1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job role title is a Commercial Executive on the Tesco team. My daily tasks involve pulling reports from the Tesco system and updating our internal EPOS trackers with these reports. I am also responsible for the Price Claims process within the Tesco team, which involves updating and maintaining our Price Claims Tracker and then dealing with these Price Claims. Internally I am involved in many meetings held within the Tesco which occur on a daily basis. However, I have much less interactions externally as external interactions involve sending sample but this does not occur every day. I am also involved with a project which is looking to improve the area where the Tesco team, in terms of providing information on the screen that is in our area.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many new skills as well as developed existing skills. At the beginning of the programme I attended many internal training sessions which taught me lot about how the business worked as a whole. I also attended external training courses with Tesco to learn how to use their systems. I believe I have also learnt many new I.T skills and developed the existing I.T skills I already had although these skills were very limited. I now feel a lot more confident with my I.T as well as my professional skills. I feel I have learnt the essential skills to work in a business such as organisational and presentation skills. However I feel that it is mainly my I.T skills that have been improved and developed since joining Unilever.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do enjoy my programme because I actually enjoy the work I am doing on a daily basis. The work I do is varied and therefore makes my role more interesting. I also enjoy my programme due to the team I am working in. The culture of the Tesco team is very motivating and encouraging meaning that everyone is considered to be valuable member of the team. This programme exceeded my expectations as I am enjoying it more than I thought I would.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel that apprentices as a group are valued by Unilever. Personally, I get lots of appreciation form my manager if I have completed a task to a certain standard. With my involvement in our Tesco team Commercial Executives project I believe them I am being internally recognised. I was picked to lead the project by other members of the team, suggesting that I have been internally recognised. I know valued within my team, but less so by Unilever as a whole as it is so huge!
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think that the programme has become more organised the further into the programme it gets. At the beginning of the programme there was less of a clear structure in terms of the actual roles we would be doing. However, once we got into our roles the structure became clearer making the programme more organised. There had been a lot of changes to the Commercial Executives roles in the Tesco team, therefore it took a longer to properly get started. In terms of introductions and training the programme was really organised as I was able to attend many sessions which helped me to learn more about the role I would be doing. I believe that the programme is a lot more organised now and has a clear structure that I understand.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The support I receive from my training provider is a lot more irregular than the support I receive from my line manager. I occasionally meet with my training provider in which I am able to discuss any issues or problems I may be facing. Although we do not meet that often my training provider is able to resolve any issues I may have and always shows a supportive attitude towards me.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive a lot of support from my employer. I have regular meetings which occur weekly with my line manage to discuss any issues or problems I may be having. We generally talk about work load, if anything is coming up in the following weeks or any problems I have had in the previous week. My line manage will then look into any problems and help to resolve nay issues. I also have a mentor from another team within Unilever who I am able to go to for support if I want to go to someone different to my line manager. This is really useful as it means I just simply have another person to talk to and get support from who are in a different team and who I don’t come into contact with on a daily basis.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I do manage to meet costs with the salary I have. I have to pay for my phone bill, car insurance and also pay rent every month. I travel 30 miles to work including the journey there and the journey back, this means that I have to spend money on petrol on a weekly basis. However, once these have all been paid for I still do have money left over which I am then able to use for social costs. Before I started the programme I was hoping to save more money then I currently am, but that is probably due to the fact that I need to try a bit harder!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many opportunities outside of work. I attended the company Christmas party which was for all employees working in the Unilever Leatherhead office. Soon I will also be attending the Mid-Year event for all employees in the Customer Development. This is a good way to meet new people who aren’t on my team as I normally spend a lot of my time with them. I have also attended many team away days and night out that are specific to the team I am on, which is Tesco. Team away days allow to have a day out of the office as a team together and are usually used for team building sessions. Tesco team nights out are more of a social occasion and are lots of fun! These team away days and night out tend to happen roughly every two months so are quite frequent. I also go to gym in the office with a few members of my team as enjoy attending the classes!
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend Unilever to friend as all employees are treated really well as it is obvious the employers care for their employees. The ethos at Unilever is really encouraging and everyone is friendly and welcoming. Unilever is also such a huge company therefore it is easy to gain experience which will be useful for the future.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
Others applying to Unilever do not need to be nervous. During the application process you just to talk highly of yourself and be able to provide examples of when you have done something good that would be relevant to this type of job. I would say to enjoy the assessment day and to just be yourself! There is no need to nervous as the day will be fun as opposed to scary. Once you are on-board I would just advise to ask as many questions as possible once you start your role so that you can understand it fully. I would like to have been told to enjoy the assessment day and not to be nervous about what the day involves as they assessors do not want to catch you out!
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