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.

Read more “Unilever has so much variety…”

Julia Fentem interview Application Tips

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 Business areas

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”

Unilever food solutions 2 Business areas

Life on the UFLP HR Scheme – Helen’s Experience

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).

I am now six months into my placement and have been able to get involved in a variety of projects. One of my main projects has been to drive our gender diversity agenda, within Food Solutions specifically and Unilever as a whole. Diversity is a top priority within Unilever as a diverse workforce drives different viewpoints, innovation and business growth.

Within Food Solutions I have been given the responsibility to create a plan that will enhance retention and progression of our female employees. This has involved understanding the experiences of people around the business, presenting my findings to the Leadership Team and I will now be implementing a number of initiatives. These initiatives will be open to all Food Solutions employees, men and women, and include a mentoring scheme, the promotion of our flexible working policies and leading training sessions on networking and using your personal development plan.

Within Unilever more generally, I have also been looking at the best practice in diversity and inclusion from Unilever in different countries, and externally, to find out whether any of these diversity initiatives would also be useful for Unilever UK/Ire.

I have also worked on a report  to assess whether we can expand our international graduate recruitment offering, and  I have been implementing an online tool that helps our business leaders increase the speed of their decision making and their ‘bias for action’. Alongside my project work I get involved in all sorts of other HR activity within Food Solutions, recruitment, training and working alongside our line managers to help them achieve their organisational objectives.

My next role is my placement in a UK Sourcing unit and I am going to the laundry factory in Warrington. I will be sad to leave Food Solutions, but excited to learn new things about HR in a factory environment.

My advice to potential applicants would be to find out as much about Unilever as possible. Look into our sustainable living plan and get inspired! A great example of this is the expansion of our Apprenticeship scheme; last year we took on Apprentices in Business Administration and IT.  The programme has been a success both for the business, helping us build talent for the future in areas we suffer skills shortages, and for our social sustainability agenda. This focus on youth employability will continue and is a great way HR can make a difference to our sustainable living plan.

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.

Three months in to my first placement, I signed up for Dove Day, where Unilever employees across the world go into secondary schools to teach children about the importance of self-esteem and not falling for the unrealistic beauty standards set by the media. The thought of teaching a class of adolescent teenagers about a sensitive issue was pretty daunting, but I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done during my time at Unilever so far.

For my second placement, I moved to Leeds to work for the Design department as part of the deodorant brand Axe, or Lynx as it’s called in the UK. Here I took on a much more varied work plan.  I worked as a technical project leader for a couple of new products we plan to launch in various parts of the world.  I found knowing that I’ll be able to see the product I worked on in supermarkets (eventually!) is really motivating.  I also had a project investigating how to improve the scale up of our innovations; from formulating deodorants at lab-scale all the way up to factory scale.  For that project I worked very closely with the factory team we have in the US, and gained some great insights into the process required to ensure our products reach as many people as possible, in the best condition possible.  When I wasn’t working, I was training for a charity boxing match and trying to eat a little less chocolate than I usually do!

As I move into my out-of-function placement in the Walls ice cream marketing team, I’m looking forward to experiencing a whole different side to the company. I’ve loved every minute of the scheme and it’s already amazing to look back and see how much I’ve developed as a person.  The scheme throws you out of your comfort zone and will challenge you constantly.  It’s a huge challenge when you join a new department, in a new city, and get hit with a demanding set of goals to achieve.  But this is easily outweighed by the sense of excitement found in a new chapter, and there is always a solid support network around you in case you get stuck along the way.

Check out some of the other blogs for some great tips on applying for the scheme!