1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a communication apprentice and therefore primarily support the internal communications team. This involves communicating all messages with employees via various channels such as newsletters, posters and internal social networking. As different teams come to me with their messages that need communicating, I work with a huge range of employees in the company. As well as this, I also work with a number of external companies in relation to our external messaging.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes, I have learnt a huge variety of new skills since beginning this apprenticeship. I have developed my written and oral communication skills and I am now able to tailor my language that is appropriate for an office environment. Furthermore, I have developed my Microsoft skills such as Word, Excel and Outlook.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have very much enjoyed this programme so far and have actively been encouraging friends and family to apply for the programme. Unilever is an amazing environment to work in, from day one everyone was friendly and welcoming and it is a fun environment to be working in. Unilever has gone beyond my expectations and I enjoy going to work each day which I was not expecting!
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
Unilever is keen to give apprentices real responsibility and this enabled me to feel valued by the company. My role has a real impact on the business and I feel valued by my team and colleagues. As I have a specialist role, my colleagues ask me for my advice and opinions. I have regular catch ups with my line manager to discuss my work and to receive feedback. My manager provides me with praise as well as constructive criticism.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well organised and Unilever has won many awards for the structure of the apprenticeship programmes. At the beginning, we had a detailed induction programme and I felt well supported when I joined. Apart from some IT problems at the beginning, there were no problems when I joined. Throughout the apprenticeship, we have regular training sessions and meetings with the dedicated HR Apprenticeship team. I have regular meetings with my line manager and I have clear goals that I work towards
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have regular support from my training provider, with weekly support and frequent one to one catch ups. My training provider keeps me up to date with any deadline for course work etc. I would feel comfortable talking to my training provider adviser if I had any questions or problems.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have endless support from Unilever. Firstly, the Apprenticeship team are extremely dedicated and supportive and can turn to them with any problems. Secondly, I have a very supportive line manager and I have weekly 1:1 meetings to talk about my work and ask questions. I also have the rest of my team who consistently support me. Finally, I have the support of other apprentices. We support each other with any problems and have a good network between us.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For an apprenticeship, I feel that my salary meets my costs. I am lucky in the fact I live at home and therefore do not need to pay rent. If I was paying rent, then I do not think the salary would cover my costs. The travel costs to the office are low and there is a free shuttle bus from the station to the office, which saves costs. Furthermore, there are lots of extra peaks, such as a free gym and exercise classes and a subsidised shop and canteen.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many opportunities outside of work to get involved in. There is a very social gym onsite, where myself and many of my colleagues bond in fitness classes. This is a great way to get to know people on a more personal level. There are also multiple sports teams to get involved in (such as football and softball). Furthermore, there are also many volunteering opportunities. There are often events on where you can volunteer at local schools and take part in programmes giving back to the community.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would definitely recommend Unilever to friends and family. The apprenticeship programme is supportive and well established and I have learnt so much in a short space of time. At the same time as working, I am also working towards qualifications. There are so many opportunities to develop yourself as an individual at Unilever and overall it is a great programme.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
The most important tip is to research the company. Be passionate about why you want to work for Unilever- there is lots of information on the website which I found useful.
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