A thing of beauty: my year with The Body Shop

Paula at the Body Shop head office
Portrait of Paula Ugochukwu

by Paula Ugochukwu
BA Journalism Studies

Last summer I completed a 12-month industrial placement in the global head office of The Body Shop, working as part of the international human resources team. I had an amazing year and learnt SO much.

The Body Shop is a beauty and cosmetics company which deals in many different categories: hair care, make-up, bath and body, skincare and fragrance. The global head office is in Croydon, London but I often spent several days a month working in the second head office in the delightful coastal town of Littlehampton in West Sussex.

As the international digital recruitment intern, I used digital tools to promote The Body Shop as a desirable employer. On Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I posted articles, pictures and videos about The Body Shop, the brand and the employees.

I also used paid media tools like Facebook ads to promote and advertise jobs in the business, globally. Scheduling tools, like Hootsuite and Facebook insights, are really useful for planning posts on multiple social media pages.

As I worked in the international head office, I often spoke to colleagues in other offices all over the world.

The social media pages I ran were all global-facing so I spoke to customers from different countries. I often got support from different markets’ HR teams (and Google Translate, when need be!) to help with any language barriers.

Paula with a colleague at Body Shop HQ

My role consisted of managing digital channels to present The Body Shop as an employer of excellence through photos, videos and content about life as an employee with The Body Shop. I posted daily on the careers/jobs Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor pages to a combined following of over 100,000 people worldwide.

I also worked closely with the global communication teams to monitor and gather any press and articles relating to both The Body Shop and the wider beauty and retail industries to share on social media.

Being an intern at The Body Shop was a great experience. I learnt new things every day about working in an international company and was armed with skills I will continue to use throughout my career.

As a bonus, the freebies and discounts were fantastic too. The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash and Seaweed Pore-cleansing Exfoliator are two facial products I swear by!

I highly recommend industrial placement years because you get really immersed in the culture of working life and develop the interpersonal skills that you need in the ‘real world’. I came back to university so determined to work hard, stay disciplined and do my very best in my final year.

Sheffield is independently rated as the UK’s number 1 university for studying journalism and media – by the Complete University Guide for 2020 and The Guardian university league tables for 2019 and 2018. Want to see journalism’s bigger picture? Study with us.

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