1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have enjoyed my placement year more than I ever thought I would. L'Oreal has surprised me in many ways and made what I thought would be a difficult year a really fun one. I have received incredible opportunities and learnt invaluable life lessons, all while having a great time.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
This is one of the things that has surprised me the most about working here! I have not once felt like an intern because I have truly been treated by my colleagues as their equal. My colleagues have always been willing to help me with any questions I have, but also with my own personal development.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have been very lucky in that both of my managers have consistently supported me and pushed for me to be the best I can be. A conscious effort has been made to understand how much support I need, and to cater to that so I have my own independence but have no issues asking them for guidance where needed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This really fluctuated depending on what was going on at the time. If there was a big meeting, I would be more busy than times where I did not have any pressing deadlines. Saying that, I have never been bored here. There is always something for you to be doing, it's just about managing your time!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was (pleasantly) surprised with how much responsibility I have been given! At such a prestigious company, I didn't expect interns to be given much of a say or be able to make a real difference, but that couldn't be more wrong. There have been times where senior people in the business have relied on my work which is a great feeling.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have without a doubt learnt more about business here than I have during my degree. Working in such a big company you really get an understanding of how corporations operate in the real world. My role is multi-functional, so I have been able to learn about the various departments and how they intertwine and co-operate. These skills will definitely help me in my studies, but also in my personal and professional life going forward as I have advanced my interpersonal skills significantly.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The division I worked in was extremely lively as it was the most fast-paced and had the most employees, so naturally there was never a dull day in the office. Everyone is super friendly and happy to chat and joke around, but at the same time the fast-paced nature means that sometimes the pressure is on and we do get our heads down.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement scheme has been tried and tested and is very well organised to integrate the almost 100-intern cohort into the company. Our handover week was fairly packed with information and trying to learn the ins-and-outs of the company. HR set up an intern committee which you vote on in the first week, who are responsible for organising socials, sports teams and more.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We are fully encouraged to learn as much as we can, whether it is through shadowing in other departments, attending inspiring talks in the morning, or training. There are hundreds of training sessions offered where you can learn things from time management to giving feedback to using online data tools or mastering Excel.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are multiple options for furthering your career at L'Oreal and the HR team are very friendly and happy to help. They do try to retain talent within the company, so many of the current employees have come from the internship/grad schemes which is encouraging when applying for future roles.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are almost 100 interns so naturally there is a good social scene, especially because everyone is so friendly. But the social scene extends further than the intern community, my team and division are really social and we often go out for drinks/dinner and do team days. This does depend on your team/division but in general it does seem that L'Oreal is more social than other companies. We get discounts at bars and restaurants which is another benefit!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is generally very expensive. While Hammersmith itself is a bit cheaper, the surrounding areas like Fulham, Kensington aren't... It is important to budget but also possible to have fun, especially as there are cheaper options for food and drink around so take advantage of them!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are some fun pubs and bars in Hammersmith, but we tended to venture out to other areas both nearby and across London sometimes.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I got involved in a few charity events we organised, such as a spinning race for the Princes Trust and the Movember 5k run, and had the opportunity to help at an event at the House of Commons!