Managing the visual merchandising of the brand across all e-retailer sites.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my placement with L'Oreal as you receive a huge amount of responsibility and ability to work autonomously. The staff shop benefits are unreal and the people are great! However, it's not an easy ride at all. There is a huge amount of pressure put on you from day 1, and if you are not able to be top of your game everyday and work hard and efficiently then it will be tough.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Some say the environment is a bit 'devil wears prada' which can be true in some teams but others are great. Make your own stamp within your team and you'll be fine, my team never had lunch together or even stopped for lunch! But now I've introduced lunch together at least once a week and it's make the team a much nicer environment to be in. The closer you get with your colleagues the more you feel valued and enjoy being at work! Although, my direct manager was incredible and valued everything I did and was always sending feedback.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was queen of feedback, but the nice type and was great at offering feedback to improve in a nice way! She pushed me to network and get involved in projects outside of my role. Not every manager is like this, I was very lucky, but this is the same for every company!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Every day was beyond crazy. Particularly in the run up to Christmas there was not time to breathe. But if you're like me and love being busy it's the perfect internship for you! This internship is a real role, there's no time for making coffees and doing printing, it's full on and a lot will be expected of you, but also you'll get a lot out of it.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
LOADS. In a nutshell, I looked after everything that you see online for 12 brands huge across 23 retailers, and that was just half of my job. If you want to be pushed and love responsibility then Loreal is the perfect place to be and flourish. There are always more projects you can get involved with, for example I ended up running multiple online user experience research projects and launching a whole new digital assets platform and so much more.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I've learnt with L'Oreal will stay with me for life. This placement has been more valuable than I ever could've imagined. I'm now a queen of time management, prioritising, being organised, networking, negotiating, being creative, problem solving etc. There are also so many trainings you can attend, for example I've been to training to create my own personal development plan, body language for having challenging discussions, eComm modules, excel, how to deal with change, how to lead change and so many more. I am now quite excited to go back to uni and put my new skills into practise, I'll be the more organised and structured with me studies I've ever been.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It's VERY mixed. Monday - Thursday is busy, there's lots of people about, lots of visitors, lots of noise and meetings, everyone hot desks and it's a nice and friendly place to be. On Fridays, most people work from home (a perk interns also get), so the office is dead. But this can be quite fun and you get loads of work done because you aren't getting asked lots of questions.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was well organised, you don't mix much with other brands or divisions, but the roles have structure and there is some great training at the start to kick start the year. However, there could've been more training sessions set up for interns throughout the year instead of just the start. Also, not Loreal's fault at all but you nominate your own committee at the start of the year and our social secs were naff so there were hardly any intern socials.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Apart from the training session at the start (which is incredible), it's up to you to push for your own development. You must sign up for your own training sessions and seek your own opportunities to development. If you're motivated, you'll get lots out of the year and lots of investment from training programmes.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There's an 18 month grad scheme, with 3 x six month rotations in different roles. It's great because you get to work with different, people, brands and in different types of job. Perfect if you're not 100% sure what you want to do once you graduate. Alternatively, there's a scheme called talent track where you get put on the books to come back to the company once you graduate in a full-time role. Both have perks, it's just up to you as an individual which suits you best!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes there is! Our social secs nominated at the start of the year weren't great, but we arranged our own events and nights out. Everyone is in the same boat with moving to London so are super sociable and friendly.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is expensive, so if you have the option to live at home and commute then do it! Or if you are moving to London then try to live within walking distance of the office because transport costs add up. Socialising can also be expensive, with the average pint being £5-£6, which is a big difference to uni prices. Just budget well and you'll be fine.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Hammersmith has some great bars but no clubs. Although, it's very easy to get into central and the bus and tube services in the area are great.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
If you look for them then yes! I've been a part of an intern netball league this year which has been really good fun.