1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I've thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at L'Oreal. Interns are given real responsibilities which impact your brand's performance. There was also the opportunity for me to work on various projects beyond my job description, which has broadened my knowledge on in-store and online projects and provided an insight into how large-scale organisations operate.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
On the whole, I felt very valued within the wider team. I've worked with a range of people across different brands and functions at various levels within L'Oreal. Different people have supported me on different projects as I progressed through the role. They've taught me so much which you can't learn at University. It makes doing a placement incredibly worthwhile!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I haven't received much support from my manager over the course of the year, however I worked more closely with my teammates on a day-to-day basis. We had regular catch-ups to discuss how I was getting on with my placement, how my projects were going and to see if there were any areas wanted further support in.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very busy! Every day at L'Oreal is different and there's always so much to do. The workload does vary depending on time of year, for example Christmas is one of the busiest times for my brand. There's always more projects to undertake but it means that work is never boring.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I've been given lots of responsibility over the course of the year, with support there from my teammates if I needed it to ensure projects ran smoothly whilst enabling me to maximise my potential. This responsibility has extended to other projects outside of my job description as I've learned more about processes through working here.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I've learned will be a huge help in my degree. I will be able to apply real scenarios and examples to theories and business approaches that I'll study in my final year. My placement year has also helped me to understand the direction I wish to take my career in after I graduate.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere is very pleasant and everyone is incredibly supportive towards each other. It's very rare that there's a negative atmosphere in the office. My division ran several team events and socials over the course of the year to inspire us, get to know our teammates better and discover various ways of working.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
As there's so many interns at L'Oreal, the overall placement structure has been set up very well. You receive all the relevant introduction talks when you begin, there's socials throughout the year for all of the interns, and your progress is tracked through your mid-year and end of year review. This offered some guidance for the first and last half of my placement and set up a chance for me to review my progress and objectives halfway through the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I've participated in various trainings throughout the year, both on mandatory courses and also in areas that I'm more interested in, such as Photoshop. Interns get the option to attend most of the events that permanent employees do. These skills have been useful in my placement and can be applied to future jobs.
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?
Future employment prospects related to visual merchandising are appealing to me. There appears to be good opportunities for progression and also for moving within the company and between functions as you gain experience. The placement sets you up for future employment prospects well and advice is on hand nearer to the time of applying.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We had some team and brand socials and trips away from the office, and intern socials throughout the year. Some of the best socials included the intern Christmas party which we had on a boat on the Thames, and my division's party in January. We also have a welcome and leaving social with the new and leaving interns.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Quite expensive, but cheaper than some people living closer by! We lived slightly further from the office, and it generally gets cheaper the further out you live. The tube is nearby so it's easy to quickly reach the city centre, and we often make the most of this during weekdays and weekends.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I never went out in Hammersmith itself besides to a few bars, however it's easy to get to central London quickly so isn't an issue at all. This is what most interns I socialised with ended up doing, and we've never really been bored or at a loss of what to do.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not as many as I would've thought. Amongst the interns they have sports teams such a football and netball who have matches weekly. You can run for the intern comittee if you wish who are responsible for organising socials etc. There's also some opportunities to volunteer but not very often.