Working on the grocery accounts for the promotional merchandising elements of the brand. I created POS designs and aligned with marketing on the look and feel of sites.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my time at L'Oreal, I loved working within the brand team and learning from others. It's helped me decide what I want to do with my career and I will use all my industry experience in my final year of university.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I expected to be doing a lot of 'intern' jobs but I was entrusted with the same responsibilities as a normal employee. Everyone in the team is really inclusive and wanted to help achieve as much as I could in the year I was there. I was also exposed to the different hierarchies in the team and learning from them and their experiences was so valuable.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was brilliant, we had one to ones every week and she encouraged me to take on more responsibility once I was familiar with my role. She ensures my work-life balance is as it should be and was always offering me new experiences outside of my role. We went on training days and external exhibitions so that I could learn about other aspects of the industry.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Once I had got to grips with my role, I found the work load to be relatively easy as I had managed to iron out the problems within my work processes and increased their efficiency. Once I voiced this to my manager, she suggested new projects for me to take on and increased my responsibility by giving me control of the budget which increased my workload and allowed me to feel fulfilled in my role.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given the same amount of responsibility as any normal employee. I was encouraged to challenge processes and give input into projects. Additionally, because I wanted to maximise the usefulness of my placement year, I was also given span elements of other roles so my experience has been well-rounded and beyond my usual job role.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The opportunity for training at L'Oreal is extensive. You can book onto internal courses that give you tips on how to deal with people and processes within the business but also how to progress your career. I also had the opportunity to go on external training days with my team. This external knowledge will help me in my final year of university as it has given context to a lot of the theory I already knew.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Being in the CPD division, my role and the team was very fast-paced. There was always something to do and a project to be working on because the turnarounds are so quick. This created a high-pressure environment but also meant that people were working to a high standard and allowed people to achieve which was really fulfilling. There were times when things were stressful but the results from these stressful periods made it worthwhile and rewarding. There was a good culture of socialising out of work hours and encouraged team bonding days.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
This was faultless. There was a specific HR team that worked with just the interns and grads and therefore the support was always there. Because there is a big intern community, there was a committee who organised events and other elements to take part in such as the intern newsletter, instagram account, and social committee. My manager was also prepared to support me successfully and that made such an impression on me.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Training opportunities were widely available via a website that you could book the sessions on. My manager also pushed me to take different opportunities so that I could gain a broad experience in the industry rather than sticking to just my role. I also had catch ups with the Marketing Director who was also invested in maximising my experience at the company.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The employment structure in the business shows clear routes for career progression and this is appealing to me starting my career. These lines were outlined to us as a brand team by HR and this transparency was appreciated. The graduate scheme is highly competitive and this makes the prospect daunting but would make success all the more rewarding.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As there are a lot of interns, the opportunity to integrate within the community was great with events organised by the intern committee. We had a social the week before we all started so that we could meet each other and this was a good thing and it meant starting the placement less intimidating. We also had a Christmas social that allowed us to all get together out of work hours.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I commuted into London as I chose to live at home and this made my travel very expensive but as a result, my living expenses were minimal. I found that even living at home, it was hard to save money on the intern wage. Socialising was slightly more expensive as it was in the city
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Being in London, there were a lot of socials that were organised divisionally as well as with my team. The nightlife was great but because I was commuting into London from home, I didn't get to make the most of this. This was my choice and suited me but there was plenty of opportunity - either with the other interns, with the division or with your team
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was opportunity to get involved in the sports teams with the other interns (netball and football) and there were a lot of charity events that involved fundraising and team building outside of work.