1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a PR & Media apprentice, I work with various stakeholders to manage all UK &I requests for permission to use our brands in TV programmes, books and ad hoc opportunities. I also share daily updates with brand teams to share any particularly positive or negative coverage in newspapers, magazines or broadcasts about our brands, which we receive from our media monitoring service. As well as this I work with the PR and Media team to highlight media team achievements to internal audiences via case studies, news stories and newsletters.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Only being 9 months in, I have definitely learnt a lot from my apprenticeship so far and grown in confidence. My communication skills, both verbal and written has improved enormously; this is particularly important in my role as I'm interacting with consumers, journalists/media and fellow colleagues, all of which I need to communicate with slightly differently. I have also further developed my skills in Microsoft Outlook, PowerPoint, Word and especially Excel; this is due to the training sessions provided by Unilever.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The experiences I've had at Unilever so far have gone above and beyond my expectations. Working across all brands has given me the opportunity to really broaden my knowledge on all of them through the variety of meetings and events I attend. These have also been a great opportunity to meet and network with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I do feel greatly valued by Unilever as I receive good feedback from fellow colleagues that I've worked with or assisted in some way. As well as this, over the 9 months I've gradually been given more responsibility which reflects that I am valued by my team and Unilever.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel that my apprenticeship is very well organised. I have monthly catch-ups with my assessor to discuss my progress so far; coursework I've submitted and any improvements that can be made and any problems I'm facing with both my coursework and in my job. I also have catch-ups with my line manager at the start of each week which are very useful on catching up on any on-going tasks or anything that we need to discuss; these are great as they give structure to my week and help me identify what I should be focusing on.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a good amount of support from my training provider. I have monthly meetings with my assessor which I think is the perfect frequency. Within these sessions we discuss my progress so far, any coursework I've submitted and any problems I may be facing. We also agree on an action plan for the following month to ensure that I stay on track with my coursework so that I complete it by the end of my programme. My assessor is also willing to assist between our meetings over the phone or email.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a great amount of support from my employer. I have catch-ups with my line manager at the start of each week which are very useful on catching up on any on-going tasks or anything that we need to discuss; these are great as they give structure to my week and help me identify what I should be focusing on. Within these we also discuss my apprenticeship coursework so that my manager can ensure that I'm also making good progress on this. Unilever have also provided training sessions for different software that I use on a day-to-day basis so have great relevance.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary does meet my costs well and leaves me with an enough of disposable income.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many great opportunities out of work, one of them being Unilever's annual volunteer day. On this day everyone in our office, has to volunteer to work/assist at a site that's in need of help. Last year I volunteered at a local youth centre that was in desperate need of some decorating; this was found and organised by Unilever. I have also had the great opportunity of doing a two week placement at one of our PR agency's which was an invaluable experience. This was organised by my line-manager to give me a better idea of what it's like working in an agency, if I wished to do so in the future.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
With Unilever being one of the biggest FMCG companies globally, I can't think of a better company to start my career at. It's given me many great opportunities and amazing experiences so far. This has been a great alternative to University and has justified my choice of doing an apprenticeship instead. I'm excited to see what the next 9 months will bring.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
The only advise I'd give to those applying is to put in as much work as you can in the application process because it's worth it in the end!
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