1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As an IT apprentice, my role is very reactive. I respond to users issues once they have been reported to me. As well as this I have daily tasks such as changing the back up tapes. As I have learnt more skills I have been involved with a few projects such as hardware refreshes which are done by an external company and office moves where I have had to move network connections and telephone lines.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
By studying with the Open University, I have learnt a variety of new skills and developed others whilst working towards a qualification. Organisation has been a skill developed as I need to manage my time to be able to work and complete my university work. Writing concisely has been a skill I have learnt whilst studying as it is important to stick to the tight word limits that are given. I have also been involved in some internal training courses such as analysing a root cause, which has been useful to know how to tackle a problem. I will also participate in other available courses over the time of my apprenticeship. By working in a large company I have also learnt to work with a variety of people with different skill levels and have therefore developed my people and communication skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Although my apprenticeship programme is a bit different to what I expected I am really enjoying it as I do a variety of different tasks, meaning not one day is the same. I enjoy working with my department, as they really welcomed me into their team and are really helpful in helping me develop my skills.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel valued by Unilever as they chose to give me the opportunity to study for a higher apprenticeship. When being involved in projects I feel valued and it is particularly nice to be praised and thanked for my participation.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The studying side of my apprenticeship was well organised, as I knew the structure of how it worked. I had a mentor for 2 weeks when I started, which was useful as I was shown a lot of things, including around the site. I was expecting to have meetings with the apprenticeship coordinator after I had started to see how I was getting on, however this didnt happen. Although, my managers gave me a lot of support which I was grateful of.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
At the start of my programme I didnt receive much support from my training provider and it wasnt very well organised as I didnt have much contact with them. However, as time went on I received more support and guidance which I am happy with.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager is very supportive, and provides guidance when I need it. He is interested in helping me learn new skills and develop in order to achieve the most from my apprenticeship. I havent had any dealings with the HR team as my manager has helped me with any issues I've had.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary meets my costs fairly well as I have to drive almost an hour to work each morning, so need to afford to run and maintain my car. I also have daily costs and living costs to pay, which are another priority. Finally, I do have social costs, but they are less important and therefore are compromised if it is not affordable sometimes.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There have been a few company events outside of work, and I have also been invited to meet other apprentices on other sites. I am unsure on the activities in the local community as I do not live around where I work.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend Unilever to a friend as they have sponsored me to study for a higher apprenticeship which will then give me a qualification and experience at the same time. They are also interested in developing apprenticeships in order to bring in more young people into the company.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
The application process consists of several steps, such as tests, interviews and an assessment centre. I didnt know about the whole process when I applied and was only told the next step when I was successful in the previous one. My tip for the assessment centre would be just to be yourself and really use it as a time to show how you stand out from the others.Take note of what the others do that is good/bad and use that to present yourself.
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