Product Developer at Unilever

Start Date:
2014
Location:
Bedfordshire East Midlands
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
Salary:
£25,900 annually
Review Date:
February 2019

Connect with Unilever

Review Score

10/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

10/10

My role is lead Product Developer in the Global Beverages team at Unilever. I design new tea products according to a brief and assess them in terms of sensorial, cost, feasibility and other physical measurements. As part of my job, I attend lots of tea tastings throughout the day as well as more computer based work. Most of my time however is in the lab designing new teas for the world to enjoy!

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

10/10

Since starting the apprenticeship I have learnt a whole mix of skills, both soft and hard. Soft skills include, meeting etiquette, emailing, being accountable, being responsible, understanding the brief, finishing a section of work with conclusions and recommendations. The hard skills I have learnt include understanding the science behind tea and ice cream, getting my Level 2 safety and hygiene certificate, getting a first in my BSc degree.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I have loved every minute of my apprenticeship and would highly recommend it to anyone. The work load is full on but it is so worth the effort. The university side is interesting and teaches you all about your favourite subject. The work side is friendly and challenging with a lot of personal development. I have made so many friends doing this apprenticeship and really enjoyed growing up with my colleagues at work.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?

10/10

When I was at university they structured it in a way that it was 1 day a week of lectures. This worked really well for me as it kept my interest up and helped me get the face to face contact that I needed. I thought the structure over the 3 years was brilliant as the course smoothly transitioned into harder modules and stepped up each year. We also had online access to everything which was really useful.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?

10/10

Unilever are a very supportive company and it is written into how they operate. They are a sustainable company and so welfare of people is at the heart of what they do. All the employees are treated amazingly at Unilever and you feel very supported. The culture at work is very friendly and empowering. Each of my line managers have supported me a lot throughout my career.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?

10/10

Unilever were very supportive of apprenticeship. They allowed me time at work to ask the world class scientist questions about my coursework, and helped me with my dissertation which was work related. I was also allowed study days before exams. I also received a lot of soft skill development at work which helped at University.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?

10/10

Each of the subjects at University fed directly into 'real life'. Not a day goes by at work when I do not think about regulations, food hygiene, food science, quality assurance, specifications, people management. The topics are very linked to the work done in a FMCG company and helped me understand each aspect in great detail, which in turn helped me become a better employee.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)

10/10

There is a million and one activities to get involved in at Unilever from yoga classes to fishing to pantomimes to hanging out at the off-site bar. Unilever has a great policy on happy workers = better output and so there is always something fun to do in your lunch break. The site I work at is also in a beautiful country location and so a walk at lunchtime is heavenly.

9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

Unilever is a global FMCG company and so there are a thousand different types of job going all the time, ideal for anyone. They have sustainability and people at the heart of everything they do and so they are inspiring for people to make a difference. It is also a really fun place to work as innovations and new concepts are generated every day.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever?

Do your research into the company before you apply as it really is a breath-taking company to work for and lots of information is online for you to take in. Interviews are quite hard but they are looking for personalities that would suit the way of working, so be yourself. Come prepared with a few questions to ask the interviewer, as they can give you LOADS of information.

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