1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
L'Oreal is full of opportunities both inside and outside your role. There is lots of scope to tailor projects towards your interests within the function or to take on things extra curricularly, such as a weekly after work yoga class or volunteering events, for example I spent a weekend at Butlins assisting with a science fair stall during my internship
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Being an 'intern' by no means means 'less' at L'Oreal. You are always encouraged to take ownership of your work and therefore part of my role involved becoming the key point of contact for queries relating to certain areas. I also was responsible for training new starters in a finance software so you are definitely given valuable tasks!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager not only became someone who supported me through my role but went beyond and I would call her my friend. We had formal catch ups every week to discuss work to do or if there were any issues but outside of that would get Coffee together almost every morning. I never felt embarrassed to ask questions at the start when I was unsure with my role or even towards the end if I forgot something silly. She has been a real rock whilst on my L'Oreal journey
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I think this inevitably varies depending on your role. Within finance, month ends were considerably busier whilst in the middle there would be more of a lull. However I think it's important to focus on, as I mentioned earlier, the sheer scope of activities you can get involved in. Shadowing other team member or extending to other functions, completing online courses to improve excel skills, grabbing a Coffee to network and learn about other divisions are all encouraged - if you ever do feel bored there is definitely always something you could be doing. Being on an internship isn't just about doing a job but about learning about the world of work and every opportunity should be taken to do this.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Lots - but don't worry that's isn't the same as being left drowning in your own! The reaponsibilty is there to grow with you as you do in your role. At the start I would obviously run more things past my manager, redirect emails or take longer to figure out a solution, but being on placement is such an incredible learning curve it's funny now to look back and compare how confident I am now and therefore the responsibility I have to match.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I now feel infinitely more prepared for the post uni life than I ever could've done by just doing a degree. The support from HR remains throughout your entire internship and is definitely not just a few brief sessions in the first week. Therefore not only do you develop through your role but also through activities like lunch and learns, linked in master classes and one to one catch ups for career advice if that's what you feel need. From never have being in an office before to spending a year as a London commuter, I am so much more ready to tackle life after education!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The sense of family at L'Oreal was one of my favourite parts of my year and you can tell people really enjoy the work that they do - which makes for happier people! Of course work does have to happen but outside of hours are regularly team drinks, intern socials and brand events for you to freely get involved in as much as suits. There were even occasions where particular achievements led to cheeky afternoon prosecco!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Naturally I was nervous to start and I do feel we could have had a bit more communication in the lead up. However, I know that is something we have had feedback sessions on since and I fully believe L'Oreal will listen and this is something that will be improved upon. Once at work there is such a huge intern culture that it would be hard not to be set up! I had a weeks handover with the previous intern andfull role notes given with step by step instructions for tasks and there are so many contacts if you do encounter issues from the intern committee welfare officer, to your manager, to HR
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It never feels like L'Oreal only have the view of you being there a year therefore are keen to support you not only during your placement but also looking beyond. For example, advice sessions were given for applying for the grad scheme. Specifically within finance I had the opportunity of visiting our Welsh offices where accounts payable/treasury etc work from, which was great for having exposure to the wider company
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The L'Oreal Grad scheme is known as the MT scheme standing for management trainee. Of course full details can be found in their website but to me the most appealing aspect of this is the opportunity to not just be in a fixed role for the duration, but to experience 3 different rotations across different roles and even different functions. I think this is a great opportunity to understand better what suits you as a person and to get a good base of transferable skills
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
L'Oreal have an intern committee, almost in the same way universities have sports/societies. It makes the transition a lot easier and means you don't have to give up on socials just yet! It should also be noted L'Oreal have a cohort of over 100 interns so there are lots of similar minded people going through similar experiences to connect with.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I feel I perhaps did this slightly differently from other interns by choosing to commute to London. This is obviously comes with pros and cons such as the housing being cheaper but the travel being more expensive. What could be handy to others though was that before starting all interns were added to a Facebook group where house shares etc could be arranged
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Again, living outside of London means I had quite a different experience than perhaps would be typical!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?