I really loved my time spent at Unilever. There are definitely highs and lows (the more admin side of things) but overall it's been fantastic. Such good opportunities to learn and build skills and I have been given so much responsibility- more than I even imagined I would be granted.
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I felt extremely valued by my work colleagues, especially in my immediate team, where I was always being given feedback on my work, be it positive or informed improvement areas. When I completed I good piece of work the rest of my team would let me know, and if there was a time when something wasn't quite up to standard, they would also provide feedback on this, The team I worked in was very close-knit with it only being small, and so they always had time to talk to you about things
My line manager was great, I got a lot of help from her at the beginning, but also had enough freedom to do the things I wanted with the projects. However I know a few others placement students felt they did not have as much guidance as they would have liked. So this depends on the line manager you get given and can be hit and miss.
This varied throughout my placement year. There were certain points in the year where I was extremely busy and I would stay late after work, however, there was also times when I had limited work and I would have liked to have had more. However, I often used this time to network or complete online modules.
I have been given a fair amount of responsibility during my placement. It is hard on a placement to be given huge responsibilities given the nature of the position and often what you are working on. However, on all of the work that I have had, within it there were relatively big responsibilities in terms of getting the work completed on time, making sure that others were buying in with the direction of the piece of work and that results were arising as a result.
I have developed many new skills and knowledge I will undoubtedly use in the future. I have enhanced my networking skills to an unparalleled level and have learnt so much more about Marketing as an area and in particular Digital Marketing. I am also going to complete some training courses to further enhance my awareness of the area.
I was based in the Leatherhead office which had a great environment. The office had a free gym, salon, staff shop as well as fun brand events quite often which made it an exciting place to work. It had a really great atmosphere and completely exceeded my expectations of what an office would be like.
Most things ran very well, we were all assigned managers and places before we arrived and our projects were all set out ready. However as with anything in large businesses there were a few hitches and set backs at the start that needed to be sorted out before we could really start.
Unilever heavily invested in me during my placement scheme, taking me to France for a team away week which consisted of 4 days training and a outdoor activities day. They have also put a lot of time, in terms of managers etc in ensuring that I progressed and improved on my skill set and my abilities. They also provided lots of opportunities and experiences outside of your immediate work, if you wanted to get involved in them.
Very appealing, I would love to be able to come back in a year's time. Not only was my job fantastic but I enjoyed working for Unilever as a whole as the culture and the energy in the office suited me perfectly and every day I looked forward to coming in to work.
Yes, I lived in a house with 3 other placement students and we regularly met up to go out with another house of placement students. There is nothing "put on" by Unilever after the first week but this is OK because you can easily arrange things with other IPs anyway.
I found the cost of living relatively high. Although I was based just outside of London (Leatherhead), the cost of living was still high. Rent was my biggest spend each month (£800) and travel would often cost me around (£150). Unilever provides a good salary, however.
There isn't much around Leatherhead, but it is very easy to get into London where the nightlife is good.
Yes, so many opportunities!