me occupied at all hours. This is something I really enjoyed as a learning experience, but it often will leave you working into the evening. If this is something you're after, it is a really enriching work culture.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During my role my direct manager left, reducing my already undersized team from 3 to 2. As a result I was often leading projects, workshops and analysis previously held my management. This really led me to have a great deal of responsibility across my whole division, working with colleagues of all levels and backgrounds in a position of responsibility.
My role also became largely autonomous through the year, with my work catering around what I've sought after being a part of as opposed to delegated tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My role had a real emphasis on technical and analytic skills. As a result, across the year this enabled my EXCEL, SAP and problem solving skills to improve dramatically in a way university does not give you the opportunity.
Beyond this, the public speaking and inter-personal elements that came with my responsibilities have really given me a foundation going further into my career, although it won't aid me directly in my final year of study this undoubtedly sets me in a great position later in life.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
One great feature is a really young working cohort - L'Oreal has an ambitious young workforce really committed to high performance and is therefore a great learning environment.
However the atmosphere of the office does often feel uncomfortable, with your skill and contribution often being understated or undervalued. There is often a feeling of very clique driven office culture, however this really does vary with division to division.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
In my personal experience it presented a real mixed bag.
I was not given a direct role description until essentially the day I started - Under the commercial stream this was incredibly different to my exact role and therefore gave me no time to prepare or catch up from a technical skill perspective.
On the other hand, HR were a great resource in answering questions or providing support if necessary once the placement had begun - although ultimately the successful organisation of my placement came through a strong working relationship between myself and my management.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
L'Oreal does really give you the opportunity to develop yourself, though you need to have the ambition to reach out for it.
- Free Coursera, this is the ability to take part in global uni modules for free under company sponsorship
- Role area talks, the company sets up and enables seminar talks around the role areas to get wider learning
- Involvement in wider company training
- One issue many feel is prevalent here, Interns often do not get rewarded in conferences or company benefits - therefore many of the company's best experiences are completely missed by the intern population, which at L'Oreal is significant!
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?
Really quite strong - the graduate scheme is very structured and approachable from any role if you make a real effort to apply.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Absolutely, L'Oreal takes a huge cohort in a really great area of London. Each year there is a social secretary and on going events in order to bring the interns together.
Training is often run across divisions and gives great opportunity to network.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
West London is expensive! But on the L'Oreal income the social scene is affordable within reason.
You will be able to live off your income, but compared to outer London/other UK placements it is much harder to save over the course of the year especially due to rent rates.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As this is fairly central into London (zone 2) you will find there's always a great variety of evening and night entertainment. Either within L'Oreal or externally there's a great scene you get to know in across West/East/Central London.
This is a great year long city living experience.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There certainly was encouragement to take part in L'Oreal activity outside the office:
- Football teams
- Charity events
- Sponsorship from L'Oreal for charity activity
Beyond this due to being based in West London, you will always find activities to be involved in. For me personally, I have really enjoyed the access to great live music living in this area.