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Student Life

My Year Working in the Beauty Industry

By Emily Pacey

A year in industry was something I was always passionate about doing. I knew it would provide me with invaluable workplace skills and experience, giving me an edge when it came to applying for competitive graduate jobs. When applying for internships, I focused on industries which I had an interest in and companies which provided graduate opportunities. This is what fuelled my application for the Business Development Internship at L’Oréal. My advice when applying for an internship is to ensure that you focus on where your passions lie, as this is what will shine through during the application process, as well as motivate you when undertaking your work placement.

As both my manager and L’Oréal were extremely passionate about my personal development, I was given various roles and responsibilities almost immediately, something that I did not necessarily expect from such a large international business. During my first meeting with my manager, he established what I wanted to get out of my internship and in turn explained what he would eventually expect from me. This very much set the tone of my entire internship experience, as from day one I was encouraged to improve, deliver and succeed, with the understanding from colleagues that I was learning on the job.

As the year went on, sometimes my workload did feel overwhelming and there were days where I had to work long past five o’clock in order to finish projects with tight deadlines, leaving me exhausted. However, this pushed me to take control of my own time and ensure that I was prioritising my work correctly, in order to ensure everything was completed in good time and to a high standard. Various feedback sessions during my internship helped me discover where my key strengths and weaknesses lie, enabling me to push myself to develop further. For example, ensuring I keep attention to detail and not lose sight of the finer details on bigger projects. This feedback will help improve my future performance, both in the workplace and at University.

Along with developing my workplace skills, this year has given me a whole new perspective of the beauty industry itself and how the ‘beauty’ world is changing. I have had first-hand experience in how the largest beauty business in the world operates and how one campaign can touch millions of people across the world. There has been a huge movement towards all-inclusive beauty and I have witnessed L’Oréal’s efforts in ensuring that they cater to everyone, no matter what age, race, gender etc. It was exciting to be a part of a company that has no boundaries or limitations when it comes to diversity and it emphasised to me how important it is to be inspired by the work that you are doing.

Reflecting on the year, I believe that nearly everyone could benefit from a placement and I would recommend it to anyone who desires to be challenged and is willing and able to learn on the job. I was successful in obtaining a place on L’Oréal’s graduate scheme, but even if I was not successful, I believe I could to go into any graduate level job interview with the confidence and real life working examples to prove the value I could add to a business.


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