I have thoroughly enjoyed the past year. I have a huge passion for beauty and I have felt 'in my element' to say the least. The atmosphere at L'Oreal has been so friendly and warm and I felt welcomed from the get go. It is a great place to learn and grow as a person.
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My immediate and wider team are a pleasure to spend the most part of every day of the working week with. As mentioned above, everyone is so warm and welcoming and as time has gone on, it feels as if I am working with friends. Although I am the intern in my team, they have never made me feel like just an intern. I feel like I am valued by the team and have a lot to contribute as well.
My manager has been a pillar through the duration of my placement. From day 1, I have felt as she has had my best interests at heart and has never made me feel like I cannot ask a question. Even with non-work related situations, like when I had my placement project university coursework deadline, she has been more than willing to take the time to help and review my work.
My answer to this question heavily depends on the time of year. There have been some weeks which have been very chilled out and have meant I can really focus on some long term projects. Equally, there have been periods of the year which are extremely hectic where by I am eating lunch whilst working. Due to the nature of the industry, if there is a big launch upcoming, naturally you are going to be busier.
Enough responsibility to be valued and make a significant difference. The way I gauge this is by the fact that when I was on annual leave, my absence was noticed. I would have to plan in advance who is going to pick up my daily tasks, as often these affected the whole team. Also when my manager was on AL, I was given the responsibility to take her role on and I was quite literally running the show.
I have most definitely learnt so many new skills and also developed my existing skills as well. To begin with, I have extremely advanced my IT skills: email etiquette and excel skills to name a few. These skills will help me in my final year of university and in any future job I have I am sure.
The brand I specifically worked on was very fun! Always an enthusiastic and excitable atmosphere in office. Huge sense of family, all birthdays of everyone that worked on the brand were celebrated and we were always nicely treated by the managing committee too! Regular happy trolleys and champers sometimes as well!
Before joining, I wasn't too sure of my role and what the set up of the placement would be. I feel this could have been communicated more clearly. However once joining, we were fully briefed on everything and I understood the process of the placement much more clearly. HR are also very quick ay responding to any queries.
The company invest a lot of time setting up compulsory and optional training sessions. Especially for the new starters, they spend a lot of time providing really efficient and useful learning courses. There is an online platform which you can use to book yourself into training courses, which are free of cost, but with an external company who come into the office and delivery amazing and interactive sessions.
Personally, to me, Loreal would be my dream job. I am for sure applying to the management trainee scheme and would love to be accepted onto this. For unsuccessful candidates or those not interested in a traditional grad scheme, there are also other options. Furthermore, I like how there is flexibility to move between brands/divisions/roles to allow for variety in your career.
There is a very active facebook community of graduates and interns. If you are interested there are various social committees, one for the interns, one per division and also within teams. My year of interns organised some really cool events like a ball on a boat, a few clubbing nights out, plus regular post work drinks at the local pub - which always has Loreal faces to be seen.
Being close to the city, and near the posher area of London, food and drink and activities are expensive. However most places have loyalty scheme or Loreal have negotiated staff discount in many eateries around the office. Also remember, if you are still a student, you can claim discount through that as well in many places. I lived at home, in London, so saved on rent money. As a student who resides in London too, i also had subsidised travel through a student oyster card.
Hammersmith is a very corporate area and so there really isn't much of a nightlife. The good thing is the transport links are really good, with many buses and 4 tube lines all taking you to central London within 30 mins. As mentioned, there are a couple of pubs and restaurants, which are dominated by loreal staff and so you can always plan to go here after work.
You can get as least or as most involved as you wish too. There is no force, but the opportunities are plentiful. They range from charity volunteering, team sports, yoga, TED talks, socials and also smaller organised internal running clubs etc. On top of this, through the year everyone is encouraged to get involved in Citizenship day as well as other opportunities. Recently staff were able to help out at the BAFTAs as Lancome were one of the sponsons.