R&D Microbiologist Apprentice- Refreshment Category at Unilever

Start Date:
Bedford- Sharnbrook
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£19,500 annually
Review Date:
June 2015

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


On a daily basis I work as a research and development microbiologist in the refreshment category. This primarily includes working with tea and ice cream products to ensure they are safe for the consumer.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I am currently studying for a foundation degree in Food Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University. I have also learnt a vast range of microbiological and computing skills, which can be transferred to many roles.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I really enjoy both aspects of my apprenticeship, both the day to day work and studying. It has given me a much broader understanding of the workplace than what I would have gained if I were to study full time.

4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?


I feel valued by both my initial team and larger category that I work in. This has been recognised as I was nominated for the 'Rising Star' award at my end of year awards ceremony at my site.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


I received full training, just like any other employee, when I started at work. This training was also prolonged to ensure I was competent with my daily tasks as I had never worked in a lab environment before.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


I have a one to one review with my course tutor every term at university to ensure I am on track with my work, if I have any questions or queries I am able to contact my lecturers at any time. The course is only run part time, so they understand we all have pressures from both university and work and are flexible when they need to be.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


I have a brilliant support network from my line manager, supervisor, buddy and apprentice scheme leader. I have a buddy who is able to answer any questions regarding the scheme or Unilever in general. There is always somebody who is willing to help if I ever need it.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


My salary enables me to live close to work, travel to and from work and have a comfortable social life. All costs for travelling to university are covered by Unilever.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


I am part of the social events planning team which plan events for the department at different times during the year. There is also a sports and social club on site which runs clubs and activities during the week.

9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

The programme is structured very well and you are given many opportunities to investigate a variety of different jobs, if this is what you wish to do.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *

The application process is very simple and you are guided through it by HR. They are aware that for many people this will the first real interview after finishing school so they accommodate for this, there is no need to feel nervous!

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