1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a HR Team Assistant, business partnering the marketing function. My day to day role includes organising team meetings, communicating with internal stakeholders and external recruiters in order to hire or promote employees, managing employee issues and using internal programmes to manage the structure of the business. I interact with employees from various departments all over the business including employees at director, VP and Board level. I manage various employee files and I am the first point of contact for any employee queries.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My I.T skills have massively improved since embarking upon my apprenticeship and there have been a number of IT course that I have taken part in, including Excel and LinkedIn training. My line manager also sets out goals for me to work towards in terms of how I develop my role in my team and is always giving me feedback on how to reach the next level.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
In terms of the job role, I am very much enjoying the challenge and two days are really never the same! Each day, I am learning how to handle new situations and finding the right solutions. My team are supportive and offer me guidance when and where I need it. I am most enjoying the company culture, which is friendly, open and diverse.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
Unilever made me feel valued straight away and I immediately felt comfortable in the office. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming, and the apprentices are viewed as valuable members of the team. I have my own specific role and have the expertise, which, I can share with my team and managers, and this makes me feel a valuable member of the team. My manager often invites me to important meetings where I can network and meet new people.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My induction was carefully organised and I had a good understanding of what was going to happen when I joined the company. My training was informative and thorough. The support system is well structured with various points of contact available. Everything within the business such as meetings and progress reviews are organised well and there is a sense that everything is organised well.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider provides me with a good deal of support and are quick to resolve any problems should they arise. My coursework is marked quickly and returned with constructive feedback. I feel comfortable to approach my training advisor should I have any problems with coursework or with my day to day job role.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Unilever is a very supportive and understanding employer. I have a long daily commute, which they have been understanding of, allowing me to work more flexible times and at home on a Friday. My team are also understanding of the requirements and time needed to put into an apprenticeship, for example completing my coursework.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Although apprenticeship salaries are not particularly high, I am comfortable getting through on my apprentice wage. I do have a costly commute, but being able to work from home some days helps to save money. Also, the canteen is subsided so that also cuts costs. Apart from salary, Unilever offers other benefits such as a free gym and subsidised shop.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many programmes outside of work to get involved in at Unilever. Personally I have become involved in helping at a local food bank and attending employability workshops at a local school. It is good to feel that I can give back to the local community. I have also been involved in Dove day – an initiative aimed at boosting young people’s self-esteem. There is also the gym that I can use before or after work, as well as getting involved in fitness classes.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Unilever is an amazing company with endless opportunities. I have very much enjoyed my time so far and look forward to future opportunities. I feel valued by my team and manager and I feel like I am constantly developing. Therefore, I would very much recommend Unilever to a friend, as there is really nothing to lose by applying for the opportunity.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
I would recommend doing your research on the great history of the company and to come into to the process with an open mind and confidence. The process is not easy but with the right mind set your potential will shine through. process is not easy but with the right mind set your potential will shine through. I would say you get from it what you put in and just enjoy the experience and even if you are not successful then use it to learn.
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