1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at L'Oreal, the variety of work I was given the opportunity to get involved in was far greater than I expected, as well as the level of responsibility. It was satisfying to work often independently and see projects from start to completion, which spanned across many teams and roles.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Through having weekly one to ones with my manager, I was able to receive regular and detailed feedback and consequently felt the work I was doing was important and I was making a valued contribution. I had a friendly and welcoming team who would often share positive remarks on the work I was producing, which made it a fulfilling role to be undertaking.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager set out detailed objectives at the beginning of the year which were reviewed mid-way through my internship and again at the end of the year which gave me focus and the means to ask for support if required. There was a great opportunity to sign up to training sessions on L'Oreal's learning platform which was encouraged by my manager to attend; as a result my capabilities were up-skilled to the level required by my role.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was very busy day-to-day which I really enjoyed. Initially I found the workload and expectations slightly overwhelming but was soon able to prioritise my workload well and enjoyed the pace of work. I would never be bored and would always have something to work on, whether this was more long-term and detailed projects or more day-to-day tasks.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had a good amount of responsibility during my placement, which was encouraged by my manager. Taking ownership of the work I was doing was very satisfying and the work was engaging. The level of responsibility I was given encouraged good performance as it was clear the end result had to be one of quality and accuracy.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt a great deal of practical skills across numerous platforms that are integral in my degree studies, particularly on Excel. I also gained confidence in skills including presenting and pitching, and how to work effectively within a team, all skills required in my degree, particularly from the needs of my coursework.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a friendly, relaxed and focused atmosphere in the office. Everyone would be working hard but there would still be opportunities to catch up, with people often going for coffees together. People often wore headphones so it was a fairly quiet and focused environment which made it easy to work on tasks. Teams took time to celebrate good results which gave it a friendly and passionate environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was very well organised, straight from the beginning, as to what role I was undertaking and what my key responsibilities would be, who my manager was and so I was able to build a connection to my internship prior to starting. The internship itself was also very well organised throughout, with key internship reviews scheduled throughout the year. There was never any confusion involved within my internship, everything was very clear throughout.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were a great many opportunities for training and development, with the business putting a key emphasis on the importance of learning. I attended a lot of training sessions relevant to my role, which was encouraged by my manager to do, and was often asked to share any relevant learnings with the wider team.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are two key future employment prospects within L'Oreal, the Management Training Scheme and Talent Track, which covers people as to whether they want to come back as a graduate, undertaking three rotations or in an entry level position, remaining on L'Oreal's talent list. This means there are opportunities for future prospects which would suit different people's requirements.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a large intern cohort at L'Oreal which meant there were lots of like-minded people who were going through a similar experience to socialise with. As there was an intern committee, there were also opportunities to get involved in intern-led activities, including sports clubs and socials, which meant that many people made good friends with other interns over the year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living is high, as is expected in West London, however there are many opportunities for free socialising which can be taken advantage of. There are still student nights which provide reduced rates for students which reduces the cost of nights out. Ultimately there is lots going on in London, so the cost of living is worth paying to access all London has to offer.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Hammersmith has good transport links, with central London easily accessible. There are many pubs and bars in Hammersmith but for nights out, you would need to travel further afield on the tube/bus etc. But there is obviously a great nightlife in London, with certain areas being better to frequent on certain nights.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
L'Oreal ran many team and division level socials, including quiz nights, pub trips, nights out, and other activities which people could get involved in. Also for interns specifically, there were weekly sports events to get involved in and regular socials, ideal for meeting people and building up a network at L'Oreal.