Jan-Eric, Marketing UFLP Marketing

Unilever has so much variety…


BCS, Ice Cream, Personal Care – At Unilever I am particularly fascinated by its variety

Hi everyone, my name is Jan-Eric and I am Marketing Trainee in the Unilever Future Leaders Programme. In the Marketing UFLP in Germany you pass through three different placements. The first rotation usually takes you in the field force. The second station is completed in the Brand Building department, which is the local marketing for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Finally, the third rotation often leads you abroad, mostly to our European or Global headquarters in Rotterdam or London. There, the Brand Development takes place, which corresponds to the global marketing.

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Tom Heathcote desk profile Research & Development

One year in, one year to go: Tom Heathcote,…

I joined the R&D UFLP just over a year ago. When I joined Unilever, the R&D scheme was comprised of four different six month placements.  Usually one of these placements is situated in a function outside of R&D, such as marketing or supply chain, but it doesn’t have to be.

My first placement was in the Hair category as part of the Discover department in Port Sunlight. I was asked to investigate a new consumer trend in the marketplace and propose a strategy for how the company could respond to it.  A very open brief, and lots of freedom to shape and influence the actions Unilever will take in the future.  My days were spent learning the science of haircare, the needs of our consumers and making shampoo formulations in the lab.

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Eva Business areas

My UIIP Experience: Eva Karkoni, Marketing SP

Hi everyone,

My name is Eva and I joined Unilever almost 6 months ago as a Skin Cleansing Shopper Marketing intern.

Let me begin with some things about myself. I studied Marketing and Advertising in Athens and I am currently doing my Master’s in Marketing at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam which-fingers crossed- I am about to finish soon. I must admit that trying to combine work with a demanding study schedule was not an easy thing and if I ever make it I will throw a great party in the Weena Office (Just kidding here)!  However, Unilever provides a quite flexible environment, especially for students, and thus, I did not miss any of my classes I had to attend.

So, despite my Marketing background, I decided to do an internship in Customer Marketing, a field closer to Customer Development than Marketing. I did so, because I think it is preferable to wander around different positions and fields before deciding what you are mostly interested in. Honestly, if you think about it, internships are a good opportunity to explore your skills, talents and interests as well as gain experience and insights from different teams and departments.

The most interesting thing of my work is that being part of the CD department, means that you work for more than just one brand. Therefore, as a Skin Cleansing intern I work for Dove, Radox, Lux and Zwitzal (i.e. the baby care brand) which is much more interesting that you can imagine. You have to handle plenty of projects on a daily basis, brief agencies, collaborate with the Brand Development teams and other teams as well.




To be more specific, Customer Marketing is Marketing at the Point-of-Sale, i.e. creating the appropriate displays, key visuals, call-to-actions and make them match with the brand’s personality in order to raise awareness and drive purchase intent. As part of my daily activities, I am in constant contact with our agencies responsible for developing the assets and the visuals. It is a role involving a lot of people and responsibilities due to the variety of brands and tasks. Along with some big projects, we also have to handle other minor ones that pop up during the day. This is great as it adds a splash of variety in life!

Of course, there are days that nothing goes well. I must admit that I encountered many difficulties especially in the beginning – the transition from careless student life to being a full time employee is not the easiest thing in life!

Something else that also fascinates me is the international environment we live in. It is fantastic to interact with people from all over the world on a daily basis and be acquainted with different personalities and cultures. If you think about it, there are 500 people in the building with different backgrounds and habits. On one day, you may find yourself talking about the Brazilian carnival and on the other day discussing the Arab Spring!

Furthermore, UL has some of the most famous and successful brands in the FMCG industry. It is thrilling to work for Dove, Ben and Jerry’s or Magnum and know that you are a part of their success and that you have contributed to their beautiful story.


Therefore, now that this 6-month experience ends, I must admit that working for Unilever has been a very exciting and interesting period of my life and it gave me the opportunity to gain work experience as well as invest in my self-development in both professional and personal terms. I became more proactive and decisive as well as learnt how to operate efficiently under tight deadlines and a high level of pressure.

Overall, being part of the amazing team of UL is an experience I will always remember. I am happy for these 6 months and it was definitely worth it.

That is all from me for now!

Stay tuned from more stories of the wonderful world of Weena!


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DoveDay2012 Business areas

Dove Day 2012

DoveDay2012This is my first blog and it won’t be about what I do in my day-to-day job, how I got here or how amazing working for company like Unilever is for my career. This post is going to be on what I did in my spare (well, during working hours really) time a few weeks ago.

As you all know, Dove is one of Unilever’s key brands. It does not only care for your skin’s health and wellbeing, but it also promotes natural beauty. Dove’s Self-Esteem Project is aimed to help young boys and girls to build body confidence. Their social mission is to encourage all women and girls to develop a positive relationship with beauty, helping to raise their self-esteem and thereby enabling them to realise their full potential.

It was a privilege and great opportunity to be able to take part in the Dove Day organised at the end of November. A group of Unilever employees decided to volunteer for the day and help spread the message of natural beauty amongst young boys and girls in local Primary Schools. Being based in Kingston, I got to visit two of the local schools and assist in the Dove Presentations. It was great listening to this young generation speak out about their idea of natural beauty and seeing that even at such a young age, they are aware of the misrepresentations posted by the beauty industry. It was young boys and girls alike that took part in all the exercises and expressed their views on concerns about natural beauty.

This experience not only gave me a chance to help the local community and spread the ideology shared by the Dove Project, but it also helped me realise that our future lies in the hands of a very talented and knowledgeable future generation.

I would definitely recommend all Unilever staff to get involved in such events in the future, and all of you out there to have a look that the Dove’s Self-Esteem Project website to see how you can help educate others about real beauty.

If you have a spare few minutes, have a look at this video, it was showed during the workshops:

[youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U]

For more information about Dove’s Self-Esteem Project, click here.

Dove-Self-Esteem-Fund Business areas

The Dove Self Esteem Fund

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is about more than just environmental sustainability, a point which was really brought home to me last week. I am currently working in the global Dove team, and two weeks ago, I was invited to a session to learn about the Dove Self Esteem Fund. There I learnt some things that truly shocked me. 60% of girls have not done an activity they otherwise wished to do, because of the way they looked. This included 25% who had not gone to a party or social event, and most shockingly for me, 15% who had not visited a doctor when they needed to. In an effort to try and improve this, the Dove Self Esteem Fund has committed as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to deliver hour-long sessions building body confidence and self esteem to 15 million girls by 2015.


That’s how I ended up in front of a class of 30, year seven girls in London, giving an hour long talk on self-esteem. To be honest, I had been dreading it. Public speaking and presentations are not my forte at the best of times, and despite all of the practice I’ve had and training on the Unilever Future Leaders Programme (UFLP), the idea of talking to children was very scary!

However the slides I was given were wonderful. They were  a brilliant mixture of serious points, humour and things the children could relate to. There were a few interesting moments. When asked to pick a celebrity who showed true beauty, half the class chose Zayn Malik. I had no idea who he was until told by the class.

Despite my ignorance about current boy bands, the session went very well. I really hope some of what we said helped the girls in the class and that in some way it goes to counteract some of the terrible statistics I mentioned earlier. It was fantastic to really feel how we are living the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and to see how far it can reach.

If you want to find out more about the Dove Self Esteem Fund please click here.

If this has given you an idea of how Unilever can reach the targets in our Sustainable Living Plan then why not enter our Sustainable Business Challenge?

Research & Development

R&D Away Day


I hope you’re all well? Last week was another important week for the team. Our Senior Vice President who looks after hair globally across all brands came to visit, so we have been busy preparing for this. I really like working in the global team precisely because of the great exposure you get to senior leaders. I presented the project I have been working on which went well. I hope we manage to get his support to launch the project globally.

On Friday I was out of the office for an R&D away day. These are where grads from all years come together in one site and learn about a specific area of the business. It is great to catch up with them and learn from their experiences as between us we’ve worked in most of the areas in the business.

This day was focused on the spreads and dressings category which was very useful for me as this is not a category I have worked in. We had talks from people in the category, including a nutritionist (it was excellent to learn we had opportunities like that in R&D). We also did some tasting of different spreads and learnt how different countries have different expectations. We then put this learning into action by baking with different products and seeing the differences. We finished with a tour of the impressive Leatherhead site.

Overall it was a fantastic day. I learned a lot from it and met some great people who will be useful contacts in the future.


Research & Development

Dove, Digital Strategy & Discussions

Hello again. So nice to be back and feeling refreshed from the Easter break, which is a good job – this week has been another whirlwind!

For the last few days, alongside my normal project, I was briefed on a new area  to explore. I had a week to pull together the previous work that was related, compile it and then recommend a strategy for how Dove move forward with the trend. Finally, I have been working with a graphic designer in Brazil (who are handily four hours behind the UK, meaning I can brief him at lunchtime and still receive the results by the next morning!) to mock up some ideas for what the new concepts would look like.

It’s been a bit stressful but all in all very exciting and I’m now off to present these ideas to the Vice President of Dove globally. So I’ve generally felt like I’m on the Apprentice (although he is a lot nicer than Lord Sugar).

We have also had some very useful presentations on the Digital strategy for Dove, so I feel a lot more confident about that area. It is interesting to see the thought that goes into these campaigns as I often see them as a consumer.

My final task for the week is to have a catch up with my contact manager. She is the person with who I discuss how I feel I am getting on in the role, and if I have any problems to help me see how I can overcome them. She also arranges our placements and looks after our personal development. This will be my first catch up with her since I started this role so I’m sure there will be lots to discuss.

Have a great weekend!




Out of Function

ShampooPhew… the past two weeks have been a blur of learning and new people. I have just started an out of function placement from my beloved, methodical world of R&D and have been transported to crazy, fast paced marketing.

The culture shock has been massive, but so valuable as I can already see so many useful insights that will help me work with marketing more closely when I return to R&D. After two weeks I finally feel like I’m getting to grips with it all!

The project I am working on is for a product launch for the Dove hair range. I am currently in the process of working with a graphics designer we have in the team to design the new packaging and a copy writer to write the product descriptions

It is phenomenal how people have listened to my opinion from day 1 and how I am helping to shape this new range under the careful guidance of my very experienced team. It will be amazing to see this launch in the future and be able to see the direct impact of my work.

Today and tomorrow are big days for the team as the marketers from all the regions are visiting us to talk about the projects we are working on and decide who is launching what and when. I am really looking forward to this as it will give me a good grounding in all of the ongoing work and it will be great to meet the people I will be working with over the next six months. Will keep you posted on my progress!