Priorities were to process invoices for suppliers and expenses for Beauty Advisors.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my time in the Wales office at L'Oreal. My role has kept me busy and I have developed a lot over the year, building on existing knowledge from university and improving essential skills like communication. L'Oreal is a great company to work for.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The Wales office is very small in comparison to Hammersmith, but everyone made me feel so welcome when I first started. The Accounts Payable team were excellent in helping me to settle and were able to help with any queries or issues I had over the year. My manager was excellent, and made me feel at ease in a new working environment.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was fortunate enough to have a longer handover period than most interns, and by the time the previous intern had left, I felt that I was capable of carrying out most roles without the need for help. My manager was great and was understanding of times when I was stressed. We had weekly meetings for a number of months, which I found really beneficial and helped to increase my confidence.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The nature of my role is one that involves processing high volumes/quantities of invoices and expenses, so I have had some specific daily, weekly and monthly tasks to be getting on with. There is a constant flow of work in AP, meaning I have been quite busy. Coming into the role I wasn't expecting this necessarily, but once the priorities have been achieved, then the workload is manageable. Most days I worked the standard 9-5, but when I was busy I took advantage of my laptop and flexi-work options.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I dealt with the accounts of some of L'Oreal's largest suppliers and have been the direct contact for them. I have been able to set up meetings and conference calls with different vendors and have been able to go down to the Hammersmith office to carry out work. I have been given a workload that is very similar to that of a full-time employee. This is not a role where you will be making cups of tea for others, you have responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This year has forced me to become much more organised and made me consider my time management skills. These, coupled with improved communication and IT skills, which I have been using a lot over the last year, will benefit me massively going in to my final year at university and beyond.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The Wales office is considerably smaller than Hammersmith, so it can be quite quiet at times. However, everyone is so friendly and it is easy to start conversations with anyone in my team. People are very approachable and are willing to help.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement has been organised well; at the start all the interns had compulsory training in the Hammersmith office so it was good to meet others. However, there was a 'Finance day' that was advertised when I started, where Finance interns were to come the Wales office, but this never materialised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In terms of personal training and development, it's up to the individual as to how much they want to improve. There was compulsory training at the start of the placement, but from there it is what you want to make of it. There are plenty of e-learnings which can be used. My manager was keen for me to go to the Hammersmith office and learn more about the business. I was able to shadow others, across a range of divisions.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have applied to the Finance Graduate Scheme - this application process is ongoing currently, but if successful, I will get a job with L'Oreal - which I would love!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
If I was based in the Hammersmith office, I'm sure this would get a higher score and I would have a had a more enjoyable social life with work. There are only two interns in Wales compared to the 100+ in London, so the social side of things has been quite quiet for me.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in South Wales is considerably less than that in London, so my rent has been cheaper than those working in Hammersmith, however, accommodation has still been more expensive than at univeristy. I have been living in Cardiff so there are plenty of socialising options outside of work. However, nearer to the office there would be fewer socialising opportunities.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I lived in Cardiff and got to work via 20-25 minute car journey. There is no nightlife close to office, but Cardiff is great for a night out. We had our Christmas party in Cardiff and had a great time. I've also had few friends from university down for weekends and we have enjoyed the bars and clubs on offer.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There has been plenty of sports clubs and charity schemes that have been on offer, however not being in the Hammersmith office has limited this to an extent. When I came down to shadow another intern, I played for the five-a-side team and really enjoyed this.