Hayley Chard at Unilever Top Employer
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Business Administration Apprentice Hayley Chard
I had applied for numerous apprenticeships when I was coming to the end of high school as I knew I wanted to go down the apprenticeship route rather than the university route. Unilever is one of the biggest FMCGs in the UK which is instantly an attraction. I loved the brands they made and culture they portrayed. I felt that I could really fit in there so decided to apply to the scheme.
I always had it set in my mind that I was going to do an apprenticeship, I wasn’t keen on the debt that I was going to be in if I had chosen the university route so the idea of doing a job where you learnt to become something whilst earning money was a real attraction.
My time at Unilever has benefitted me massively, I have become more confident and have learnt how a business works. I have been very lucky with the roles I have had because they have given me exposure to all sorts of departments and customers. I have developed my people skills, networking skills, commercial skills and even my Excel and computer skills! The list is endless of what I have gained from taking this route.
In the roles I was doing as an apprentice I was learning the fundamentals to a job, I was learning the basics because coming straight from high school you have never been in this type of environment before therefore you need to start at the bottom. It also helped me understand what Unilever could offer me in terms of career, I could move departments, work with different categories or customers.
After I finished my apprenticeship I was successful in getting a permeant role. I moved into the Out of Home Ice Cream team as Commercial Executive and worked there for a year. I was then promoted to Senior Commercial Executive where I moved into the Discounters channel and then after another 6 months I become a Customer Account Manager.
Being an apprentice at Unilever has opened my eyes to the many different roles there are and how different departments work together. I also feel I know a lot about the industry and the retailers I work with which in turn makes me think about the range of opportunities I have as I further my career.
I would say my commercial acumen has increased massively, it is the sort of thing you don’t learn at school. It is also the sort of learning that you can take anywhere and it will always be of use regardless of the company you work for or industry you are in.
What advice would you give to somebody wanting to apply for an apprenticeship at Unilever?
Don’t be worried about starting at the bottom and working your way up, we all have to start somewhere! Show your passion and determination to get to the place you want to be, enthusiasm is key.More Experiences
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