6 months down the line: Maria Snowden, Finance IP

Maria profile picHi, I’m Maria. I study economics at the University of Bath and am currently an IP on the Finance scheme. My last blog post was about my experiences in Brand Development for Homecare, which involved business partnering a marketing team and working on everything from business cases to brand strategies. Over the past few weeks I’ve transitioned from that role to working as part of a project team with external consultants to streamline our cost recovery process. It’s been a strange feeling joining a new team and feeling totally clueless all over again! I’m still based in our Global HQ in Central London, which is a really buzzing office to work in- not to mention being in a perfect location for socializing after work.

My day-to-day job is now focused on change management and training. It’s not something I had ever considered as being part of working in finance, but actually running these sorts of projects are vitally important in pushing us to implement better financial processes. It’s great to gain some insight on how external consultants manage complex projects; the planning and organisation tips I’m picking up will definitely help me when I go back to university. And even though this is an entirely new project for me, it’s great that I can still bring some insights and connections from my past role.

Within my first week in the new role I got the opportunity to travel to Rotterdam for a three day workshop. I met team members from all over the world who I’ll be working with for the next six months, as well as immersing myself in all the processes involved in the project. It was bit of a daunting experience at first, but by the last day I found the confidence to raise my own challenges and questions in the workshop sessions. If I had one piece of advice for any new starter it would be to not be afraid of asking questions- even ones that seem stupid!

Outside of my everyday role, I’ve recently joined the Homecare Running Club, who meet once a week during lunch to run together. We also receive support from a personal trainer who helps us to meet any personal running goals. Definitely one of my favourite things about working for Unilever is how much importance is placed on health and wellbeing. On the social side, I was fortunate enough to attend three different Christmas parties- at one of them I even got the opportunity to meet Paul Polman!

Maria and Paul Polman

It’s been a fantastic first six months and I’m looking forward to the rest of the placement.

Good luck to anyone completing their applications!

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