1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My Job title is a Packaging Development Apprentice. I am an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer, working towards an FdEng and then a BEng. My daily tasks include, managing e-mails, attending project meetings, communicating with suppliers and feeding back results to project teams.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Whilst been at Unilever I have developed a range of new skills. This includes both my communication skills as well as skills in more technical areas. I have had to work with companies based at different locations around the Globe while maintaining a professional image for Unilever. I have also had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills by taking more of a leading role on smaller projects.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
On this course I am definitely enjoying my degree, as it is exactly the course I would have done if I had not chosen to do an apprenticeship. However, more specific to my role, I really enjoy working with my suppliers and having really hands on brainstorming sessions where we come up with new ideas or try to find solutions to a problem. Overall I really enjoy my course as it is allowing me to do the degree I wanted while working with a really great team on some really interesting projects.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel as though Unilever values all of its employees and within Unilever there are some really good managers who make you feel valued for the work that you do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel as though the University course could be improved as we have had to do some modules the wrong way round, as the course it tailored for full time students, however it hasn't affected our learning. At work I feel as though we are fully integrated members of the team who aren't treated differently to other employees, however we are given more access to training and development opportunities and project leaders understand if we haven't heard of something or need to be taught about something before we can do it.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I think that our training provider has not provided us with much support and the communication through e-mails has been pretty poor. However I have not needed much support as I am a very independent learner.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I feel as though I receive as much support as I need from my employer. My line Manager is very open and always happy to help wit any issues I may be having, as are other managers that I work for on the projects I work on.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I feel as though my salary meets all my travel and social cost and allows me to do a lot more that I would have been able to without this job. However I could not afford to rent or Buy a home to move out.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are always lots of events happening with colleagues both inside and outside of work time. This allows our team to become closer and really work well together. Unilever also provides gym membership to local gyms, and allows us to organise and fund some team building events along with other social benefits.
9. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend?
Unilever is a great people orientated company where you feel valued as an employee. It is also a good place to come to develop as Unilever will allow you to train and develop or even become an expert in an area that interests you.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever?
I would say that through the interview process and on any assessment days to try and show the kind of person you are, as Unilever is really interested in employing the right person for the right job. Also don't be afraid to show as many examples of work experience as possible to show off skills such as working in teams and standing out as a leader.
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