In BTM we leverage technology to efficiently solve the business challenges faced by Unilever
After Reading these blog entries feel free to leave a comment or question and we’ll get back to you!
Laura – UFLP
I joined Unilever on the UFLP Scheme after obtaining my Masters in Computer Science from University College Dublin. This time last year I didn’t really have a clue what I was going to do once I finished my degree. I was in the final few months of a Computer Science course and I had it in my head that I had signed myself up for a life sitting in front of a computer screen staring at reams of code day in, day out. Fair play to people who do this and enjoy it but I was NOT pleased by this prospect, it’s just wasn’t for me.
At a careers fair at my Uni, I was lucky enough to have a chat with a Unilever representative. I had heard of Unilever and had a good idea of what the company did but I had no idea they had a graduate programme which was IT related. The rep explained the programme a bit more to me. It all sounded great and had me pretty much hooked on the idea straight away. After doing a bit more research I found out that it sounded exactly like what I wanted to do, working on IT related projects, learning project management skills by working with others. The best part was: No coding involved! Being from an IT background wasn’t even a requirement. Most people already on the graduate programme were from completely different fields.
The application process programme was pretty tough if I’m being honest. There are a lot of stages and it does require some time and effort but I promise you it’s totally worth it in the end. It can be hard to balance when you’re also dealing with assignments and exams but it’s all over and done with by March and should only take 4-6 weeks in total
Anyway, as you can probably tell, I got the job and I absolutely love it so far. My first placement involves working on a project rolling out Chatter to others in the company. Chatter islike an internal Facebook just for Unilever employers where we can chat and collaborate on projects and ideas. It’s a really great project and I’m learning a huge amount. My friends all used to make fun of me for being a Facebook addict so now I’ve swapped Facebook for a different Social Network. My days are spent working with people from all different functions, in many different countries. I really like the diversity of the job and constantly meeting new people keeps things interesting. I do a lot of training presentations and demos with others in the company so it has been a really great role for building up my network of people in other functions.
As for future placements, I don’t really know what I’ll be doing yet. You change roles every 6 – 9 months while on the graduate scheme so I’ll find out what I’ll be doing next in the coming months. I have a manager who is in charge of my placements so I’ve had a chat with him about what I’d like to do next. There are opportunities to work in lots of different areas including digital marketing, sustainable living, IT across different geographies, services and IT innovation. There are also many opportunities to work abroad. Some people from the year ahead of us have been based in Singapore and India. BTM graduates are also encouraged to do one placement in a different function which is of interest to them. This is a really great opportunity as it gives you a better idea of how the business works as a whole.
So that’s my experience so far. Best of luck with the applications. I hope to see you next year on the BTM Scheme!
David – IP
I’m David, a student from Lancaster University. When I was looking for placements, I knew I wanted to work for a company where I would be given real responsibility, challenging assignments, global opportunities and an environment that prioritises individual growth. Unilever has provided that and much more. Working within BTM means that I am surrounded by innovation and can really make a difference to the day-to-day running of Unilever which has been really exciting since day one.
I work within IT innovation which allows me to get involved with a wide variety of different projects. The primary focus of my role is on providing custom-built mobile applications designed to help improve the productivity of employees worldwide. I support the design, testing and deployment of these apps whilst ensuring that the project is running smoothly. With over 100,000 global employees, there is a lot of scope to make a huge difference! My work supports Unilever’s culture that allows employees to work from any location at any time – a concept called agile working. This has given me the opportunity to work closely with multiple suppliers and deliver to senior stakeholders within the business.
BTM doesn’t require you to be a technical person, but you have to be willing to learn and adapt to the constantly changing world of technology. I am involved in multiple projects that are updating Unilever infrastructure to meet the needs of a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous). It’s been really interesting to delve into the world of IT Infrastructure and manage solutions to some of the huge problems facing the business. BTM is a really fast-moving and varied function, I urge anyone who’s contemplating applying to go for it – you won’t regret it!
George – IP
I’m George, a Business and Technology Management Industrial Placement student. I chose to apply for Unilever because I was excited to be a part of an innovative, consumer product based global company whose brands and products are seen every day, all around us. I chose to apply for BTM because of the opportunity to work in a constantly changing environment where you’re always looking for better ways to do business through effective use of innovation and technology. I was also attracted by the great opportunities offered by the UFLP, and with Unilever being a global organisation, the potential to work abroad.
I work in the Supplier Management Team. We manage global contracts between Unilever and our key suppliers of Technology and IT Services. This shapes the way we do business on a huge scale. I love my job because I get to see tangible results of global negotiations that result in millions of pounds worth of savings, and plenty of exposure to some of the biggest projects going on throughout Unilever,. Much of the work I have been involved in during my first 3 months has been to do with managing and improving the performance of suppliers, primarily on their delivery of Business and Technology Services. A recent example of this work is my development of a Supplier Scorecard, a tool for monitoring the performance of key suppliers. This involves collaborating with suppliers and using my creative initiative to look for new ways to improve both the way we monitor their performance, and the way they deliver their service to Unilever.
BTM gives a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of implementing new and improved technologies throughout the business. One project I am currently working on is the roll out of a tool for signing documents digitally. Not only is this sustainable but it could save Unilever masses of cash by reducing ink and paper usage throughout the company, not to mention time and effort! This is a great example of where I have the potential to make a genuine improvement to the way Unilever do effective and efficient business through an improvement in technological ways of working.