Country of origin: Portugal
Salvador was the LUMS Placement Student of the Year winner for 2017 and he completed his placement with L'Oreal.
During my first two years at University I started two businesses and loved it. I loved the pressure, loved the responsibility, loved the challenge, I loved every part of it. So, if I enjoyed it so much, why do a placement year, right? Well, I wanted to prove to myself that working for a big corporation was as bad as people said, that it was slow and boring and that would motivate me further to do my own thing.
At the beginning of my placement I spent approximately 90% of my time doing administrative work. From processing returns on SAP, replying to customer emails to adding information to excel files. The other 10% of time was spent speaking about project work that was coming up. I wasn’t really enjoying it and so started to look for different things that I could do. This ended up with me doing a lot of things that weren’t part of my job. I sat in on manager meetings, I was part of the interview process for a new Customer Care employee and I ‘interviewed’ the Customer Care Manager about different parts of her job which I was interested in. A few weeks after this, there was restructuring in the department I was working for and so I started reporting to the Customer Care Manager, who was then giving me a lot of project work.
I started doing really well with the work assigned to me and people started noticing. I was suddenly doing about 90% project work for a lot of different people and only 10% of time doing daily admin tasks. I have now been asked to stay doing a summer ‘internship’ where I will supervise the Christmas gift set process. This makes up approximately 35% of L’Oréal Luxe revenue.
Overall my placement was really good. I really liked the fact that L’Oréal foster talent. They appreciate when someone is going above and beyond and don’t have a problem letting you know if you’re slacking. I was given a lot of responsibility and worked with a lot of different departments. From logistics, master data and credit to the commercial, marketing and digital teams. This gave me a real insight, not only into L’Oréal, but into the beauty industry which is an extremely competitive industry.
I got a job offer from L’Oréal, I will most likely be coming back after finishing my degree. If not, then I will probably apply to a handful of very specific companies that I would like to work for – both multinational and start-ups.
The LUMS Careers team do a really, really good job in helping with the application process. Their advice and resources on writing your CV is amazing, their interview prep resources are great and the support in all areas surrounding the whole application process was really good. They really know the application process to all large firms and have very specific advice which you can ask for.