Grad Highlights on European UFLP Biggest Event of the Year!

So I hope you read and enjoyed my blog on the 2016 European UFLP Connect  (check it out here). That was purely my take on the biggest UFLP event of the year, where 160 grads from over 17 countries gathered at the Weena head office in Rotterdam. I thought it would be interesting to hear other grads opinions on the congress and so here are the highlights of UFLPs from a variety of functions and countries. I’ve also attached some stunning pics of us enjoying the sites of Rotterdam to show that we can be quite a social bunch…

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Favourite thing about the UFLP connect event:selfie list

  • “Getting time, great career tips and insights from senior leaders was fantastic & energising – I felt they were very open and honest.”
  • “The inspiration gained from our Senior Leaders, in particular around career opportunities and pathways but also how Unilever can win in 2016.”
  • “Getting to know such a diverse group of people while having lots of fun during the Talent Bingo!”
  • “Great chance for us all to hear from inspiring senior leaders in the business.”
  • “Speaking to Senior Leaders about their career development and how they have made it to the position they are in now.”
  • “Having the chance to meet and have a conversation with such inspiring leaders.”
  • “Really enjoyed the CI game…but also speed dating the senior leaders!! It’s difficult to pick one of the two!”
  • “learning more about the European strategy and gaining valuable insights from current leaders”
  • “The Leadership Carousels, talking with the leaders in small groups.”
  • “It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and engage with inspiring leaders.”
  • “Meeting so many passionate and ambitious people, both Leaders as well as UFLP’s and getting new insights on European Strategies”
  • “Being able to meet the other UFLs and begin to build a network across countries and functions.”
  • “The inspiring talks of the current leaders and be able to ask them everything we want!”
  • “The chance to learn and meet grads from all over Europe and learn about the different way MCO clusters work”
  • “Great forum for mingling with other trainees and Sr. leaders that you don’t meet on a day-to-day basis”

Most valuable thing you will take away from the event:

  • “The opportunities within Unilever are endless (job rotations, impact, international assignments,…), you just have to make it happen.”
  • “As an R&D grad it was great to get a better insight into and connect with the commercial side of the business. Hearing the European strategy direct from Jan was inspiring and really brought it to life.”
  • “Have an external focus, it’s easy to be caught up with the internal workings of Unilever, but the costumers, consumers and competitors are out in the real world.”
  • “It really made me think outside of my function and Unilever, giving me an appreciation of the importance of all aspects of the company.”
  • “Growth is a mindset and can happen in every team and in every market.”
  • “The visual hierarchy (colour > shape > numbers > words) and that “it’s right to write on the right” to delivery more impactful presentations and messages.”
  • “A network of 160 Future Leaders across Europe.”
  • “Knowing there is a big community across Unilever, may it be UFLPs or even Leaders”
  • “Energy and passion in everyday work life”
  • “I gained a great insight into the European market and how we compete with our competitors to retain market share.”
  • “There is no “right way” to forge your career, everyone’s story is different. Be open to any opportunity that comes your way.”
  • “We’re building a big network of UFLPeers around Europe, so let’s leverage it for both personal and company growth!”
  • “You really cannot predict where you are going to be in 10 years. There are many things that you can’t foresee and will affect your career in incredible ways. We need to be open to opportunities.”
  • “An appreciation of the European-wide strategy for 2016 and beyond, which was presented in a really useful way and is great context for the work I do on a local level.”
  • “In life you have to take decisions and look forward. It does not make any sense to reflect too much about what you could have done differently. Take actions and stick to it as well as trust your judgement. “
  • “Better insights in the European business, what are the threats and opportunities for the coming year, and how is UL Europe planning to deal with them.”
  • “Hearing the personal stories of senior leaders and how I can deal with issues that arise in my placements”
  • “The importance of cross-functional alignment – communication and good team work is imperative in achieving success in projects!”
  • ‘Always be faster, be better, always overachieve’. – Jan Zijderveld
  • “The networking with my UFLP peers and the motivation to always exceed expectations and the will to reinvent BIG!”
  • “Ways you can deal with their strategies to possibly win with your brand by analysing all the information that is out there.”
  • “You are in charge of your own carrier: think big, think in opportunities!”
  • “Hearing from Senior Leaders about their career paths was very inspiring. Furthermore, it revealed the tremendous opportunities (job rotations in different areas, international assignments) within Unilever.”
  • “If you want something in your current job or future career- just go for it.”

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