This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
It took a while to settle in, as with any job, but once I had got used to the environment and what I was doing it was really enjoyable. My projects were both useful and fun and all the people in the whole business were lovely. At times however the work could be a little tedious, for example I had to find a lot of data from different places when what I really wanted to be doing was analysing it. But again I think this is unavoidable in a large company.
Everybody was very nice, and every person I spoke to was so helpful. I had to arrange meetings with a lot of people for one of my projects to see if they could help me with things and no one said no everyone was happy to help.
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.
Most of the time I was fairly busy, with work to do and a few meetings most days. At the start there were times when I did not have very much to do as I could not move forward with either of my projects. However by the end of the placement I was working longer hours in order to get everything done for my projects; again this is quite realistic of normal job with busy spells and quieter spells. I think overall I had a good balance.
In my opinion I was given a lot of responsibility for someone who had just joined the company. I was managing the creation of a display for my department for a large site open day and I made a lot of the decisions concerning this project myself, sometimes after discussion with other employees. I was surprised by how much freedom I was given, at first this was quite scary but I came to enjoy it as I could always refer back to my line manager if I needed to or was unsure of a company policy.
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. However again this is dependent on the department you get assigned to, I know some other placement students who were working for example in the labs did not take as many transferable skills away from the placement.
The office is great, very modern, large open social spaces. You can have important meetings in rather informal places. Smart casual dress code so you feel comfortable in your own skin in work.
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.
The placement allowed me to develop a lot of skills that would be transferable to other work places, however there were no training sessions specifically aimed at us and I don't feel I gain any specific new set of skills. For example I was not trained on any new computer programs or techniques.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
I would really like to work within Unilever in some way; I liked the way the company worked and how everybody treated each other. I also enjoyed the day to day work. However joining the graduate scheme means moving every six months and this is less appealing to me.
We went to the pub quite a lot and had some nights out together. I was also put in touch with a few other placement students and we living together for the summer, luckily we all got on really well. The was a graduate employee who helped arranged events for the placement students so the social scene was good.
I was in Liverpool, where we found a good cheap house to rent for the summer. And the cost of living was not too high. Coming from near London I found Liverpool quite cheap, but this obviously depends on where you come from!
Liverpool nightlife is renowned as amazing, I went out a few times but was visiting friends quite a bit at the weekends so I don't think I made the most of it. However it was certainly available.
Apart from a few trips to the pub, and some country walks that I heard were being arranged there were not a lot of things going on after work.There was different sport activities but also giving back to the community opportunities too, so always something for everyone.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Business Management, Marketing, Sales
15th September 2015