Commercial and Sales intern working on a number of brands for National Account Teams.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was very different from what I was expecting, and at times it was very stressful. However, I have enjoyed it because of the amount I have learnt from it and how much I can look at and say that I personally had a hand in influencing for the business which is rewarding.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
As I am more introverted in general, it was hard to bond within the team and the stakeholders in the wider business. This was not necessarily through their doing, as L'Oréal has such a big intern community they are made to feel part of the team for the year rather than being replaceable.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
At the start, it was difficult to get the feedback I needed to support me but from a pastoral perspective my managers were very supportive during difficult personal times at the start of the internship. As it developed, I felt as though I could go for help but due to my independence I wasn't generally offered it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The side of the business and the account is was working on meant that my work load fluctuated a lot as it relied on many other stakeholders and the time of the year. Generally, I haven't often felt as though there was nothing at all to do but can be overwhelmed by the volume of work I would need to complete in a short time frame.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The level of responsibility is actually crazy. I had full autonomy over a number of projects which were implemented on a great scale. Although my manager would oversee the top line of some of the projects, generally I was trusted with the responsibility of all the details. This was definitely one of the best things about the placement.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Due to the nature of my degree being so far from the role I was in, there isn't a lot of cross over of learning from what I developed. Training such as presentation skills could be transferred, and other skills I've developed through reporting and stakeholder management will help beyond my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was a well balanced office of fun and work. Within my team, it was often quite stressful and therefore the environment would be more muted. But other teams on the floor often lifted spirits. Towards the end, there was more emphasis on the fun side of working which was nice to experience.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The start of the placement was a bit rocky as there were some significant last minute changes which I wasn't informed of. The first couple of months were hard as the role I was given was an amalgamation of two different roles. Once I was settled into the role, the internship was well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There is a lot of training on offer which you can sign up for. During the first week, we had a day of training about how to be in an office environment. However, I think it would have been better to track the development of the interns with more sessions like this as they become more confident in their role.
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?
The graduate scheme (management training programme) is very good in terms of the rotations it gives you between roles and divisions. However, there aren't many places which is off putting. The Talent Track is another pathway which would be good if you felt more comfortable in a particular role. Often, many senior people you interact with have come through to where they are starting as an intern which is encouraging.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
It was difficult to organise actually social events due to travel, cost and time. However, generally there was a good community between the interns although this is usually very clearly separated between the different divisions which is a shame.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is a very expensive place to live, and unfortunately the salary didn't quite make it possible to experience the city to the fullest.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn't go out often, but London being the area you are in means endless possibilities.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some sporting committees put together, and social events organised by the divisions.