I hope you all had a fantastic Holiday season, and you’re all ready to start back at University today! Let me know in the comments what you got up to, I’d love to know!
I want to talk to you today about my experiences on the HR placement programme at Unilever! If you have any questions, then feel free to post them in the comments below, or tweet me directly (@imhannahyoung, using the hashtag #unileverHRplacement)
When I first joined Unilever, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. I was introduced to the Expertise team which handles Learning and Development and Early Career Talent Acquisition for the UK and Ireland. This year there were three other industrial placement students that were in different teams, and none of us knew what teams we were going to be in until our places were confirmed. The team were really kind and considerate, and gave me as much support as I needed to settle into the role fully (I know this was also the case for the other placement students in HR).
As part of the programme I have the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of personnel of different work levels and functions (all the way up to the Vice Presidents across the globe!) It is really exciting being able to interact with such a variety of people, and I really enjoy a lot of the projects that I work on (and trust me, there are a lot!) I also have the opportunity to lead the projects and this way I get to make a real impact on the business, on a national and international level, which is really great.
I have learnt a lot about myself and what I can cope with, I’ve learnt about my strengths and had a chance to improve on my weaknesses. Unilever is definitely a company that tests you and your abilities. I am still learning every day, which is also wonderful.
A lot of the work that I personally do involves European connections, and some of the work that I do is solely based in Europe, this means that I do not need to be in the office every day if I do not have face to face meetings and means I can work from home or virtually. I love this flexibility and the trust and confidence that my line manager has in my ability. Which makes this placement even more exciting and enjoyable. Another great thing about the flexibility of Unilever is that you have the chance to travel with them, in the first three months of my placement I travelled to four different sites in the UK, hosted events and ran workshops there, as well as having the opportunity to go to external locations with the company and partake in volunteering days in the local community. Unilever really is a company that gives back.
Finally, I quickly want to talk to you about the reasons behind why I applied to Unilever, and whether Unilever has lived up to those expectations. I was recommended to look into Unilever as a prospective employer by a friend of mine who began his career at Unilever in the HR team and it has opened many opportunities to him, he is now extremely successful and to this day, still credits his success to the things he learnt at Unilever. After looking at the company, I liked the work ethic, management styles and focus on ‘a brighter future’. I was also influenced by the working environment, agile working, and performance and development focus. Since joining Unilever, this hasn’t changed – in fact it has strengthened my beliefs in Unilever, we are indeed a very ethical company and everything that I do on a day to day basis always raises the question: Is this sustainable?
*Additional* Top Tips if you want to apply!
Be confident in yourself and your ability. Research the role, our Standards of Leadership, our sustainability plan, and our Project Sunlight, know them well and know if you would fit into an environment where these concepts will be reflected in everything you do. If you are right for the role and the role is right for you, everything else will come naturally. The biggest tip I have for you is to give as much as you want to get back, from the beginning of the application all the way up until your final day of the actual placement, give as much as you can, because Unilever really does give back, and you get what you give.
*NB*Disclaimer: Please note that all of the comments are my own, I am not a representative of Unilever, nor do I claim to speak for them!