The role involved supporting a National Account Manager in managing their accounts (retailers), selling in new products and tracking the sales of products on the market.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at L'Oreal. I was given real work that actually contributed to the business which made the role both challenging and rewarding. I enjoyed the fact that the role was hard work, but I think L'Oreal makes this clear to applicants that the internship is demanding and they expect a lot from interns.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
A lot is expected of interns and in turn my team gave me a lot of support and guidance throughout the year. I felt comfortable in asking questions and asking for help if needed and felt valued by my team. We had bi-weekly team meetings and team away days which helped with building our team spirit.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had two managers during my placement, both of whom were brilliant. In the beginning when I needed a lot of support with managing my workload and prioritisation, my manager was really supportive and gave me loads of guidance. As I became more independent and confident in my role, my manager was still there if I needed her but left me to work autonomously which I appreciated.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This depended on a number of factors such as the time of year, if we were preparing for strategy meetings and if we were in the middle of a launch. I never found myself bored or with nothing to do. In busy periods I would get to work early and finish late, but aside from those times I had a good balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
When I felt confident in taking on more serious and important work, my team were happy to give it to me. I was given responsibility from the beginning, which increased throughout the year. I also think that my team would have been happy to give me more work if I'd have asked for it.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As my placement counted towards my degree I was required to write reflections throughout my internship. This placement was definitely one of the most valuable parts of my degree. From learning basic work skills (office behaviour + culture, email etiquette etc.) to real business skills which I think you can only learn on the job, I have learnt a significant amount over this year which will definitely benefit both my degree and future employment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Each floor in the office is different and the atmosphere tends to reflect the brands that work there. My brand fell somewhere in the middle of really outgoing and boring - we had a fair number of social nights over the year but there's definitely an opportunity for there to be more.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very. I felt like the only less organised part was the time between receiving my offer and being told which brand and team I would be working in. But once I knew my brand my manager got in touch straight away and I got to ask any questions. Similarly, as soon as I arrived there was an organised handover and structure to my role which I appreciated!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
That is one of the best things about L'Oreal in my opinion. They have a dedicated training and development team and there are so many courses you can sign up to. They range from 1 hour training sessions to full day ones about time management, personal development, delegation, diversity etc.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is the option to apply for a competitive grad scheme which involves three 6 month rotations around the business. There is also a scheme called 'talent track' where the business 'keeps in touch' after your internship and recommends you first for any relevant entry level roles that come up.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I think this is one aspect that could have been improved in my internship. There is an intern committee elected in the first week with two social secretaries, however ours didn't get around to organising any socials which is a shame. This isn't necessarily a reflection on L'areal but on our year's social committee.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived near Hammersmith and was able to walk to work which meant I didn't have to pay for a travel pass. The cost of living near Hammersmith is expensive, but less so than central London. I think it's an inevitable part of working and living in London which is somewhat reflected in the salary.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlight around Hammersmith is limited, but it's not too hard to get a tube to where the nightlife is better. There are quite a few nice bars and pubs which we went to after work, but less clubs and 'nightlife'. It was more enjoyable in the summer when we could sit outside or in the park.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Aside from a netball team that had no connections to work, there was not many opportunities to join in activities outside of work. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing however as it was nice to be able to leave work at work and have evenings and weekends to do other things.