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Olly’s Opportunity: How an Intern can Make a Difference

Joining a huge, global business when you’re in the middle of your degree programme can be a pretty daunting prospect, especially when there are so many options available.

For Olly, the chance of working for a well established brand with some amazing sustainability initiatives was an opportunity too good to turn down.

We caught up with Olly to talk it through.

Even though the L’Oréal recruitment team had visited my university to run a mock assessment centre — and a skills session — it actually wasn’t through this that I applied.

“The L’Oréal intern and graduate programmes were already pretty well established through our careers teams and praised by most as being well rounded and in-depth industrial experience opportunities”

I already knew quite a bit about the ‘Sharing Beauty With All’ sustainability initiatives which helped. I also studied and critiqued it under a university module in philanthropy and modern CSR strategy so felt pretty close to the objectives. Reading about how the group was leading in the fight for environmental change in the beauty industry really was pivotal point.

“I realised that L’Oréal isn’t just another beauty company, they achieve life-changing environmental and community work to aid the markets and supply chain they operate in”

My route in was almost too good to be true. I had tried an interns and graduate recruitment app called Debut where you can compete your profile and psychometric testing and companies can see if you’re a good fit. L’Oréal sent an invitation to assessment centre in late September… and here I am today!

My first week in the job was London Pride and L’Oréal UK’s first year of taking part in the parade, so after joining the Out@L’Oreal network group this became one of my single best highlights of 2019! I felt instantly at home, with people I’d never met. When coming into a new business in your first office job, where you’re unsure about everything, including how people might respond to your sexuality, this experience instantly made me feel at home, included and welcomed.

“There are SO MANY things that keep me passionate about working at L’Oréal”

I joined the Intern Committee in August after applying for a role in Diversity and Inclusion, I wanted to play a part in helping bolster inclusive and intersectional practices and fundraising for our partner charities. Taking on this role I hope has benefitted networks like Out@L’Oreal and the Gender Equality Network. In October, I organised a project to clear obsolete stock within the business and to benefit one of our charity partners, and as a group we raised over £16k for Stonewall UK!

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“No day at L’Oréal is the same and if you have a passion about something, chances are, you’ll be able to do it — I enjoy morning coffees and catch-ups with the team though, they happen every day!”

I love this quote, and despite the fact that I can’t remember who said it, it’s completely stuck with me!

“Society pushes that you have to be successful at everything or you’re not valid in the society we live in, a lot of it stems from social media and the effort to be the perfect specimen on Instagram, but no one really is”

No failure, learning or success will be the same and nor should it be. If you fail in one thing, you will succeed in another. We just have to keep developing ourselves, and our learning should always be agile in the way we accept them and the way we develop them as no learning will be same.

This so true when you’re working in your first office environment as an intern! You want to do your best, so you beat yourself up when you make a mistake! Don’t, it’s all part of development, and your manager probably made the same mistakes when they started!

Throughout the placement, I’ve learnt invaluable experience that theoretical based practices in university can never teach. Working in a commercial team in the UK business has taught me skills in presenting, communicating with clients and retailers, and collaborating with teams other than your own.

I’d love to join the graduate programme with a marketing focus, but we’ll have to see how the application goes! Failing that, I’d love to continue the business I set up whilst at uni, in photography and digital design. Only time will tell!

There you go; every day is a school day for our interns!

To check out all the current vacancies at L’Oreal, head over to our careers site for more information.

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