My placement at L'Oreal in Supply Chain has really surpassed my expectations. I have been given outstanding learning opportunities and am proud of how far my skills and knowledge have developed over time in my role.
The first few months were definitely the toughest due to the very steep learning curve to familiarise yourself with the business and function but it's been really rewarding to improve and build confidence over time to have a positive impact.
I joined the team alongside 2 other interns which has been lovely to have as a support system where we can relate to each other from day one.
All of the wider team were welcoming, friendly and always respectful and happy to help. I have felt like a valued employee throughout as everyone realises the level of responsibility we are given as interns!
Of course at the beginning there were so many questions to ask but thanks to a 2 week handover and the nature of the team you were never made to feel like a burden at all and everyone was encouraging.
Over my internship I had a change in manager two thirds of the way through so got to experience different management styles which has been really interesting.
Both have been really invested in my development and always there to support when needed but also allowed me to have a strong sense of autonomy in my role once capable.
Weekly catch ups were great as sometimes we would be so busy doing our work you forget to touch base on the bigger stuff going on. The business offered lots of
Every day was different in my role and in the Luxury division where I was placed, Christmas is such a peak time of year for sales which meant interns joined at the busiest period which was tough at times!
In Customer Supply Chain there are so many different stakeholders to manage which does add complexity and challenges where I worked across so many separate brands with 9 different customers.
Essentially time management and prioritisation was key to ensuring I didn't stay late every day. The team were always supportive of logging off at a good time unless absolutely necessary so this helped as in my view was best to be most efficient during working hours!
I was responsible for managing the orders from placement to post-delivery for 9 National Accounts, some in our top 10 customers. Also would be a go to for updates, issue resolution and customer claims and credit management.
There was a lot of independence and I felt very trusted by my managers in my role to get on and perform, while going to them for support and guidance when required.
I have fully taken advantage of all the training on offer over the year, 'Excellerate' ones were my favourite which focused on advanced Excel skills but there were many for personal development too.
The prioritisation, time-management and communication skills are really valuable and I look forward to applying this in my final year of studies as I feel I will be far more efficient.
Obviously some of the knowledge is very specific about the business which I would use only if returning to the company, but the skills will definitely be for life and will continue to develop.
I have liked the fact at L'Oreal there is a real 'test and learn' culture with lots of freedom to make mistakes by doing.
Overall the team is really hardworking but the introduction of hot desking was great for interacting with different people and a brilliant way to learn more about what other roles get up to.
The breakout spaces were a new addition for informal meetings and really nice to be more social and a lunch spot as we always tried to get away from our desks.
Was nice to be around the products and always lots of pops up going on upstairs in the cafe.
HR shared some really useful resources beforehand, an intern social before joining was a lovely idea too. I liked the structure of mid and year end reviews but did regularly receive feedback from my team throughout the year.
Didn't have any info about my specific role other than 'supply chain' until the arrival day which was fine as wouldn't have known that much what to expect anyway but could have done prior research.
There were a number of compulsory training's at the start for all interns which were worthwhile but from then onwards it is very independent. There is a learning portal which I took full advantage of and HR would advertise about.
So really if you were willing to make the time then you get the outcomes of this investment but not a lot was compulsory.
L'Oreal is definitely somewhere I could see myself pursuing my career due to the vast array of opportunities available. The MT scheme allows you to have 3 different rotations which would be interesting to understand how supply chain varies within the business!
I align with a lot of the visions and culture of the company and am pleased to see the sustainability commitments so future prospects do appeal.
Definitely does vary between seasons as summer was really sociable with summer hours and better weather for my team to socialise but the few supply chain away days were really fun throughout the year. Luxe New Year party was a highlight plus Citizen Day where everyone is out of the office volunteering. Intern events were not really very regular and often involved nights out so I was less interested in this personally.
London is known to be expensive but I did have my student travel card which was definitely worth investing in for the discount plus the company has a few deals with local businesses where you get an employee discount such as Leon. I would often bring my own lunch but the canteen on site wasn't very expensive so depends on your personal choices.
I commuted from my home in the outskirts of London but have friends living near Hammersmith who liked the area. The 'L'Oreal pub' was always nice to go to with the team but I'm not a nights out person so didn't attend the organised events in clubs for interns but they did get deals and subsidies if you were interested were not very regular.
Yes there were a number of volunteering opportunities advertised, citizen day for instance or the movember run. There were intern football and netball teams however as someone with a 1.5 hour commute this was not really manageable with my timings to be involved in. Lots of different talks and information is available about opportunities or about the industry which I tried to go to as much as possible. The new breakfast and learn initiative is really interesting and hope it continues.