I throughly enjoyed my placement year with L'Oreal. My team were incredible and I was made to feel like a valued member, not just an intern. I was given a great deal of responsibility and trusted to make my own judgements. The only reason why I am not giving this 10 stars is due to the high pressured environment which at times did have me stressed, but nonetheless I still loved my placement.
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My team felt just like a family, I do not think I could have been luckier with the team I worked in. My judgment was completely trusted and my opinion valued which made me feel super comfortable. Working in such a lovely team made the tougher times feel more worth it.
I could not have asked for a better manager on my placement. I felt as if they completely understood how I worked best and understood how I dealt with things. My manager was also incredible at noticing when I felt overwhelmed and advising me how best to cope with situations and manage my priorities. I felt that my manager taught me so much in the last year, both personally and professionally.
Although I loved my job and the responsibility that came with it but I did often feel very overwhelmed. I was normally the first member of my team to come in so I could get everything done. Part of the reason I felt so busy was because I wanted to do more, but quite often I was very overwhelmed with the workload.
I was given so much responsibility on my placement year. My role was in a Commercial role, supporting National Account Managers. However, half way through my placement year the team trusted me with the responsibility of managing my own small accounts - I could not have been luckier with the responsibility I was trusted with!
The skills learnt over my placement will be more beneficial for the workplace in my graduate job opposed to in my degree. However, the I have learnt a great deal about professionalism, time management, prioritising and analytical skills which are all transferable into my degree. The last year has really helped me to develop my confidence which will give me a huge advantage in both my degree and graduate roles.
The atmosphere in the office was fantastic! We had a very relaxed working environment which worked well for me. We had the ability to 'hot desk' and also work flexibly which gave a more relaxed feel to the atmosphere, with a smart casual dress code. Sometimes my area of the office could get quite loud due to the nature of my team but that was no problem for me as I knew I could move elsewhere if it was too much.
The work placement was set up well initially. From the application process through to the assessment centre it was very clear on the process and you knew who to contact. My only criticism of this was our first week of starting, it felt slightly disorganised and there was not quite enough time to handover from the previous intern.
We were able to access a vast range of additional trainings to aid our development. However, there was not a lot of education regarding the availability of these trainings. If you knew where to look, which luckily I did, then it was easy to make the most of these trainings but otherwise you would struggle to know.
The future employment prospects are promising but the industry is very competitive. You have the ability to apply from the Graduate Scheme or a fast track to interview stages of entry level roles. However, due to little communication about how realistic it is to get into future employment within the organisation, it feels like the odds are against most interns that want to apply.
The social scene was brilliant! As there are so many interns there are always people that want to go out and do social things. My team were also very sociable and team nights out are really common which I think helped improve the family dynamic in the teams as you felt closer due to socialising outside of work.
I lived at my parents house during placement and commuted so I do not have the best view of the real cost of living. However, through talking to my friends who lived in the area they said cost of living was quite dear - but then London is known for being more expensive! L'Oreal do pay more than most companies for a placement salary due to the higher cost of living.
London has so much going on! There was always somewhere to go, with such a range of different nights out to suit everyone. The only downside is that London is so expensive so no night out is ever that cheap (but always fun)
There were a few opportunities, I got involved with a netball team amongst some of the other interns. However, I would say there weren't as many activities as was advertised to us when applying for the placement year. We had an intern committee who were meant to be responsible for organising activities outside of work but I think about 3 things were organised over the full year.