#PlacementYear: Month Two

cotyStudies say that we spend more time at work than we do with our own families. So it’s only right that we find a job that we love, isn’t it? For most people, they dislike the job they’re in but love the people they work with, which can sometimes make up for it. Others may like their work, but don’t get along with their team. Or some just don’t like either. But for me, I love my job and I love my team.

I used to dread going into my part-time jobs. Reasons being because the job was either boring (empty bars on a Sunday evening), it wasn’t challenging or stimulating enough (polishing cutlery for hours on end), but mostly because I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. Each job I had felt like a stepping stone before I could get a real job that I actually wanted.

Working at Coty doesn’t feel like a typical 9-5 job. I don’t feel like I’m another addition to the system of ‘go to school, go to university, get a job, work 9-5, pay bills, retire and that’s life’ – I feel like I’m living out my hobby every day of the week. There’s not enough hours in the day for what I want to get through, and the week flies by. I wake up and look forward to going to work. When I have days off, I miss my work and my team. I never, ever thought I would be able to say that but I really think I’ve found the job I want to do for the rest of my life.

Talking to journalists

I’ve been reading glossy magazines since I was a child and have always had my favourites. When I was younger I was determined to be a magazine journalist, studying journalism for GCSE. I admired the likes of Laura Whitmore who studied Journalism at DCU, Dublin, who then went on to be a TV presenter. It was my dream to be a journalist and be able to interview celebrities and famous musicians (what I really mean to say is that I hoped I could work my way up to interview One Direction).

I don’t know why I was always intrigued by the celebrity world and how it can change someone’s life forever. Celebrities are no different to you and me, only that they’re in the spotlight and have a lot of people who admire them. Except if you’re a mega star like Justin Bieber who can’t go to the corner shop without getting mobbed – that’s not a life I would like to live. Yet the world of showbiz always drew me in. Maybe it was because I was from a very small town and it seemed like such a magical world to be a part of. Whatever way possible, I wanted to work my way into it and be on the inside instead of always being on the outside looking in.

Anyhow, the two magazines that I read religiously when I was younger were KISS (Irish teen magazine) and Company Magazine. I always had in my future plans to somehow stay in Dublin for a week and intern at KISS but it shut down before I even turned 16. Around the same time, Company also ceased publishing.

My two favourite magazines, gone without a trace, all at the same time. I took that as a sign that print journalism was on the decline and that there would be no job opportunities for me in magazine journalism, especially since my two favourites had shut down. And hence, I chose to follow a career in public relations.

Since then I now have two other magazines that I read religiously – Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Working in the PR department at Coty means I’m regularly in contact with beauty writers and editors from all major magazines in the UK. Going from dreaming about someday working for these magazines to talking to the writers on a daily basis is something of a pinch-me moment. Especially when I receive emails from the editors at my favourite magazines!

Just call me the Queen of cardboard boxes

Not a day goes by that I don’t have to open a cardboard box. On days when large orders come in, I’m drowning in them. I like unboxing and restocking our products but there’s just so. muchpackaging. See mountain of boxes below for an example of one day’s unboxing. The glamorous side of my job.


Yesterday I was lucky to have the opportunity to work at the Hugo Boss Fashion House in Camden where I was helping out packaging goody bags – 600 of them. There were three of us working in a production line trying to pack a fragrance in a lovely Hugo Boss wash bag, inside a branded bag. It took a lot longer than expected. There was just so much unwrapping to do.

Everything was boxed singly and then wrapped about ten times and then stuffed with wrapping and it was a lot. I feared for the planet.

I find it weirdly therapeutic taking products out of boxes. I look forward to Thursdays when my orders come in. Maybe it’s the OCD in me but I like everything to be in order and sitting pretty.

I just hope that all of the boxes I empty get sent to recycling. #SaveTheWhales

August launches

This month we had two fragrances launching; BOSS The Scent Intense for Him and for Her and Calvin Klein Obsessed for Him and for Her. Two similarities in the concept of him and her fragrances but two very difference smells.

BOSS The Scent Intense is all about the art of seduction and how the male fragrance is magnetic while the female fragrance enriches the beauty and captivating presence of the woman.

Calvin Klein Obsessed is a revival of the 1993 fragrance Obsession where Kate Moss and her then photographer boyfriend Mario Sorrenti were flown to the British Virgin Islands with a camcorder and photography equipment to capture the real-life ‘obsession’ that they had for each other for the campaign.

Calvin Klein brought both Kate and Mario back together this year to showcase some never-seen-before footage of the holiday to launch the new Obsessed fragrances. The tag line for the fragrance is ‘Who are you #Obsessed with?’ and quite frankly I’m obsessed with both fragrances as they have such a clean and fresh smell to them. The women’s is my go-to fragrance for everyday wear. I love it. Or should I say, I’m obsessed with it.


Staff sale

Well didn’t I hit the jackpot.

There was a staff sale of all old and unneeded stock at the beginning of the month and us interns offered our spare time to help out (mainly so we could have first go at the sale stock). The products were super cheap and I was able to stock up on all of my make-up and even purchased some hair-dye and about 6 bottles of conditioner.

There were Gucci branded items that went like hotcakes as they were only 50p, £1 or £2 a go (insane!) and I even bought a Gucci beauty blender and kitchen apron cos why not? It’s Gucci.

There were thousands of products and I was able to grab a lot of things that will do as Christmas presents for my family. I insta-storied a lot of it just to make my friends see what a super cool job I have. Yes that’s a Gucci bath towel and yes I bought two for £4.


Mama, I made it

There seems to be a point in everyone’s career that they are working towards when they will be finally be able to say ‘I made it’. ‘I achieved everything I set out to do and worked my butt off and am now where I dreamed of being.’

I used to think about this a lot – what will be the significant moment in my career where I’ll stop and say ‘I made it.’?

For my little 1D-obsessed brain, for me, that moment was always going to be when I could be in a room with One Direction, not as a fan, but as someone that worked in the music industry or entertainment industry and was on the same guest list. Your opinion of me must be changing rapidly as I seem to mention One Direction one too many times each blog post, but when you’ve invested seven years of your life and SO MUCH time and effort (and money) into the band, it’s hard not to.

Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, all of my darling readers… I mayyyyyyy be soon about to have my ‘I made it’ moment. Yes, for real.

I received a very exclusive invite to a very exclusive (celeb filled) party just yesterday that a certain male that used to be in a certain boyband is said to be attending.



While he may only be my 4th favourite member of the band, and it’s not the full band that will be attending, I will still be a nervous wreck constantly scanning the room for the familiar face. You’ll have to check back here next week to see if I have my ‘I made it’ moment – which I never expected to realistically have, never mind before even graduating from university.

Or if you aren’t keen on having to wait, follow my Instagram as no doubt I’ll be broadcasting live from the event (@orlaghshanks)

Month two summary

Month two is complete, I’ve had my one month review which I was really pleased with and I never want to leave 🙂


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