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My UIIP Experience: Cinzia Corroppoli, Marketing IP

Hello,

I am Cinzia and I am a Brand Development Intern in the Unilever Marketing & Innovation Hub in Rotterdam, Weena. I am Italian and I graduated this year in International Management at Bocconi University. I joined Unilever in March after another internship in Amsterdam and, after almost a year in the Netherlands, I can definitely say this a great country to live in!

I always wanted to join a global firm where it is possible to touch the lives of millions of consumers through amazing products and brands while working in an international office environment. At the same time, I was looking for an organization committed to sustainability. This is why Unilever has always been a dream for me and I was thrilled when I knew I was going to take part to the Unilever International Internship Program in the European HQ!

I currently work in the Baking, Cooking and Spreads company on several expert baking margarine brands. Margarine is one of the oldest Unilever categories and it is fascinating to work on brands with such a strong heritage. During my internship, I worked on several digital marketing projects as a digital campaign to support the launch of our new product in the UK market and the launch of a new website for the brand. Every day I deal with agencies, programmers and local teams and no two days are the same.

You might still be wondering if Unilever is the right company for your internship. Is FMCG the best industry for me? What my roles and responsibilities would exactly be as intern? How does the office atmosphere look like? Based on my experience, I can say that if you wish to work in a challenging, fast-paced, international environment, the UIIP will exceed your expectations. As an intern you will take part in big projects and the support of your manager and your colleagues will help you improve your Marketing skills while contributing to your personal development. On top of everything, you will have the chance to meet amazing interns coming from all over Europe that will immediately become your family (the so-called ‘Unilever family’ J).

But let me tell you more about our adventures as interns in the next post.

Stay tuned!

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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.

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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.

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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!

Eva

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My UIIP Experience: Kiki Huangm, Marketing SP

Hi everyone, my name is Kiki and I am currently on the Unilever International Internship programme based in Rotterdam. I am a Marketing intern working on Axe.

“Advertising and marketing products for men is not necessarily a girl’s dream.”

This is exactly what I thought when I moved to Unilever from another internship in the cosmetics industry. But this brand is definitely one of the coolest brands in male FMCG and is, in my opinion, the holy grail of Unilever.

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My internship started in mid-March 2015 and I had to relocate from Germany to the Netherlands. This was however not my first time in Rotterdam because I went to University here back in 2011. Growing up in a small German town as one of the only two Chinese kids in school (the other kid was my brother), I was always left with a feeling of curiosity for the undiscovered and foreign. Moving to a city abroad turned out to be a great decision and solution to this problem!

And then the day came. With the end of three great years studying business in an international environment, a choice had to be made. Despite the feeling of being so much older, wiser and accomplished than before, I was still not ready to define my future path yet. So, I ended up taking one year to get some real work experience.

Long story short: I set foot in the Rotterdam offices on March 18 for a 6-month adventure in brand development. As the name reveals, you are involved in developing how a brand sounds, looks and feels. All concepts and ideas behind a brand must be clearly defined and expressed. The other part of this department is concerned with communicating and aligning with the local markets and to provide them with the right tools to land the products in the best manner.

After my first week I was assigned my first project: Planning a 2-day launch event. I had to organize this workshop for 60 people coming from the European headquarters and all of our European markets. This really big challenge showed me right away how much responsibility was assigned to me after just one week. As an intern you really feel like a full team member and are accounted for your projects. It was a real emotional and physical rollercoaster during the planning period with a peak at the actual orchestration of the event. Think of building retail spaces and point-of-sale materials, ordering mock-ups for products, setting up virtual reality, getting creative for the goodie bags and in the decoration of the locations. In these two months of planning, it was a real challenge to be aware of all the things happening around me and to pull the right strings. Finally, the event took place and turned out to be very successful. This was my first milestone of this internship.

After these intense months, my main responsibility became artworks – not necessarily the most fun part of working in Brand Development. Nevertheless, it is a job that needs to be done and is a significant part of the bigger picture. This is the part where I actually learned the most about the FMCG industry but also ways of working within Unilever. It is quite insightful in terms of how the company operates and how decisions are made. You will not believe how much of a deal these artworks are!

But let me tell you more about the whole UIIP experience in my next post. Stay tuned!

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My UIIP Experience: Olga Szafonov, Marketing SP

Hello Everyone,

I am Olga Szafonov from Budapest, Hungary. I am currently working as a Brand Developement Intern in the Laundry Team at the Europe HQ of Unilever. I studied International Business Administration at Corvinus University Budapest and I have graduated from Rotterdam School of Management as a Master in Strategic Management in 2015.

I originally moved to the Netherlands to study at Erasmus University Rotterdam but I planned to do an internship in the summer from the very beginning. I believe that an internship gives you valuable learning experience and boosts your CV at the same time. My Masters was a 12-month-long program starting at September 2014 and finishing in July 2015. As I really wanted to find an internship, I was actively looking for one from February-March. Fortunately, Unilever is recruiting interns all throughout the year for its 6-month internship program. I joined in the March recruitment round. In the first part of my internship I still had some classes and projects at university but I could manage both of them thanks to the flexible environment.

When I was searching for an internship, I was looking for a multinational company which is well-known all around the world. As my main interest is in Marketing, I searched for internships in this field. The Europe HQ of Unilever is a great opportunity for those who do not speak Dutch as it operates in a multinational environment – in the department where I work there are colleagues from approximately 20 different countries! I thought I would fit perfectly in an environment like this. Unilever has really strong brands, which is a nice opportunity from a branding perspective. An additional reason for joining Unilever was that I have never worked in the FMCG industry and I was interested in how it works. Finally, I saw it is a great opportunity to start working in the Europe HQ right away, as real strategic thinking and innovations are part of the everyday work here.

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As a Brand Development Intern I am working on marketing materials: key visuals, product packages, product samples, digital assets or TV spots. As this is the Europe HQ, a big proportion of my time is for communication with the different countries where we operate, supplying them with materials, aligning the regions with each other. A usual day for me consists of proceeding with 2-3 bigger projects, and solving several minor issues. I was lucky in my internship as I have received not only support tasks, but my own projects as well where I could lead the work. I am the most proud of an internal activation, where we introduced our new product to our colleagues in the building – it was a day full of fun.

Working at Unilever has given me a lot of insight into how the FMCG industry operates, what does it mean to sell products directly to the people and how you can convince them to buy your products every day, again and again. It was a nice learning in terms of communicating and working together with many agencies and countries from all around the world. I was impressed how much Unilever is focusing on sustainability and protecting the environment. I have discovered that Unilever is a great, innovative and modern company, and I am proud to belong one of the biggest FMCG companies.

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