My internship was extremely rewarding. I was given a lot of responsibility and autonomy, allowing me to grow in the role and determine, with the guidance of my manager, what actions would be best for the brand. Having said that, the internship was a lot of hard work. I worked long hours, and often felt stressed at work.
I absolutely loved my team -everyone was always willing to help and give support. Colleagues would often give positive feedback, which allowed me to feel more confident and integrated in the team. On the social side, we would often go for coffee or lunch together, or go for food/drinks after work.
I cannot praise my manager enough. She has been so supportive, scheduling catch ups to focus on my professional growth, as well as the weekly catch ups that cover day-to-day work demands. I have always felt like I could go to her if I had an issue, and she has always been so easy to work with, providing clear briefs and assistance whenever I ask.
I was busy every day - this was great, as the days passed quickly, and I never clock-watched. The only issue with this, is that I almost always worked over time, and sometimes felt as though I had too much work to be able to complete it to the quality I desired.
I was given a lot of responsibility, making decisions that had a real impact on the brand and how consumers interacted with it. I would often have to discuss what I was working on with the brand director. Colleagues would come to me for advice , or to ask if a retailer would have a certain capability.
I have developed many skills that I can take away with me: -Time management -Management of expectations -Networking skills -Market knowledge -Learning how to approach different working styles
Even though the team got on really well, the atmosphere in the office was always quite subdued. I know that other brands in the division had a much more lively office environment, so it may simply be that our brand was a quieter bunch of people. I always found that after a team away day, the atmosphere in the office was much more positive.
The placement was extremely well organised from the moment I walked through the door, and I was clear on what my progression stream would be from an early stage. I never felt uncertain as to what projects I should be focusing on, and HR often sent out emails reminding us of the intern-to-career progression process.
There are a vast amount of trainings to take part in, however I rarely had the time to try them out as I was so busy with the day-to-day work of my role.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
I am applying for the grad scheme, which entails 3x 6 month rotations across different divisions and functions in the company. This is appealing, as it will provide greater insight into the company as a whole (whereas on the internship you only receive insight into one brand in one division). Unfortunately, there are significantly more interns than there are grads, making it very difficult/competitive to get onto the grad scheme.
There are around 100 interns, which means it's really easy to meet friends and socialise. I have met some of the most like-minded people I have ever known, and definitely made friends for life. The organised socials, however, were very rare and tended to be poorly organised/publicised. I only attended one.
We are based in Hammersmith (West London), which means rent and socialising both come at a high cost. Most people I know pay around £600-700pcm in rent. In addition to this, meals and drinks out add up quickly - it's around £5 for a pint of beer, and a meal out costs around £15+.
London nightlife is obviously brilliant (but incredibly expensive)! If you're willing to get the tube, you can really go anywhere you like. Hammersmith doesn't have much to offer in terms of night life. There are some nice restaurants, and the pubs by the river are nice for after-work socialising, however there's nothing in the way of a club.
There were intern football and netball leagues, which were played locally. There were also a lot of volunteering opportunities, advertised by other interns. I didn't feel like there were many activities where I could meet non-interns who worked at L'Oreal.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
6th May 2019