Resolve all incoming emails from their online store and store based Customers
Answer and resolve incoming telephone queries from their Customers in a professional, confident and friendly manner
Working with the buyers to discuss product availability dates for styles out of stock and keeping a log for when and if they are going to become available again
Unilever was a really exciting place to work. There is a great atmosphere with the other placement students and I enjoyed being given a fair amount of responsibility and flexibility.
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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
All of my contacts within Unilever were very supportive and gave great guidance throughout my placement. My line manager in particular was very willing in giving me her time to discuss what I had been working on, how I was progressing etc. In addition, there were a number of other individuals that I was able to turn to for help and guidance on specific issues, for example the end-of-placement review.
Given that my role was very project based, the amount of work that I had tended to very quite dramatically. At the start of my placement, because I was learning everything, I was always pretty busy, as there was lots to get to know and understand in order to be able to do my job to the best of my ability. During the Christmas period, I was fairly quiet in what work I had to do, because a lot of the projects that I had been working on had come to an end, and other individuals who I had been working with were busy finishing off or starting their own work and therefore, sometimes it was hard to find work to do.
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.
This placement was brilliant in terms of gaining useful skills. I learnt a lot about dealing with people in a large business, about meetings and about running a small project my self. The analytical skills I gained in my data analysis project were also really useful for future use.
The atmosphere in the office was very informal, which was enhance by a smart, casual dress code, open office working and flexible working hours. The feeling was very relaxed and friendly, but with an emphasis on making sure that you were completing all of your work to a high standard and on time. There were also lots of events to get involved in, both charity and internal, such as the Christmas Party.
The overall placement set-up was pretty good, especially in terms of induction and on-boarding. It was also good at providing lots of contacts during the beginning of your placement to help you settle in to your role. Communication was sometimes lacking throughout the placement, with deadlines for placement review work, not always being communicated effectively.
Unilever heavily invested in me during my placement scheme, taking me to Switzerland 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.
The future employment prospects are extremely appealing, as through completing a placement, as long as you meet the required standards you can be fast-tracked on to the Graduate program without having to complete another assessment centre
Initially there was a very good social scene between the placement students, both summer and industrial, often meeting up at weekend for nights out etc. However, when the summer placement students finished, this slowed down greatly, and the industrial placement students found there own groups with which they would socialise within the entirety of the placement student group. There was also a good social scene within my team, often going for team meals during events or for individuals birthdays.
Living in London, both the costs of living and socialising were very expensive, with rent alone making up at least 1/4 of your wages. However, the area was extremely nice, with lots to do both during the day and night, catering for every eventuality, such as nights out, going walking, visiting attractions.
The nightlife in the area I worked was very limited, but most placement students don't live in the direct vicinity of the workplace. In the area that I lived the nightlife was very active, being only a short tube journey away from central London and also having lots to do in the local area, such as bars and clubs.
I personally have got involved in lots of activities outside of work, joining a local football team, going to a local church and being involved in many of the events that they were running. However, I do think that this is more down to the individual than what is available, given that you only have a year with which to be a part of it. There were lots of opportunities available though.