1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Process Development apprentice. I specialise in the process development of roll on deodorants and will do so for the remainder of my apprenticeship. Process development involves taking formulation’s and designing the equipment and process’s that will be used to produce them at full scale.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
my confidence in myself, ability to manage my time and take on pressured situations as increased ten fold since starting at Unilever. As well as learning skills for my job, I have also achieved forklift license, done a lean sigma project management course, been on an advanced rheology course and had opportunities for many other career development experiences. I feel the most valuable skills I have gained in the past 3.5 years have come from Unilever and not from university.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy doing my job and degree. Surprisingly the job is exactly what I wanted and expected it to be. The first time I came on a tour and saw the pilot plant, I knew it was the place I wanted to be and it hasn't let me down one bit. Chemical engineering was not something I had initially planned to do and I am so thankful that Unilever opened my eyes to it, its the best decision I ever made.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel very valued, I have been sent to the Philippines to run factory trials for a project that I was entrusted to complete myself, this is one of the greatest experiences of my life I simply would not have had, had I gone to university full time. I am also trusted to be the pilot plant specialist in rheology, as a result of my own interest.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure offered by Unilever has been exceptional. Hull university has struggled to offer the course I signed up for. This is a direct result of me being the one and only candidate that applied for the part time chem eng course! The part time foundation part of the course has since been removed from their syllabus and the part time degree Beng chemical engineering course is being re designed to be offered in a few years. I am currently following the full time second year chemical engineering degree, Unilever have been very flexible in allowing me 2 days per week to keep up with the increased work load.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
despite the course being badly run, there are a few people at university that personally make sure I am okay and have some sort of course set up every year. The amount of 1to1 these people have put in has been truly exceptional and is the reason I'm still doing well at Uni.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Unilever have an excellent attitude to our studies, I have never once had anyone expect me to put Unilever before university and it is greatly encouraged for us to bring any workload concerns to our managers before it affects our results.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
my living costs are easily covered by my salary. Unilever fund our travel and university fees, It means that I will leave with no debts, I have no issues what so ever with the wages.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Unilever has a strong focus on people and there are regular company events and team building opportunities throughout the year. These have always been enjoyable, especially the Christmas and summer events.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It has put me ahead in my career and I have enjoyed every step of it, I will also leave university with no debts and without having cost my parents a single penny which makes me feel happy.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
make sure they read about the company's values, products and history. come with an idea about what you actually want to do in the company. be confident and open at the assessment day's without overpowering other candidates. don't underestimate the value of any jobs and hobbies you have on your application, no matter how small.
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