1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Service Integration Analyst Apprentice. My main duties include: Working with JML (Joiners, Movers, Leavers) which is a large part of my job role. Recently I have been working on small tasks which contribute towards the JML 2015 improvement project. This has included a Joiners handbook to help people when they join Unilever which has been rolled out to Unilever employees globally, and Movers/Leavers checklists which tell employees the actions they need to take when moving within or leaving the business. I have also been supporting testing for a project called ‘mobile approval’ for GTES (Unilever's Global Travel Expenses System.) This has included setting up claims in a test environment for our test users, as well as taking part in some of the testing myself and giving feedback. I have also had to create a survey which has been sent out to users for their feedback on the new functionality. I have also been attending Application Performance meetings with the service owners of the 5 most popular services within Unilever. There is a large project to improve the top 5 services within Unilever in 2015. I collate information on a weekly basis for this project. On a daily basis with all my work, I am interacting with people all over the world.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Whilst at Unilever, I am completing a foundation degree in IT and computing, as well as a BTEC level 4. Both these qualifications compliment my apprenticeship well as they provide me with different skills and knowledge. This includes developing my time management, as I am completing these alongside my apprenticeship so I must make time for each. As well as these, I have also completed ITIL at foundation level. Working within such a good company is helping to provide me with experience, as well as helping me to develop many skills. As I am delegated tasks to do, this has helped me to develop my planning and organising skills. As a result of completing these tasks, my verbal and written communication skills have improved as it can involve communication with many people. Working within my job role involves working with many others, this has helped me to develop my teamwork skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the work I am doing on a daily basis, as a lot of the tasks I complete have a positive outcome and help others. I feel I get good job satisfaction. I work with an amazing team who will always support me if I need it. Unilever is a great company to work for and the culture here is very friendly and welcoming. Working within Unilever has exceeded my expectations as I have had such a great experience since joining. I enjoy the programme thoroughly.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel like I am highly valued within my team as well as the wider Unilever community. I get good recognition for pieces of work I complete, regularly from my manager and I have also received commendation from senior VPs. Usually within a project I will be delegated certain tasks to do so I am able to work independently but I also get recognition for the work I do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
When we joined Unilever we were introduced to the business by our apprenticeship co-ordinator who showed us 'Code of Business Policies' and other important things we needed to know. The qualifications and training we do works well with the job and we get support from both the Open University, and PDS our training provider. There is a lot of support from PDS, Stafforce and my team within Unilever. I have catch up meetings every week with my manager, who delegates tasks to me and checks I have the right amount of work.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We have visits on a monthly basis from PDS our training provider where we have a review of our progress and decide on tasks to complete before the next review. If we have any problems/queries we can email or phone our assessor.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We have visits around every 6 weeks from Stafforce, our 3rd party employer. We are supported well and if we need anything or have any questions we can ring or email our mentor who is always happy to help us. Within Unilever I also receive a lot of support from my manager who will make sure I have the right workload and we will have catch ups regularly.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
We are paid very well. I am able to afford my own car on finance, as well as paying for my own insurance and many other contracts such as my mobile phone. I have become a lot more financially independent since starting here. I am easily able to afford travelling to and from work every day.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are quite a few company events such as the Christmas party which I really enjoyed, and met lots of new people. We have also had team meals which has been nice because we have been able to spend some time out of work hours getting to know one another. The Port Sunlight community is important to Unilever and at times there has been tours around the village. There are always lots of initiatives to create a positive environment.
9. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend?
Unilever is a very good company to work for, and the programme I am doing over the 3 years is an amazing opportunity as I will be gaining qualifications, as well as getting experience.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever?
The application process can seem quite long but if you put the time in and work hard to complete an application, take part in the online tests, the assessment day and interviews, it is definitely worth it because it is such a good opportunity! When applying for Unilever, I would say to make sure you ask about all the areas available and find out more about the different job roles so you can decide which would be best for you, and mention the area you’d like to go into most during your interview. At times, the interviews and assessment day can be nerve wracking but every is in the same position as you so the best thing to do is to stay calm and learn from the experience if anything.
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