Visual Merchandising Intern at The Body Shop

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Portsmouth South East
Review Date
£22,000 - £23,999


The Role



The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I didn’t find my experience enjoyable overall. Despite my ever-growing love for TBS and my 7 years of service in-store, I felt I wasn’t delt a fair share of opportunity and was treated unfairly in many situations. Coming from a strong, passionate in-store team - I had formidable respect for the brand, however I come away from this opportunity with the complete opposite outlook.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Overall throughout my entire experience I felt valued by my wider colleague base - however I didn’t feel this was replicated by my closer team of colleagues. In some instances I would say I disapprove of how I was left to my own devices. I was made to feel inadequate in more than one instance and spent most of my experience clearing out a stock room that, in the words of my direct line manager, “breached health and safety regulations”.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I don’t feel as if my line manager gave me the necessary support in regards to my next steps... Throughout my mid year review he specifically said, “I don’t think you should personally stay with The Body Shop, I think you should gain experience elsewhere”. My passion for the brand was always apparent - I saw my future with the brand and it was constantly knocked down by comments like these.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Most of my days consisted of tidying or cleaning up after my team. I’m not sure how this is constructive, as I certainly didn’t learn anything from doing this.
I believe this is down to poor management. I could of been busy by collaborating with other VM teams and seeking new ways we could make our channels more efficient, something I always mentioned in my appraisals and to HR, however new ideas were never entertained or explored.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I wasn’t ever given the opportunity to front a project unfortunately - again down to a poor management. I don’t think my line manager was a team player as the work load wasn’t delegated fairly. I couldn’t say I had any ownership over anything apart from the Mock Shop store room, which was always organised, until it was messed up by my team and I was expected to clean up after them time and time again.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

It didn’t. I didn’t find the company at all helpful when it came to career prospects. Because I was a post-grad I had all intention to stay with the brand, however due to the lack of support from my line manager and hr I had to cut my internship short to find a job elsewhere... and had to pay £600 that was remaining for a train pass that I had no use for.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Dull - everyone seemed very negative most of the time.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

As mentioned previously I don’t think I was invested in at all.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • There were no perks with this Placement Year

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

As mentioned before - I wasn’t given much support on my future prospects. Being a post-grad I thought I would of been valued a lot more than I was. Opportunities were non existent when it came to finding a job.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

I didn’t live in the area - I commuted. The food I bought for lunch most days was affordable... box park is a must. Probably the highlight of my experience.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Not really - my team didn’t really organise any team based/team building activities, hense why I think there was such a disconnect between myself and my team. No effort was made, which is something I feel is really important to get to know one another. Other than that the interns had to plan their own activities.