Overall I enjoyed my placement year at L'Oréal. I liked the fact that I was given quite a lot of responsibility really early on in the internship. I also liked the fact that you join a specific brand within the company, it feels like you are joining a little family and doesn't make you feel as lost in such a big company. Working with these people on the brand makes it easier to start making connections as we did a few social events all together outside of work. Workwise I think that at the beginning of the placement I felt a bit overwhelmed with the workload that was being handed over but got to grips with all my responsibilities within a couple of months, at which point I started asking for more work.
Generally I felt that my colleagues valued me but I feel that as an intern there's certain tasks that are expected of you that maybe make you feel less valued/important because its the tasks that no one really wants to do so they ask you. Some of my tasks were more important than others and although there were times where I wasn't sure anyone were even looking at the reports I was running, I was also involved in presentations which made me feel valued because everyone would be listening to what I had to say.
I think I got just the right amount of support from my manager so that I was able to get on with my work without someone constantly checking up on me and at the same time be able to go to him with any problems I had. I liked the fact that I was trusted to manage my own workload. Our weekly catch ups were used to discuss any problems I had and any projects he wanted me to work on.
The start of my placement was busy but only because it took me a long time to get things done whilst I was learning how to do the tasks I was given. The actual amount of tasks I was given I would say was fair, enough to keep my busy the whole day without making me leave at ridiculous times each day. As I got the hang of things I became less busy as I would finish my tasks quite quickly each day. I spoke to my manager about this and he started giving me projects to work on which I really enjoyed. I was also asked to help out on another brand which obviously increased my workload which was good.
A the start of the placement I was obviously given less responsibility than later on but I think that's normal. That having been said even at the start I did still have a certain amount of responsibility as I was just left to get on with my tasks which meant I was trusted and it was up to me to get them done. When I showed I could handle the workload I was initially given I then got involved in more important tasks within my brand and others.
My placement has really helped in developing my excel skills as all of my work was done on excel. I am now really comfortable using formulas I was previously introduced to at uni and have learnt new ones since being on placement which I am sure will come in useful in future jobs.
The placement has also helped me develop my social and communication skills which has made me more confident as a person and which I'm sure will come in handy in future interviews and assessment centres.
Good atmosphere in the office. Everyone was always really happy on the brand and would always make themselves available to help with whatever I needed. Lots of people would work at home on Friday which meant the office was really quite; this was a nice atmosphere to work in for the people who did end up coming in.
It was very well organised. I had an induction week with the intern I was taking over from who gave me an overview of my job and what I was going to be doing. I had to attend compulsory training on how to manage different aspects of workplace. Throughout my placement I was kept updated by HR and was aware of different trainings available and what I needed to complete as part of my placement.
The company had a internet app dedicated to training employees/interns. "Book my learning" was a webpage which displayed all the available training that was available to me during my time at L'Oréal. This would be constantly updated with new courses including courses provided by people external to the company. Some courses would be compulsory and others optional. For example all interns had to attend Legal training at the start of the placement.
I really enjoyed my placement and am applying for the grad scheme. I loved the culture of the company and the people. I am really interested in the beauty industry so it was good to be able to apply my knowledge of Accounting and Finance to a Company that I am passionate about.
Before even starting the placement a Facebook was set up by L'Oréal for all the interns so that we could organise housing in Hammersmith. When the placement started an intern vote was held to see who we wanted to represent us on different comities such as social, sport etc. The social sec organised various nights out in London gathering all the interns together.
I decided to live in Canary Wharf and commute from there. Rent/bills were really expensive and the commute was quite long. It was really tiring and if I get the grad role I will definitely live closer to the L'Oréal office in Hammersmith. I think having such a long commute made me less willing to socialise and keep active in the gym as I got home too tired.
I wouldn't say the nightlife is great in Hammersmith but you are really close to central London which is good for going out. Also the L'Oréal offices are just opposite the station. Hammersmith does have a good variety of pubs and restaurants which is good for when you want a change from the canteen or to chill after a long day at work.
L'Oréal offer free yoga classes on Wednesdays in the office and discount of certain gyms within Hammersmith. They also offer discount on certain shops within the station. The intern social sec organised some get togethers after work, football in the park and night outs. L'Oréal also organises a Christmas party every year and you will be able to get involved in nights out with your team/brand.