Function Insight into R&D and TM!

Jana Tian – UFLP R&D


A little bit about me…

Real Careers campaign, we would like to know where you have come from : Studied at Imperial College London, Chemical Engineering (MEng). Originally born in Slovenia with a Chinese heritage. I have previously interned at P&G.

What inspired you to apply?

I know everyone says this, but USLP. I saw the incredible work Unilever did on compressed cans for deodorants, and realised I’d like to be part of a company that cares about its impact on the society.

Read more “Function Insight into R&D and TM!”


Working for a company with a clear purpose

Unilever’s sustainable corporate philosophy has inspired me from the very beginning. Working for a company with a clear purpose and a lot of great people motivates me every day.

Annika is completing her UFLP in R&D and is motivated by Unilever’s sustainable business ethics.

What I do is what I believe in.

My name is Annika and I joined the Unilever Future Leaders Programme (UFLP) as a Research and Development Trainee in March 2016. My trainee programme takes me to many different places, where I can gain experiences in various categories, job roles and functions. Therein, I gain insights in local, regional and global aspect of the company. Besides project management, current examples from my daily routine are tasting sessions or dealing with specifications, which describe e.g. contents of our products, the way they are produced or the final product labels.

Read more “Working for a company with a clear purpose”


Our biggest product launch in 10 years!

Hi everyone my name is Rachel Rose, I have been working at Unilever for almost 3 months now as an assistant brand manager on the industrial placement scheme. My current role is in local marketing for Persil. Persil is an amazing brand to be working on as it is the No.1 Fabric Cleaning brand in the UK* and one of the biggest within Unilever.

As the first commercially available laundry detergent Persil has been at the forefront of innovation for over a century and this year is not one to disappoint either! Summer 2017 saw the launch of New Persil Powergems, the ultimate laundry detergent from Persil. The revolutionary new gem format took over 10 years of innovation to make and has 20+ patents and pending patents.

Read more “Our biggest product launch in 10 years!”

Unilever sustainable path image

A Sustainable Path

When you have just graduated in energy engineering and jump in employment for the first time, chances are high you’re not really looking for a job but for an adventure…

That was the case for me, at least. I wanted to be facing energy puzzles, turn them around, lucidly spot the issue and eventually come up with just the right solution to make things more efficient, reduce energy waste, save power and make the world a better place.

It sounded quite ambitious to me, too. But amazingly, that’s exactly what I got when, 18 months ago, I set foot as an intern in Unilever’s Home Care Factory in Northern Italy.

Unilever has also an ambitious project: the Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to make the company’s supply chain carbon free by 2030. So my first task there, as a fresh graduate, was to analyse the energy consumption of the factory, understand it, and find a way to reduce it – exactly the adventure had been dreaming of.

Read more “A Sustainable Path”

Julia Fentem interview

Senior leader interview: Julia Fentem, Vice President SEAC

Julia is Head of Unilever’s Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) and has spanned a career within Unilever since 1998. With an academic background in biochemistry and a PhD in toxicology, she has also played a key role in shaping the R&D UFLP and so read about her career so far, tips for being successful on the scheme and maintaining that vital work-life balance: Read more “Senior leader interview: Julia Fentem, Vice President SEAC”

Rosie profile pic 2

Surviving the Scheme: Rosie Smith, R&D UFLP

So I find myself writing this blog whilst I wait for my flight out to one of Unilever’s regional deploy centres for ice cream in Caivano, Italy. I am now 10 weeks into my first placement and I have been exposed to a whole range of fabulous opportunities, including an induction week in Liverpool, training courses in London, trials in Paris and last but not least, a visit to our ice cream factory in Gloucester. Read more “Surviving the Scheme: Rosie Smith, R&D UFLP”

Clodagh profile

The Scoop on Ice Cream: Clodagh Chapman, R&D IP

Hi everyone, my name is Clodagh and I’m now almost six months into my year-long placement with Unilever, working as Process Development Technologist within the Ice Cream Category. My role involves working on a number of short-term projects both alone and in a team, with the overall aim to apply an engineering approach to develop, evaluate, and improve processes used to make ice cream across the company.

Settling In…

As for most, the thought of leaving the security of university and starting a full-time job was very daunting. However, thinking back now to what I anticipated a workplace to be like, I could not have been more wrong! I quickly learnt that the ‘real world’ wasn’t quite as intimidating as I expected it to be; not once did I get laughed at for asking a silly question or for getting lost in the offices. Instead, I was greeted with a smile from everyone I met or passed by, and quickly felt like part of the team.

My first week with Unilever was spent taking part in the Ice Cream Technology Course, a training week run annually, which is aimed at newcomers to the category. This meant I gained vital knowledge on every area within the Ice Cream category, as well as having the chance to network with many others based in Ice Cream across the globe.

One thing that surprised me most during my first week – and still surprises me up until today – is how much time and effort goes into the development and production of an ice cream!

Gelato Flavour Profiling

One of my main projects so far has been based on the flavour profiling of a premium gelato company. Seeing as gelato products are so focussed on flavour delivery, this work was important in establishing the flavour profile of current products, as well as seeing how this compares to competitor products.

This was a very technically challenging project, which involved running trials in the pilot plant here at Colworth, as well as analysing the flavour profiles of samples using Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry. This project taught me that even if the work you are given is not something you have directly learnt about at university, you have to apply the skills you have and use your initiative to research and learn about a whole new area of study.

My biggest achievement so far on placement was a result of this project – the huge improvement in my presentation skills. After only ever presenting once at University, I was always very nervous at the thought of having to stand in front of a big group and present alone, but practice makes perfect! After a number of smaller presentations, I was trusted to present my findings to Supply Chain, an important customer of the Ice Cream category, and to a Senior VP in the company.

Life in Bedford

During my placement year, I am living in Bedford – a relatively small town around 60 miles north of London. Getting used to living in a new town where you don’t know anyone is always difficult, but by joining clubs outside of work it didn’t take me long to feel at home.

One of the best things about working full-time is having weekends to yourself – with no guilty thoughts that you should be finishing that assignment for university – so I try to make the most of them! I like to spend my weekends exploring the local area and visiting friends all over the country.