Responsible for ensuring a high level of service in the UK Beverages category whilst also minimising inventory where possible.
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement this year! It was well co-ordinated and the company's work environment is fantastic with flexible hours and lots of social events. It never felt like a chore coming into work. All employees are friendly and helpful and a lot have similar interests to myself. I would highly recommend a placement at Unilever.
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At Unilever teamwork is highlighted as a key factor within business. Everyone I work with seems to work together in order to achieve the best result possible. It's great to be able to interact with different functions across the business, such as marketing, customer development and other roles within the supply chain too!
Each week I had a one to one with my line manager to discuss any concerns I had at that time or to determine which areas I need to develop and how. The induction material I received when starting the placement was great, as it gave a broad idea of what my role entailed and how I was expected to interact with other functions during my placement.
On some days, naturally, I was busier than others, especially when working to specific deadlines or on major projects. The flexible hours work very well with regards to this. If I ever needed to work later on a certain day due to a deadline, the hours always balanced out if I needed to leave earlier on another day.
After 3 months in the role I was responsible for the whole of the UK Beverage portfolio within the planning sector of supply chain. This included both retail and food solutions. I was essentially responsible for making sure service was maintained whilst also managing the inventory levels at the DC.
The soft skills I have developed whilst on placement were invaluable and will further help my progression on a professional and personal level. The knowledge acquired on business acumen will be of use in any future role and I believe this wouldn't have been achieved at other smaller scale companies.
The atmosphere was always energetic and positive and there was never a dull day in the office. There is always something going on at the Leatherhead site, whether it be after work drinks each month at the Terrace bar on site or free-bee giveaways in the spotlight area during lunch.
The placement was well organised once I had started the role. The placement students were always made aware by HR of any requirements (e.g. completion of our end of year review etc.) in ample time. The induction during the first week of the placement was great to provide a key insight into Unilever as a business and the dynamic within the company.
The company offered numerous development workshops throughout the year to help advance particular skills/qualities. These were often ran by external speakers from different companies enabling a key insight into other business' structures. During the induction period, numerous internal development classes were arranged including Excel training. In addition to this, all IPs were assigned a "buddy" to help in training to conduct the role assigned.
The UFLP (Unilever Future Leaders Programme) is a great opportunity for after the placement! Depending of performance ratings, IPs are able to either secure a place on the grad scheme or get fast tracked to the assessment centre. The grad scheme is rotational, meaning all grads are able to move roles every 6-12 months, and hence develop their understanding of the function across numerous sectors.
All IPs got along very well and the initial induction helped a lot with the friendships formed at the start of the placement. The Facebook group set up by the company (including all IPs) allowed groups to get together and arrange accommodation prior to the start of the placement too!
Being based in Surrey, the cost of living was relatively high (when compared with previously living in Manchester). A lot of IPs chose to live in Wimbledon, however this increased their rent/travel costs by up to £500 per month (when compared to living in Surrey on the direct rail line).
Leatherhead night life is pretty none existent, however being only a 40 minute train from Waterloo made it easy to travel into London for any social activities. Clapham/Wimbledon are also great areas within London on the direct train line that have a good social atmosphere with plenty of bars and clubs.
Yes! The customer development team set up a internal netball league at the Leatherhead sports centre each Tuesday. There were 16 teams in the latest league which helps in getting to know people from different roles/functions. The Thrive in Supply team (which I was part of) also tried to arrange as many social events as possible (within budget).