11 Week internship (including handover week) with Kiehl's within L'Oreal. I was responsible for new store openings, props, planograms and creative ideas for seasons and launches.
Despite never having experience in this particular field, the team were extremely welcoming and within a few days I felt like I was getting to grips with the new material. I have been given multiple exciting and worthwhile projects whilst here, and it is exciting to know that when I leave I will be able to see some of my direct work in the stores around the country. I will really miss my team and the role, but hopefully one day I will return to the company!
My managers are so supportive and give me tasks that I at first feel are out of my comfort zone, but with the knowledge that I can certainly procure a good result. They gave me a lot of free reign to also come up with new ideas and present them to other Directors and GM's throughout my 11 weeks, making me feel rewarded and my job worthwhile. The rest of the intern community are also extremely passionate and I regularly meet with other people in VM roles across the brands to see how other brands deal with practices differently, seeing if I can take this to my brand and increase efficiency.
My managers would often push me to present my work to the GM which felt very daunting at first but in hindsight was extremely rewarding for my confidence and progress. They were always there for a chat and weekly catch-ups meant I could show them my work and they could check everything was on track. Their help in my Grad Scheme entry was also very substantial, their confidence in me made me want to apply!
Some days I was extremely busy and had to manage my hours to ensure I wasn't flitting between jobs too much. Some days, as with anywhere, were quiet but I would generally use those days to think up new and exciting ideas which I could then show my managers at our catch up.
I have been in charge of two major projects since starting and both will see a profound change in the stores when I leave. I was given a preliminary brief and my managers regularly catch up with me, but other than that the projects are solely my work so I can say I have been given a lot of responsibility in my time here.
I have experienced many things of value in this internship. This has been my first experience of work for a long period of time and the time management and organisational skills I have picked up will certainly help me going into my final year of study.I have learnt that commuting is not fun for anyone, but that is a good lesson to learn early on! I now feel I have a very good grasp on Visual Merchandising principles which will immensely help me should I wish to return to a similar role in the future. Overall, an immensely fun and rewarding summer spent with a great intern community and exciting business opportunities!
In my very first week our brand was in charge of the Luxe Happy Trolley, where the team get together and put chocolate, champagne, samples and music for the rest of Luxe, spreading energy on a Thursday afternoon! It was a great insight into what was going to be an extremely lively work culture. Though this only takes place once a month, that feeling of passion and excitement was tangible everywhere, it is clear that everyone loves the job they do and wants to make it the best work possible
The 3 assessments as we go through help to keep your skill building in check. At the mid-internship review, your manager makes clear what skills you are advancing in, and which need honing. This gives clear guidance for the last few weeks and makes it clear how to advance in the business. Complete with an intern committee to organise socials, sport and welfare, the intern community is very well catered for and it is an extremely vibrant and well structured community.
We had regular trainings organised by HR for us, including Legal training, Managing priorities and time, Excel PowerHour and Marketing Insights. They are tailored to interns to introduce them to working in such a large company framework. I learnt a lot I never knew about important aspects of corporate life, such as competition law and data protection. Moreover, there were regular HR meet-ups and breakfasts to ensure we were all settling well into the culture and to answer any questions we had about our journey.
I am definitely going to apply to the Grad scheme, which seems like a great way to further hone my skills and challenge myself with 3 different roles in such a diverse business. It is too early for me to decide my whole career path now so I cannot categorically say I will definitely come back to L'Oreal, but the door certainly is not closed for me and I would be intrigued to see future possibilities!
The intern social secretaries ensured we had bi-weekly opportunities to all mingle as a group, but still we interns would see each other more regularly than this, eating lunch together and going to the pub on a Friday after work when we finish at 3pm in summer! When it is someone's birthday in the team we would have a 10 minute break and some cake, and as I mentioned before every month is the Happy Trolley. When our team had any great results we would all go for a drink together to celebrate so there is certainly a great social vibe!
It is rather hard to find anywhere in London that comes close to student prices, but we did manage to find a couple of good deals if we ventured enough! I commuted from home so living costs did not apply, but travelling cost me around £10 a day which was pretty reasonable!
There is a very good pub scene and the intern social secs often found cool bars near us to take us to! I am not very familiar with the area so I would often wait for their suggestions. But we often had great socials, including Swingers indoor crazy golf bar for us summer interns for our end of internship social!
Our Sport Secs offered up weekly rounders, netball and football to get involved in which many interns did. There were also the bi-weekly socials I mentioned previously. Moreover, Citizen Day is an annual activity day where L'Oreal employees do their part for the community, and we use a work day to complete this which is a really amazing philanthropic step from the company that many people get very involved in!