This summer I scored the internship of my dreams. My resume was perfect and I killed my interviews. I crossed my fingers and prayed as I awaited their response. A week passed, then one morning I got a call from a New York City number saying that I got the job. I was the newest intern at the world's largest cosmetic company. The experience was as glamorous and incredible as you would think. Every day I scanned my ID and walked through the glass automatic doors into a world full of innovation, design, and leading technology that would in some way be a small part of someone's daily routine. Yes, a lot more thought goes into that mascara you use everyday than you think. Today I'm sharing just some of the valuable career lessons I learned while interning this summer at L'Oreal.
One of my favorite things to wear to work is a dress since it's easy to throw on and run out the door. This DKNY dress has a cool zipper on the front that makes the dress even more detailed and flattering. It's on sale right now at Macy's, so check the link above! Since it's still cold out, I paired the dress with a class black trench coat which can be worn so many ways. Plus trench coats are very chic and give off L'Oreal NYC vibes :)
Let's start with some background facts:
L'Oreal is the world leader in all things beauty with subsidiaries such as Maybelline, NYX, Urban Decay, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl's, Essie, and much more.
I interned at the Dallas location within the supply chain portion of their active cosmetics division (think CeraVe, SkinCeuticals, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, etc.)
Working at L'Oreal taught me a lot about the business world and about myself. Here are some of the career lessons I took away from my internship this summer:
1) Seize Every Opportunity
Saying no to opportunities and extra projects never crossed my mind. I tried everything that came my way and asked for more when I felt provoked to. Something that I loved being a part of was volunteering to write for the L'Oreal internship blog. It wasn't necessary or part of my job description, but I knew I would love doing it and that it would allow me to meet more people outside of my daily network.
2) Arrive Early
I always got to work early. It helped that L'Oreal USA headquarters is in NYC and was an hour ahead of Dallas. Since they were already working away, arriving early made it easy for me to get a hold of whoever I needed to talk to. Arriving early allows you to ease into your day and get a head start on your work. It also helped me cut down travel time since I was ahead of the traffic. Getting to work 10-15 minutes early shows that you're dedicated to your job. Just don't show up too early. Everyone knows that person who's at the office so early the rest of the team thinks they slept in the office.
3) Small Connections Make a Big Impact
Even though I was stationed in Dallas while most employees were up north at HQ, I didn't let that stop me from making connections. I used LinkedIn daily and started learning more about the different functions of the company simply by meeting new people. You never know what one connection could do for you in the future.
4) Find a Mentor (or two)
I was so blessed having two supervisors this summer who were incredible. I aspire to be at least half of the business women they are. I learned that I want to have the following traits as a team member in my own career: poise, intelligence, eagerness to listen, and a fashionable style. My two supervisors planted a sense of confidence in me that I never had before. I am eternally grateful for their mentorship and wisdom.
5) Ask Questions and Never Stop Learning
Asking good questions holds tremendous value. I kept a notebook full of my ideas and questions that I would seek answers to throughout the day. Questions provoke innovation and creativity. You know what they say- better questions give better answers. Don't be afraid to seek out answers from those around you and work together to solve the problem.
These were just some of the career lessons I learned this summer. No matter where you work, I think it's important to make the best of every day and learn from those around you. Good luck!
Photos by: Audrie Dollins