Tim Munden – Chief Learning Officer
Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I started in Unilever as a Graduate Trainee in the UK, after having to leave the Army due to an injury. I chose Unilever because of the great training available at the company, and its great values. And it was exactly what I got – a lot of different experiences in very different environments and situations! I have stayed here because of the wide range of things to do, which met my purpose and gave me a variety of opportunities to move around different countries, types of jobs, subject areas.
James Bruce – Executive VP Enterprise Solutions and Information & Analytics
- Studied Economics at The University of Warwick
James was initially driven by the need to put a roof over his head, coming from a family of small business owners with limited success. His original aim was to work for a large company, gain experience and return the family business to profit.
What has made you stay with Unilever your whole career?
Having not set out with the intention of becoming a ‘lifer’ but new opportunities presented themselves as James excelled in each role he was given. The size of Unilever lends itself to an abundance of opportunity.
How many times did you think “Do we really want to gain a seat in the market? Let’s invest in Sales and Marketing”
Yet, there are not specific functions which are more important than others. Being successful in our markets is the result of an equation in which all our functions play a fundamental role.
But what’s the role of HR in this equation?
You may also think brands are our ‘only’ most valuable and strongest asset, and therefore our key ingredient to success. But how come these brands, among tons of other competitor’s brands, have always managed through the years to maintain their high market share and a strong brand equity? The answer is easy: it’s because of the people behind these brands!
Chloe, a current HR IP talks about all things Pride..
“With over 100 employees taking part, it was our biggest Pride celebration to date!”
Just 3 weeks into my industrial placement with Unilever I was lucky enough to join a team of around 100 employees, along with their friends and family to take part in the biggest Pride celebration to date.
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. Read more “Grad Highlights on European UFLP Biggest Event of the Year!”
This has to be one of the best experiences I have had so far on the UFLP; it was a UFLP connect event in Unilever’s Rotterdam head office that involved 160 graduates across all multi-country organisations in Europe. Read more “What happened when 160 European UFLPs gathered in Rotterdam: Rosie Smith, R&D UFLP”
I am currently in my first placement on the HR Scheme working in the Leatherhead office. I business partner Food Solutions where we focus on selling our food brands to other commercial organisations such as restaurants, schools and distributors. It’s a really exciting part of the business to work in because it feels like its own little business within Unilever and means I have been able to get exposure to business partnering all of the different functions (sales, marketing, supply chain etc).
With a tightening job market, dwindling public support, and cuts from government funding, arts and humanities degrees are struggling to assert their relevance in today’s commercial environment.
Or so people often think.
Whilst students become increasingly concerned about employer opinion and their degree’s potential to land them a job post-graduation, and rightly so, pursuing a degree in the arts or humanities still allows you to develop a wealth of skills, and affords you many experiences on which you can draw, that you can successfully apply in the workplace. Whilst there are a few graduate schemes that demand specific degree subjects from applicants, Unilever is a great example of a business that welcomes applications from any degree type for most of its programmes.
So it’s been just 3 months since I embarked on my UFLP journey, and what a blast it has been so far! For those out there that think HR isn’t a strategic part of the business I compel you to keep reading, as my first placement has seen my working on exciting projects that directly contribute to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. I am part of a team that looks after programmes that we run nationally, from diversity and inclusion to mental health and wellbeing, and in my case youth employability.