One whole year at L’Oréal done. One whole year completed. And what a year it has been.
It’s hard to believe I walked through those doors one whole year ago. I was three weeks out of University, had just finished an internship the week before and ready for a new challenge. I thought I had an idea of what to expect, what things could be like and how the year might go. But realistically, it is so hard to prepare for a placement year like this. Leaving the structure and constant assessment of University and going straight into a global organisation three weeks later where change is constantly happening and you need to hit the ground running is a lot to take in.
I didn’t realise how much I needed this year until a few months ago. It has genuinely been one of the best years of my life. And that’s not to say it has the best thing ever ever ever and I had nothing negative to say or it was perfect the whole year through because that wouldn’t be real or true. But it is funny how a single experience like this can change you. Change the way you see the world and yourself. I’ve found a different side to myself this year that I hadn’t seen before. I finally have started to believe in myself and seen where I want to be first hand. The person walking out of the building is a completely different one to who walked in. My confidence has grown more than I thought possible, I’ve achieved so much and I have the company and especially my manager and team to thank for that.
This year has helped me to truly understand how the industry works and fall in love with it even more than I was. Sitting in a lecture theatre being told about PR is a world away from actually being there and doing it. Reading the magazines and blog posts is so different until you are there on the other side. The beauty PR industry and influencer landscape fascinates me. Being able to see how it works from a global powerhouse has intrigued and excited me. I’ve developed a new interest for influencer strategy and that’s what I love about L’Oréal. They want you to learn and develop and meet people in the business who can help you.
Two days out of the business and I’m automatically still screenshotting coverage as if I’ll be going back on Monday to share it. I’ve been living a lifestyle that I can only hope I can be back doing after University. At least I might find some memory on my phone now all hundreds of screenshots (yes, there are hundreds) can go…!
This year has provided me with so many opportunities and experiences that I will remember forever. I have influencers who know who I am, made my own relationships with them, have had dinner with high profile press from titles I’ve read for years like Vogue, been to 8 incredible events where I’ve hoovered and hand-picked flower stems off of the carpet of the Ritz and even tried to stop a lizard from jumping off a table towards press (yes, this actually happened). I’ve run an Instagram account for a year, created my own content, worked across 6 brands, seen a new brand launch in the UK, been to external events representing a brand and talking to consumers, ran my own outreach projects, went to a Maybelline press event, seen PR agencies pitch, almost been sent to Paris and back in one day in the name of coverage, organised stock for launches with our supply team, ran an internal brand awareness day, seen how strategies are devised and executed and so much more. I’ve seen and done things I could never have dreamed of, learnt more than I thought possible and achieved things I am so proud of.
And that’s not to say I’ve made no mistakes, there have been plenty of them. Top tip from which I learnt the hard way, don’t rush ordering stock to the office as you might order x21 POS units instead of products and they are so big it will be hard for people not to notice. Yeah, that was a fun one to explain. But I’ve learnt from every one of my mistakes and I’m unlikely to make the same ones again!
TIME FOR ANOTHER NEW CHAPTER
Leaving this job has been weird because when I moved to London it was for a new life for myself and probably one of the most daunting things I’ve done. I knew no-one apart from my flatmate and being in a big city like London starting a new job on your own is quite scary. But the L’Oréal community has been amazing, there was always someone to do something with and naturally in my case, these people become your best friends, people you rely on and spend so much time with. I was so worried I’d have no friends (lol) but I know I’ve met some friends for life and the memories I’ve made this year I will remember forever. I can genuinely say I’ve loved my year, the life I’ve lived whilst being here and everything about the city. I start a new internship on Monday and although I’m going to miss everyone I am leaving inspired, full of everything I’ve learnt and ready to apply it to my next challenge. I can’t wait to see what this next experience brings me and I’m so ready for my next chapter.
And then to top off an already amazing year, I am incredibly proud to have secured myself a place on the L’Oréal Talent Track scheme so who knows what the future holds!
London, will I be back?
I can’t imagine not being in London in a year’s time. I have fallen in love with this city and the people in it. I’d love to go travelling after University and explore the world a bit more than I have but I know for sure when I do come back to the big bad world of PR, it will be somewhere in London (all being well!). It’s a beautiful city which I can’t wait to return to.
But for now, I have a degree to finish and a lot of experience to go back with. I cannot recommend a placement year enough. So here’s to the future and everything to come, I can’t wait to see what is in store.
Thank you L’Oréal for this experience,