1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in the Convenience Sector for a brand called Partners for Growth. Partners for Growth helps Convenience Retailers on category business advice- for free. On a day to day basis I look across categories and go on to data bases to find and retrieve information about the category. When requests come in from retailers wanting information about different categories, planograms and store layouts; we look into this for them and get presentations ready for the account managers/my manager to present.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I learn more and more skills every day. I have learnt and experienced what it is like to be in a business and how you work as a team well. As an individual my confidence has grown more and more and I have learnt to understand many business terms and understand categories.
Being in this apprenticeship has helped me to be able to have the confidence in releasing that I am able capable of being in a full time job. I have had many training sessions internally which have helped me get a true understanding of what I can get from Unilever and also what different job roles are available.
Being fully supported by your line manager is also key to being able to develop- I am very lucky as my line manager is amazing as she puts in so much time with me to be able to speak about my progress and the future. She suggests job roles that she thinks I'll be good at, that I have never heard before!
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love working in a team and love what I do most of the time. I do find the coursework boring sometimes but you're never going to enjoy everything that you do. The apprenticeship was a lot better than I thought it would be- I didn't quite think that we would be given as much support and opportunities that we have got!
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I do feel valued by Unilever. I feel like it is very competitive as we are all in competition to try and get a job at the end of the apprenticeship here. Unlike other apprenticeship schemes- Unilever doesn't guarantee you a job at the end of this- which can make you feel valued and more nervous.
However it does also make you want to feel more and more valued by Unilever which can motivate you to try harder
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship is well organised. There are plently of people to contact if you need more help or advance about the course.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
You receive full support from your training provider/assessor. I get on really well with my assessor- the only problem is that she is really busy so getting her time is very valuable.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive full support from my employer and especially my line manager. I am extremely lucky to have such a laid back and caring manager. I also have a contact manager who works in a completely different team which is nice to be able to speak to her about my progress and have more advance from someone other than my manager.
If I did have a problem with anyone in my team, I would 100% know who to contact and know that I would be fully supported.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary for an apprenticeship scheme is really good. I can just about cope on the money that I am on but that is because my rent and car is expensive.
I was considering getting myself a part time job however I am wanting to fully commit myself for my full 18 months at Unilever to do the best that I can.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There have been many events to get involved in at Unilever. In my spare time I go to the gym (which is free) and train there weekly. I also have a personal trainer who has helped me to be able achieve goals and targets that I wanted to.
I also got involved in some voluntary work and will continue to try and get involved in whatever I can.
9. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend?
I would recommend Unilever to a friend because I think it is a great opportunity to not only get a great qualification but also a great opportunity to be able to practise working in a business place. Unilever especially is an amazing company and having that on your CV will definitely help you succeed in future career.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever?
Be yourself- don't try and be someone you're not. The process of interviews and the assessment days were extremely daunting however it is a great experience and if you are lucky enough to get onto the scheme you will be extremely happy that you succeeded in the process.
If you're a character with a lot to give, have great people skills and are willing to try your hardest then apply for Unilever as it could be the start of a great career for yourself.
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