I have been on the Finance internship and have really enjoyed the opportunity to experience other functions and levels outside of my role. There are lots of cross-functional projects to get involved with, and you are actively encouraged to shadow others both within and outside of your team. This helped me to not only get the most out of my placement year, but also to give me a better idea of what I wanted to do when I graduate.
Interns are given a lot of responsibility and your role is a 'real' job. You are not made to feel like an intern, however this increased responsiblity does come with more stress, and the expectancy that you will work extra hours to keep up with the workload.
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I worked closely with the marketing teams, and received a lot of positive feedback that my role and the help I gave to the teams was really useful. Within the finance team, I had the opportunity to present my projects at team meetings, and received feedback that the work I had produced was very valuable. A lot of my work has an impact for those at the higher levels, making my work valuable to my colleagues.
I did not receive a huge amount of guidance from my direct line manager. That being said, other members of my team took a lot of time to support me and offer guidance. I had regular catchups with my manager+1, who could offer valuable career advice, and lots of people stepped in to share their knowledge when relevant to tasks/projects I was working on.
The monthly cycle meant that my workload flucuated. Around month end, I found the role a lot more stressful, as the number of tasks increased. Because landing the month was dependant on these tasks being complete, there was no flex on deadlines, which made this difficult to manage. I was never bored on my internship, which I see as a strong positive, however the roles at L'Oreal can be intense, and it is not an *easy* year.
My role was given an actual job title, rather than just 'Finance Intern', emphasising the importance of the role and level of responsibility. I was free to complete tasks in a way that suited me. I felt that the tasks I was doing were highly important and valued. Throughout the year, as I became more competent, I took on some tasks from my manager, enhancing my level of responsibility.
I feel that the skills I have developed will be extremely useful when I graduate. I have had real life experience in a job, making me more employable, an the level of responsilbity I have experienced means I will be more than happy to be thrown in at the deep end in my graduate job. I don't feel that the internship will make much difference to my degree performance. The content of my modules doesn't really match up to the tasks I have completed in my job, although my stronger time management will be beneficial.
There are a lot of socials, at various different levels, helping to develop relationships and keep everyone motivated. We celebrate every launch and there is always annoucements to the whole business about exciting events relating to our brands. It's a lot of fun to work in an office surrounded by my favourite makeup products!
On the other hand, it can be a stressful working environment, with a lot of pressure to meet tight deadlines. It can be a bit frantic but you learn to block it out and get on with what you need to do!
There are a lot of interns and the scheme is very well developed with a lot of structure. You have a good induction period, and there are intern events and HR catch-ups set up to make sure everyone is on track. There are a couple of HR staff dedicated solely to interns and grads so you always have someone to go to for any queries.
Interns were invited to all training sessions and meetings, and not treated any differently to permanent staff. There were loads of trainings to sign up to, and you were encouraged to attend any trainings that interested you, even outside of your function. For example, I attended a really fun training on how to build your social media presence and even found out the prime time for posting on Instagram.
The internship by no means guarantees you a job within the company and there is 3 stages of application to get a place on the grad scheme, even with the intership year completed. I found this surprising as a lot of my friends at other companies were simply offered a grad job is they performed well.
There is an intern comittee who put together lots of social and sports events at the start of the year to help you get to know everyone. There are around 100 interns in the office so you make friends really easily!
Hammersmith is a pricey area to live in - but that's what you expect from London!
There's lot of good bars in the area, and Clapham is a short bus journey away for a good choice of clubs. It is expensive though, and I found it was better to get an Uber to Kingston for a cheaper (and just as fun) night out.
Other than football, I never heard about any more teams which would have been better as I missed out on a lot of sport over the year.