I would say that my experience at L'Oréal for my work placement this year has been mainly positive. I really enjoyed the environment, people, and work i was given. I am extremely glad to have had the opportunity to work for this company as i made great connections and felt fulfilled and appreciated for what i did. There were high-intensity days and weeks however all in all these taught me how to work better under pressure, which i now believe has become one of my key leanings.
Throughout the course of my placement i can truly say that i felt valued most of the time when delivering any work i had been assigned, especially by my managers. On various occasions, such as my midyear review, i felt truly appreciated by my team members and other colleagues (both in the UK and in France). Nevertheless, there have been moments in which i felt that certain colleagues didn't value much what i had done, purely because they maybe didn't know how much work i had put into it, or just didn't bother to really get to know me. All in all, i can say i felt valued.
I felt fully supported by my managers, who were always really helpful in guiding me in the right direction. Especially when i felt really under pressure and had a lot of work load, they would always help me prioritise my key tasks and support me with the rest. Another great aspect was the weekly 1 to 1s and daily catch-ups on more urgent tasks, which i believe really helped me align with them on my role and workload.
I believe that i was fairly busy on a daily basis and really busy on peak times of the year when launches and key projects i was leading were rolling out. I never really had boring days where i didn't have much to do as i always had something that could be completed to get myself ahead of time. However, there have been a few exceptions on fridays where the office is fairly quiet and therefore allowed me time to focus on more admin-related tasks that helped me organise and clean up my schedule.
I think L'Oréal is known to give interns a fair amount of responsibility and therefore i can confidently say that i felt to have a lot of responsibility when working on key projects, which at times i was leading and managing myself. I was extremely grateful to have been given a fare amount of projects to manage on my own, thus making myself the main point of contact for that job. Nevertheless, i always felt to have my managers' support regarding my responsibilities if something did not go as planned.
I think that the skills i have developed this year will have a great impact on my future and 100% assist me in my degree studies. I have learned to be more confident and relaxed when under pressure, better my presentation skills, improve my analytical knowledge and create processes and many more, which i believe are all key traits i will need to help me thrive in my upcoming careers.
The general atmosphere in the office was at most times relaxed and productive. There have been occasions where there were tensions due to major meetings and visits that required higher levels of focus and less fun. However, there were a lot of fun and lighthearted days where we would joke around and celebrate certain events. I especially liked team days out. Lastly, some days were dull (mainly fridays) when most people would embrace worksmart and work from home. All in all, good atmosphere.
I think the overall work placement organisation was good. The way it was set up showed that L'Oréal knows how to deal with a lot of interns, however it would have been nice to have had more check-ups with general management/HR. All in all, i can't complain with the set up.
Thanks to bookmylearning, i felt that the company really valued in mine and others' personal training and development. I had multiple opportunities to better myself by attending both mandatory and voluntary trainings, as well as had the chance to shadow other colleagues in different roles, thanks to the company's "Switch" initiative.
L'oréal gives interns the opportunity to apply to either the grad scheme or talent track, which to me is an appealing future employment prospect, especially having my managers fully backing me up. I believe this to be a great opportunity to see whether the grad scheme rotation will help me decide on what i really want to do in the long term. Nevertheless, if i were to not be able to follow through with either prospects, i will be happy to try other roles in different types of businesses to really consider all my options.
I think that i was very lucky with the group of placement students and colleagues i had the opportunity to work with this year. I believe to have made some life long friends here, as i got a long with most of them. I think they were a very sociable bunch and all in all really friendly and supportive.
London is a very expensive area to live in, especially as a student. However, the fact that this was a paid internship did help a lot with the living costs. I can say that London has been absolutely amazing and that it's costs didn't stop me from having fun socialising and making the most of this unique year. Furthermore, i do believe L'oréal invested a lot into its employees social lives as we have had numerous team drinks, dinners, lunches etc.. which have made the overall experience super fun.
As mentioned previously, London has a lot to offer, and the nightlife was super fun! There are a lot of different and unique places to have fun in, for any type of occasion. I can truly say you will never get bored in london as you will always have something to do, even if at times a bit pricey.
There were various opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work, due to team days, team drinks and dinners. I was lucky to have been part of multiple teams, and therefore had the chance to enjoy quality time with colleagues outside of work. However, I really think this does depend on the team. Regarding activities that did not concern work or colleagues, there have been many of those as well as London always had something new to offer.