I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement at L'Oreal and although initially sceptical of the brand I was assigned to, I couldn't have asked for a better brand/division to experience L'Oreal in!
Everyone is really welcoming and treat you as part of the team rather than an intern. You are given a huge amount of responsibility, are able to test your own ideas and have various opportunities to learn new skills.
There is also a great work/life balance with many intern activities organised inside and outside of work.
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I felt like a valued member of my team and division with various opportunities to display my work and contribute new ideas to our weekly tribe, along with brand update meetings presenting to the General Manager of the division. The L'Oreal environment encourages people to voice new ideas and concepts. This helps keep meetings dynamic and creative, plus it's great to see when one of your ideas in these sessions comes to fruition!
I had a weekly 1:1 meeting with my manager for an hour. This provided the perfect opportunity to receive clarification or further guidance on current projects. These meetings were also a chance to voice new things you would like to work/improve on and personal development to upskill yourself through the various training sessions L'Oreal provides.
This varied due to the nature of the role. Working on new product launches would be the busiest times throughout the year, however there was never a day where I had nothing to work on. After product launches, you are able to deep dive on other areas e.g. I wanted to improve my analysis/excel skills so I was able to look at the performance of recent product launches or create a sampling recommendation for the year based on sell-out by account.
My marketing team was composed of myself and my manager. Working in a small team gave me great exposure to the other functions and how we work together. I was able to work independently with the other functions and had the opportunity to pursue my own ideas, alongside being a key contact for our reps team. I had a 2.5 month period with no manager, which was an amazing experience to learn and step up to the challenge. I gained a greater business strategy understanding and launched 2 new product ranges in this time period, which really improved my confidence.
L'Oreal has a learning platform called 'My Learning', which allows you to take control of your development, pursue your personal interests and learn from others during the working day. The trainers are amazing and really engaging about topics you might not normally think are interesting. I have really improved my presentation skills from going on various courses and presenting as part of the job - this will be really useful for coursework in final year and beyond. There are also external opportunities to learn e.g. visiting Google and learning about how we can use their analysis tools on our brand websites.
Within my division, there was a friendly family atmosphere, which was really welcoming to join. Everyone is approachable and despite working on different brands/functions, people want to help you and support the greater good of the division.
We celebrate birthdays in the office, had a bake-off competition for the first half of the year, tea-takeouts (an opportunity to brainstorm about a challenge that could improve the division) and town hall/monthly business updates, where we support each other's work and achievements!
The placement was really well organised. I knew which brand I would be working on 2 months before starting, which gave me the chance to research and see the brand in-store before starting work. I was also given my manager's contact details, which allowed me to ask questions on what to bring/wear on my first day and whether any prep work was needed. The inductions to L'Oreal, legal, scientific, ethics etc. were all set up in the calendar to take place within the first month of placement. The FIT handbook was also a great reference tool to start the placement and refer to throughout.
An intern social was set up for the Friday before the placement started, which was a great opportunity to meet other interns who would be going through the same experience and having a familiar face in the office.
L'Oreal invests in personal development and upskilling current talent, which shows it is really important to the business. The MyLearning platform allows you to be in control of your own development and participate in sessions when it suits you. I have been to a range of training sessions from presentation skills, e-commerce, excel and social analysis. All the trainers were really engaging and I was able to apply the learnings to my work, which shows how valuable these opportunities are!
Many of the full-time employees at L'Oreal were once interns and have continued their L'Oreal career through the graduate scheme or talent track (kept on L'Oreal's books and contacted when a position becomes available that matches your interests). I would definitely like to explore L'Oreal further, as there is so much more to learn and opportunities to work on a variety of campaigns for different markets. Because of this, the graduate scheme is very appealing, as you have 3 x 6 month rotations across divisions/functions/brands.
Yes, I found that I preferred socialising with the interns within my division rather than the organised intern events, as these friendships came more naturally to me. We have organised a range of activities including Thorpe Park, race day at at Ascot, a trip to Cornwall, crazy golf and an escape room!
I commuted from home, which allowed me to save money. The train fare was very expensive but L'Oreal can give you a loan to buy the ticket, which they then deduct from your monthly salary. Most of the interns live in a walking distance to Hammersmith, which is very expensive but as expected for London. Socialising in London is expensive compared to uni, but again this is expected.
We have summer hours on a Friday, which means we finish at 3pm. The office is a short walk from the river so we would go for team/intern drinks for the evening, which was really nice. Hammersmith is not necessarily a 'nightlife' hotspot, so you would need to travel to Kensington/Chelsea or central if you are looking for late night bars/night clubs, which are very expensive.
There is a L'Oreal sports committee which organised rounders/netball/football leagues, but once these have started its harder to join! I prefer to use the gym at home, but there are several gyms in Hammersmith, with one next to the office.