Have you ever wondered what life is really like as a Degree Apprentice working for the worlds largest cosmetics company? Take a look at Joe Unsworth's experience so far to find out more.
What is your role at L'Oreal?
Supporting the CIO of Northern Europe, my role within L’Oréal IT focuses on process improvement and communications, with a view to enabling IT to better support their business partners. Lots of our staff complained of pain points with IT, and it’s my job to see where and how we can improve these and make everyone’s experience better. I get to meet a lot of people and travel too, which is great.
Describe your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.
Day to day tasks vary depending on what projects I’m working on. Typically, I catch up on emails and admin in the morning and plan out my day ahead. Then I usually have a lot of design work revolving around comms projects, physical merchandise and our “New Starter Tech Packs” that I created. I’ll usually have some time shooting in the studio and then spend a chunk of my day editing video footage - I created the L’Oréal IT YouTube Channel to support our business users in becoming more independent with their technology and with over 35 videos filmed and uploaded so far, this content has already had an impact on reducing the frustration employees have with their technology.
I work closely with our IT Services manager and Employee Experience team to develop processes and look at how we can make things smoother for our users, and I’m currently working with one of our divisional MDs to pilot and roll out a new digital signage solution across EMEA. I’m fortunate to have a very flexible role, so it means I’m always doing something different.
What is your favorite part about working for L'Oreal?
It’s difficult to choose one favourite thing about working for L’Oréal, but in my opinion the responsibility I have after only 9 months in the business, and the exposure I’ve already had to senior staff with a valid say in what we do as a business function, would be the highlight. It’s an exciting job where I feel like I’m taken seriously.
How did you find out about the degree apprenticeship opportunity?
When I finished my A Levels I knew I didn’t want to pursue a degree that my heart wouldn’t be in. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went to the Middle East and spent 2 years developing my photography business. I realised by this point that I wanted to do a Business degree, and a friend of mine who was on the PwC apprenticeship scheme said it was the best decision she’d ever made. I started looking around at the different apprenticeship options and found L’Oréal!
Why did you choose to work for L'Oreal?
I resonated with the company values and felt like out of all the companies I could have done a Degree Apprenticeship with, they seemed like a solid, ethical employer who would help me develop my career into what I want it to be. They were offering a role in IT, and the fact Armani Beauty is a L’Oréal brand probably sealed the deal with Code being my favourite fragrance.
How do you manage your time between work and study?
I’m lucky in that I can walk to work and so I don’t lose much time commuting – this gives me a lot more time over a week to dedicate to studies. I always cross reference when I’m traveling for work and make sure I’m up to speed on my assignments well ahead of the deadlines. It’s not easy, and you have to put the hours in, so don’t expect to breeze through it. I do an hour or so of university work each night after work, and this has been enough so far for me to get good grades in my modules.
What has been your favorite module you have you studied so far?
Introduction to Research with Gus Newell. I enjoyed the flexibility of the module and was able to link it in really easily with my day to day job, exploring a technical subject that was relevant to my work. I enjoyed the different research methods and still reflect back on those notes now when I need some tips for my 2nd year modules.
What advice would you give to someone applying for the L'Oreal scheme?
It will be one of the best decisions you ever make, provided you’re not one of these students who wants to go out and get drunk every night. It’s not going to happen, so you’ll need to be prepared for that. Read up on the company before your interview and just be yourself. Good luck and pop by my desk to say hi if you make it!
We are currently recruiting for our fourth L’Oréal Degree Apprenticeship. Applications close midnight 5th November. Apply here.