My placement year has been such a good experience and I couldn't recommend doing one enough. L'Oréal has been really good to work for as I have had the opportunity to take on a variety of tasks and projects as well as meet some amazing friends that I will have for life. There are so many things to get involved with around your job that I highly encourage getting involved in.
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I really liked the fact that in my placement year, I wasn't made to feel like a typical intern. I was given tasks with responsibility that made me feel like I had a role within the team that was meaningful. I also really liked the team culture where we would all socialise and get along outside of work too.
Initially the support and guidance I had could have been better. This was ultimately due to there being lots of team changes and having managers who weren't necessarily the people who gave me work to do. This did make things confusing and did mean there was a period of time where guidance could've been better. In the final 6 months I had a new line manager and this is now much better with continuous support, meetings and advice.
L'Oréal do keep you busy, however I view this as a good thing. There has never been a moment where I haven't had something to do. At time this has been stressful, however it has allowed me to really learn how to manage my time and prioritise tasks which I feel will really benefit me in the future.
I was given a great about of responsibility during my placement year which has taught me a lot and makes me feel like I have a real role to play in the team. I have been given my own projects to manage that I have been able to see through to the end. I feel this was a great learning experience.
I have received some fantastic training from L'Oréal. There are training courses every week that you can sign up to. Some ones to note that will be very beneficial is feedback training and excel training. These are skills I know I will need in my future career. The placement I feel has benefitted my degree and it is putting what you learn into practise and I will be able to reflect back to this year during my essays.
The atmosphere is the office is a really nice one. Day to day, everyone is quiet and working, however we will occasionally have a chat which makes it really relaxed and friendly. On a Friday we will have music playing which makes it a really nice atmosphere to work in. We also have collaboration spaces for us to have meetings and eat lunch in with other colleagues.
The placement itself is very organised, with clear feedback and reviews in place throughout the year. In my team there was a lot of movement this year however that was out of anyones control. When we started, we were fully informed about everything and it was made clear to us who we should contact if we had any questions.
In terms of personal training and development, I have attended many courses that the company have put on for us. These include photoshop, excel, feedback, reports and others. I feel these will be valuable also after my placement and am very glad I was given the opportunity to attend them.
The future employment prospects are good, however the amount of places there are for interns are limited. The process to get into the graduate scheme is quite tough, however it is really good to get this interview experience so early on. There are also other opportunities to go back at an entry level job and this is really good because some people may not be suited to the grad scheme.
The social scene is good within my team and with other interns however I know that varies between teams. We also have an intern committee with 2 social secs who are supposed to organise socials for the year. This hasn't been done very frequently and could definitely have been improved. I think this is very dependant on the year though and people running it.
Within Hammersmith living is fairly expensive however I decided to live close by, seeing as I wasn't very familiar with London and it would save me money than if I was to spend to commute in. I do really recommend living near the office though. Socialising isn't as expensive as it is in Central, however you do have to be prepared to pay London prices.
The nightlife directly in Hammersmith isn't amazing however there are some nice bars and pubs with gardens you can go to. There is lots of night life in close surrounding areas and the tube links are really good so it is easy to get to them and doesn't take long.
There are lots of opportunities however you will mostly have to seek them yourself. I know many interns who have joined sports teams and then there are also lots of gyms nearby if that is what you are interested. Being in Hammersmith makes it easy to get to places and there is definitely something nearby for everyone.