I work on the brand's distribution channels, giving me the opportunity to work both B2B and B2C, providing point of sale materials and guidelines, visual merchandising, event planning, marketing calendars and much more!
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement has been invaluable and exceeded all expectations. There is a never a dull moment thanks to the fast paced nature of the cosmetics industry, the range of exciting projects and launches and of course my team. Having the opportunity to work towards providing beauty for all has been truly rewarding.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I cannot thank my team enough for how supportive they have been. They are constantly reminding me of the work I have done and the impact it has had on the business. I was never made to feel like just an intern, both in the office and at social events.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Over the year I had 3 different managers, each of which were were extremely supportive and invested so much of their time to help me develop and succeed. They all taught me new ways of working and shared great knowledge and advice. However at times it felt like I was the only one that understood my job role and responsibilities.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Being given such great responsibilities and projects comes with a large workload and often left me wishing for more hours in the day. I was happy to work overtime to ensure everything was completed to the highest standard, but you have to be responsible for finding a good work-life balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The level of responsibility I was given has been reflected by the impact my work has had on the brand. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your work being used and the seeing results it has driven. As a result of there being multiple team changes that directly affected me I was handed additional responsibilities to cover roles whilst replacements were found.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Dramatically, in terms of both professional and personal skills. L'Oréal provides you with training and e-learning courses to enable you to focus on areas you want to develop, ranging from excel skills, giving feedback and how to work best with different personality types, all of which I can apply to my future studies, especially group work. After a year of managing my workload I have learned how to effectively prioritise, manage my time and stress.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is usually very upbeat and energetic but relaxed enough to allow you to focus on your work. Everyone encourages collaboration and creativity, which is enhanced by the introduction of 'collaboration spaces' and 'hot-desking' to ensure you are not tied to your desk 24/7. The importance of the office being a great place to work has been recognised and initiatives have been implemented to make it even more enjoyable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was very well organised by HR, which was clear from the offset at the assessment centre. Once I had been allocated a brand they put me in touch with my manager, who was able to shed the light on my role. HR keep in touch throughout the year, firstly to ensure you have settled in and then to help you progress to future careers within L'Oréal.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
L'Oréal invest a huge amount of resources into training and the e-learning platform. Even as an intern you are provided with endless courses, both in the office and online, to help you develop. Not only are you given the freedom to choose what areas you want to improve on, but they also provide personal recommendations after the completion of a marketing test.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
L'Oréal offers an amazing Management Trainee Scheme where you complete x3 6 month rotations, giving you the opportunity to manage three different projects across different brands, divisions and functions. The purpose of doing rotations is to develop your all-round skills and fast-track to management. It is extremely competitive but if you aren't successful on the MT scheme, there are still opportunities to return as a full-time Assistant Product Manager.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is always a large number of interns which makes it easy to meet new people and socialise. The intern committee prior to us arranged a great night out in the first week so everyone could meet early on. In previous years the intern committee arranged regular socials however ours didn't, so we were left to our own devices for the best part.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It's London so yes it is expensive but there is also so much you can do without spending a fortune, there's something for everyone and every budget. Rent in Hammersmith is around £700 a month, which seems to be the going rate for London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Hammersmith is great for a few drinks after work as it's got lots of nice pubs. There's 2 bars that are fun after a few drinks, but other than that there is very little nightlife. It's so well connected to the rest of London though where there's always a good night out to be had.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are netball and football clubs that give you the opportunity to compete with other local teams. If you are looking for something less competitive you can join ParkRun. There are also many charity events that you can get involved with. If you think of an activity that you would love to get involved with, don't be afraid to suggest it.