Portrait photograph of: Matthew Swart

Matthew Swart

Country Of Origin: United Kingdom

Degree: BSc Marketing Management, 2017

Matthew completed his placement with L'Oreal in London.

I started my degree on the Advertising and Marketing course which did not include a placement year when I started in 2013. In second year I swapped over the BSc Marketing Management after I had seen the benefit of the placement year for those of my friends returning after placement. I believed it would allow me to stand out in today’s extremely competitive business market when it comes to applying for a graduate job whilst also allowing me to gain some invaluable experience before returning to Lancaster for my final year.

I was the Marketing Intern on the luxury salon brand Kérastase within the Professional Products Division of L’Oréal. I was a vital member of the team ensuring the smooth running of daily functions including the management of design and print execution of marketing materials for launches and promotions, carrying out weekly and monthly qualitative and quantitative reports for the brand and our international team, as well as assisting the brand across all functions of the business including PR, Supply Chain and Finance.  I also worked with external companies on Marketing activities including a brand partnership with British Vogue and representing the brand at the annual Vogue Festival in Hyde Park.

My placement year experience has been truly amazing. It gave me the opportunity to push myself out of my  comfort zone and challenge my own ability. I have been able to learn so much about how L'Oréal operates and it has given me the opportunity to network and make great friends. It has also helped me figure out where I excel with my own ability and where there is still room for improvement. It has challenged me to develop my skills in entrepreneurship, innovation and most of all, managing complexity which I believe are all  essential for a Marketing Graduate.

I see taking a placement year as vital to my development and future career aspirations when seeking a graduate job in a FMCG company. It has allowed me to put my theory developed on the course to practice and has made me more confident, business aware and aspirational. Spending the year at L'Oréal has really solidified my desire to work with consumer goods and within a large company with diverse opportunities worldwide. The main skills I have developed further on my internship include: communication and analytical skills, planning and execution of creative and business ideas and managing complexity in pressurised situations to ensure results.

The careers team and my department were very supportive with my switch of courses and I was aware that they were always around to assist me with any queries and help that I required. I believe being a student of LUMS really helped me in gaining my placement as we are seen as one of the elite when it comes to high qualified, strong candidates and because of the close links with industry leading companies.