12 month finance intern
I have enjoyed my year at L'Oreal - every day was different, stimulating and full of opportunities. However, the work load sometimes culminates in high levels of stress.
I have worked with some great people, and made friends that I will stay in touch with after we leave.
L'Oreal is a fast paced and exciting company to be at. It is definitely work hard play hard, and if that's what you like then it's a great place to be.
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I felt that my team and the people I worked with really appreciated my time and efforts, this made a lot of work worthwhile. Conversely there were some individuals who didn't always respect the views and requests from me as I was just an intern in their eyes.
On the whole I think people respected me and my contribution - lots of people mistakenly thought I was a grad.
I had a lot of support from people in various places within the division. This allowed me to progress well in the role. I didn't have a great handover so it was tough at the start, but the help offered by others was great.
If my workload was too much, things would be rearranged to accommodate this and try and prioritise the right things.
I had several daily tasks to complete, and a variety of monthly tasks which filled the majority of my days. On top of these regular tasks, I had several projects that I was working on which made my days full and varied.
Occasionally there would be a lot of things due at the same time and the stress levels would increase.
I had a lot of responsibility from the get go, with my role being a sufficient size that my job title did not contain "intern" like a lot of other people's.
On top of this I had several projects that I was leading on, and my manager is due to move roles before I finish, so I will be assisting in the cover for her until her replacement starts.
Finally, I was given an extra brand to work on after 6 months which increased my responsibilities.
There were lots of training put on by the learning team that I attended, varying from Feedback, to coaching, to e-commerce. These were great opportunities to develop in a professional capacity.
Furthermore, there were several breakfasts and learns or the f*** up night - these were great opportunities to learn in a more informal setting.
I don't think a lot of what I have learnt is relevant to my degree, but definitely useful when I return to the world of work.
The general office atmosphere was hectic but fun. There was a big push on hot desking and collaboration throughout the year and that really made it a fun place to be.
The team socials, division socials and the people made L'Oreal a welcoming place, but everyone was also very focused on achieving the goals of the company.
From the start of the process it was organised well. Contracts were sent out promptly, the HR team helped us find housemates, and organised a welcome social.
The hand over week was good, although my predecessor didn't give the greatest handover, the overall set up was good and I felt prepared to start.
Mid year reviews, End of year reviews and the grad scheme process were well organised and communicated to use appropriately.
In was encouraged to take every opportunity to shadow other people in the business, and attend training sessions on a variety of topics. This enabled me to develop in a personal and professional capacity.
If I had a lot of work on, this would be rearranged so that I could attend the training sessions that I wanted to attend.
I have recently had a catch up with the head of my function in my division and the career progression was clear and interesting. I like the possibility of an overseas assignment.
I have applied for the management trainee scheme and hope I am successful! It has been made clear to me the fast progress that is possible within the organisation.
At the start of the year there were a lot of socials which were great to make initial friends and network.
As the year went on, the number of socials decreased however we had branched off into different social groups. I have made friends that I will keep in touch with after we leave the business.
A highlight of the year was the intern Christmas party.
Cost of living wasn't cheap - half of my salary went on rent (I lived in an alright house within walking distance of the office so I saved money on transport)
The cost of socials was pretty expensive as it is london prices, and you need to travel for most things.
I wasn't able to save any of my salary from the year, but I did lead a very social life style :)
Plenty of bars and pubs to go to, but not many clubs. The exception was Slug in Fulham which was reliable for a cheap and cheesy night out.
If that's not what you like then you do have to travel quite a way to central or east London. There's plenty to do as you are close to Westfields which has things like Crazy Golf in it.
The interns ran rounders in the summer and football throughout the year. These were great ways to make friends with people you don't immediately work with.
In addition to this, you could take part in charity activities such as the 3 peaks challenge or the Prince's Trust Spinathon. These were also good opportunities to network with people who were not interns