During my HR placement year at Unilever, my role is a People Experience Lead. My main responsibility is to partner managers and employees on employee relations, performance management and core HR policies and processes. In particular, I help support new employees who are joining the company throughout their onboarding process. I am also proud to be a “Wellbeing Champion”, in which I have the opportunity to lead initiatives to promote positivity and employee welfare.
One of my placement highlights so far has been the opportunity to explore my passion of wellbeing and mental health. As a Wellbeing Champion, I launched a wellbeing initiative for my team that encouraged my colleagues to take time to look after themselves. As well as this, I was able to share this passion project via Unilever’s LinkedIn profile which was really exciting! It is so amazing to have the flexibility to follow your own goals and make your experience your own.
Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Unilever, the adjustment from student life to full time employment was an initial challenge! After 2 years of being a university student, I was nervous to enter the world of work and have real life responsibilities. However, after a couple months it became my routine, and honestly, I now enjoy the structure of working 9-5!
Although cliche, it is true that you learn by doing! My time at Unilever has taught me so much about business that the classroom simply cannot teach you. Firstly, I have learnt so much about the importance of HR in a business and the core processes that are behind a happy and satisfied workforce. My role has also allowed me to work in a team and solve problems, in a professional setting in which your decisions truly have a real impact!
My advice to a new placement student would be to ask as many questions as you can! At first, I was so nervous to ask questions as I didn’t want to come across as inexperienced and incapable. However, asking questions is the best way to learn, and there honestly is not a silly question. As a placement student, you are not expected to be perfect and so my advice would be to enjoy the invaluable experience you are doing to gain!