Are you a student or post-graduate and have you ever wondered how to get an internship with L’Oréal Canada? I had the unique opportunity to walk through the L’Oréal Canada headquarters in Montreal last month and got to interview four interns precisely about their experience and how they got their foot in the door.
L’Oréal is one of the world’s leading beauty groups encompassing dozens of brands from women’s luxury fragrances, cosmetics, hair and skin products to men’s personal care. The company’s employees and interns work on very specific brands and tasks, but still manage to overlap, help one another and work in teams.
About the interns I interviewed:
- Alissa from Montreal who graduated in Marketing and International Business
- Fabian from Toronto who specialized in Marketing and Operations
- Maripaz from Costa Rica who studies Marketing and Economics
- Selina from Vancouver majoring in Marketing with a minor in Psychology
The interns I spoke to were specifically interested in getting an internship within a company that specialized in CPG (Consumer packaged goods), with exciting brands and an innovative approach to marketing.
How to get an internship at L’Oréal
Alissa got her interning opportunity through participating in the MUCH Marketing Week between the universities of UQAM, HEC, Sherbrooke, McGill, Concordia. She did a L’Oréal Canada case to launch a perfume in Giorgio Armani. Fabian was approached by L’Oréal after he participated in the Brandstorm case competition. He had a background in fashion retailing. Maripaz was a Brandstorm competition winner. Lastly, Selina was recruited by the Brand Management Mentorship Program at UBC.
A typical day at L’Oréal Canada as an intern
According to all the interns, you can expect the unexpected. There isn’t a ‘typical’ day; interns work on 1-2 major projects for the entire summer along with simultaneous tasks that pop-up on a daily basis. Meetings with teammates, mentors and project managers for major product launches and check-ins are frequent.
How did the experience differ from the interns’ expectations or assumptions
L’Oréal Canada has many companies being managed under one roof, which offers up the opportunity to observe and learn about many different approaches.
Alissa said people told her the experience would be too stressful with a lot of responsibility, however, she found the position interesting and motivating. Selina was pleasantly surprised at how impactful her work as an intern is on the La Roche-Posay skincare brand.
Maripaz was expecting an internship in marketing but was offered a commercial one instead. She was pleasantly surprised at how well the position fit her skill-set.
The best part/hardest part of interning at L’Oréal Canada
The best part, according to all four interviewees, is the atmosphere at L’Oréal Canada and how outgoing, helpful and motivated everyone is at the company.
Tasks are constantly being completed, postponed or canceled. The hardest aspects include being able to multi-task, keep track of everything and prioritize projects accordingly. Fabian and Alissa mentioned that even if they worked all day, they could never finish everything because there was always something new they could recommend or start.
Maripaz, who has a commercial internship, mentioned that she had to learn software skills on her own quickly. Selina, coming from Vancouver said it was hard being away from home, but she has adjusted well and is glad for this amazing opportunity to work at her dream company.
How does interning at L’Oréal Canada differ from other internships
Fabian said that this was his first real exposure to the large corporate world with bigger responsibilities than before. Alissa remarked that the atmosphere at L’Oréal Canada was different than anywhere else she had interned and that she didn’t feel like an intern on a day to day basis. Maripaz, who previously interned at Ernst & Young, stated that people at L’Oréal Canada were not only driven but also extremely passionate about their brand which she found very inspiring.
How to set yourself apart in the application process
Fabian said his background in retail with Holt Renfrew and Burberry along with his passion for consumer goods packaging set him apart. Selina suggested knowing the company well before applying, “know your favorite brands, division and showcase your passion in the interview.”
Alissa and Maripaz highly recommended participating in case of competitions because they help challenge you and showcase your talents more than any classroom course will.
What about post-internship?
Fabian aspires to continue working for L’Oréal Canada and is considering a Master’s degree. Alissa would also like to continue working for L’Oréal Canada and is interested in working within L’Oréal Canada digital/e-commerce department which is a top priority for the company in the next few years. Maripaz wants to work for L’Oréal Canada in the same department because she felt she was placed well. Selina will go back to Vancouver to finish her last year at school and wants to travel before attaining a fulltime position.