Supporting Lancome UK sales team
Not much, to be honest. I never got a chance to go beyond my job description and try new things either. I initially applied for a Digital Marketing placement, as this is where my true passions lie, but got recommended for a Sales position by HR - and I accepted. As soon as I felt comfortable in my Sales position, I have asked my manager for some new opportunities that would align better with my interests and future career goals. I am passionate about beauty and advertising and came up with ideas on how I could contribute to the team. Despite my keenness, all of my ideas were ignored. This has definitely contributed to my decline in motivation.
As a side note, I believe a lot of people give more stars than I do, because working at L'Oreal has one massive perk, especially for students: you get A LOT of free makeup.
I did not feel very appreciated by my team. A lot of the time, I was just doing simple data pulls and other menial tasks that did not require much skill or intelligence, but were quite boring and time-consuming - so they were given to an intern. Despite the claims on L'Oreal's website, there were time where I had to bring coffee for 10 people or deliver some products to store. I did not feel like my talents and skills were fully utilised or appreciated.
As my manager has moved onto a different role in the middle of the placement, I had two managers over the course of the 12 months I spent at L'Oreal. Thanks to that, I had the opportunity to experience two completely different management styles. My first manager was very well organised, kind, and great when it came to giving me constructive feedback. When she saw I struggled with some of my responsibilities, she would sit down with me to diagnose the problem and write an action plan of how I can improve. She was a great guide and mentor.
The second manager, however, was very erratic. It was difficult to have a weekly meeting with her, as she never had time to sit down with me and talk about the priorities for the week. Instead, she would just fire off emails to me with random tasks to complete and never really cared about my other projects. Unfortunately, both of these management types are present in L'Oreal.
Every week I had a list of recurring projects to complete, such as processing stock requests and updating the team on performance of our products. Additionally, I would always get a lot of email with small but urgent tasks to complete, which was very stressful. I rarely left work before 6pm, even though my contracted hours were 9-5.
Not enough. Despite being the right-hand to an Account Manager, I never got the opportunity to meet our clients, buyers, or anyone more senior in L'Oreal. I would a lot of back-sheet work: calculating sales, tracking store performance; in short, lots of Excel work that my manager and higher management needed for those meetings to be constructive. I never got a chance to go beyond my job description and try new things either.
I joined L'Oreal for a 12 month placement solely to learn and develop new skills - it was not required as part of my Political Science degree. It is definitely an experience I would recommend to everyone. I have learned a lot about myself, developed my confidence and professionalism, which are critical to a future success. I have also mastered Excel, a skill that will surely help me a lot in any future job.
My only regret is that I didn't do two 6-months placements in two different companies. As L'Oreal inters get assigned mostly menial, simple tasks, after 6 months I was rather bored. I wasn't learning any more. I'm convinced that a change of workplace after 6 month would push me even further in my personal development.
Very lively, quite happy and relaxed. In the first few weeks, the new interns were definitely the best dressed - the L'Oreal culture is quite relaxed in terms of office clothing!
L'Oreal also organises a lot of events and activities to better integrate the teams: we went to a cooking class, on a day trip to Reading, and, of course, to countless pubs.
The HR was very organised in term sof giving us clear deadlines and objectives. Interns are an integral part of the company so there isn't any confusion as to what are we supposed to do.
L'Oreal offers a lot of 'personal development' courses, such as 'Dealing with Change' or 'Giving constructive Feedback', I wish they employed better trainers to conduct them.
Furthermore, L'Oreal has a partnership with Coursera, an online platform, and allows every employee to take 3 courses a year and get certified for free. I found it super useful to supplement my learning and career progression.
It depends on the person: a lot of my friends can't wait to finish their studies and come back to L'Oreal. I think if you perform well, it is quite easy to get a spot on the grad scheme or an entry-level role. I personally find these roles as not challenging enough, but would love to come back to L'Oreal in a higher position eventually.
No, not much was happening. There is an intern committee, but everyone was too busy and tired to socialise after work.
Well, it's London. Intern salary is quite good compared to other companies (20k a year), but you still need to manage your finances prudently.
Non-existent; however, it's easy to travel around London to world-famous venues.