1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I worked in the Geography IT Europe Finance Business Partner based in Kingston. My role involved building rapport with the IT Admins across Europe and liaising with them on a daily basis to ensure that reporting and forecasting was in line. My daily tasks often involved ad hoc queries from the team and I also led several clean-up projects for Europe to aid in our reporting process.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Joining a finance team from sixth-form with no financial background was hard, but my line manager was keen to give me lots of development opportunities to ensure I learnt new skills. I became the 'go-to' person for several reporting tools and developed my Excel skills. I was also able to build on my communication, networking & time-management skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoyed being an apprentice at Unilever, it allowed me to gain vital experience in both the workplace and the FMCG industry. I had such a supportive team and both my line managers were very hands on.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel really valued by Unilever, they were supportive from when I joined in Sept 2013, to when I finished in March 2015 and secured a job as a Finance Analyst. It's really important to network, and throughout my journey the contacts I made were able to provide even more opportunities for me.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My personal programme from my line managers were really well structured, I had a list of key goals to achieve and development opportunities to take up.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My assessor was good and marked my coursework in adequate time, she was very helpful with any questions and if she wasn't around I was able to contact the other assessor. We also had support from a dedicated contact who regularly visited the office and was able to help with any employer related issues or general support.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I received a lot of support from my manager, we had regular catch ups to discuss progress and opportunities as well as feedback sessions. Both of the line managers I had, used the same approach and it proved to be very effective.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As a sixth-form leaver I felt the salary/package met my costs very well. As I still lived with my parents I had minimal outgoing costs and my salary was able to support my social & living needs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Unilever is a keen supporter of sustainable living and volunteering. As a business they have a dedicated volunteer day where employees dedicate their time to the local community in a variety of ways such as; gardening, school workshops, food drives etc.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I had a brilliant time at Unilever as a BA Finance apprentice, I gained vital experience in the workplace while getting a salary and learning new skills. I also made lots of good friends along the way. I would definitely recommend Unilever to a friend.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
When you're applying, be honest and true to yourself, they match you to a department that best suits your skills and mind set. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone, but know that it will lead you to great benefits from developing your skills.
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