Charlotte, a former upReach Associate, shares her story on how she went from upReach to Unilever’s graduate scheme:
I’m Charlotte, a recent Exeter graduate on the Unilever graduate scheme. I am the Assistant Brand Manager on Magnum and have been working at Unilever for over 6 months now. I can’t believe how much I have learnt in such a short time! Everyone has been so supportive and made me feel welcome and part of the team from day one.
My journey to get to this position started in my first year at university, where I came across upReach. I attended numerous workshops on areas such as: writing the perfect CV, how to nail telephone interviews and preparing for assessment centres. I had never heard of Unilever before, but was very familiar with the majority of their brands, so I attended an Insight Day organised by upReach at Unilever’s Leatherhead office, where I now work. It was really useful to find out more about their placement opportunities and get a feel for the company culture.
My upReach Professional Mentor played a huge part in building up my confidence to apply to Unilever and made me feel so much more prepared for each stage. After successfully passing each element of the recruitment process, I secured a place on the marketing Summer Placement program for 3 months, between my second and third year of university. I didn’t have any previous marketing experience and was excited to be given the opportunity to help organise and attend lots of cool events at my time on Cornetto. I was given real responsibility from day one, becoming the day-to-day contact for our digital and PR agency. I received support and guidance from my line manager and wider team throughout the summer and attended training sessions to improve my skills which was very empowering and also came in handy when I returned to final year!
After being fast-tracked to the Assessment Centre for the Graduate Scheme following successful completion of my Summer Placement, I’m now on Magnum and back in the ice cream team. I have the opportunity to help implement two above the line campaigns this year, as well as the everyday management of the brand. It’s great to have such flexible working and a relaxed culture, especially when things get busy! There’s always something to get involved in which keeps work interesting and I’ve realised how every day brings excitement and different challenges.
My advice on applying to Unilever would, firstly, be to thoroughly research the company, be clear on why you want to work here and why you are passionate about the function you wish to go into. Then make sure you are familiar with the 5 Standards of Leadership which can be found on the website and through upReach, as the application process centres around these core values. Also don’t worry if you don’t have any relevant experience as they are interested in your future potential, so prepare some examples of how you would deal with different situations and challenges in the workplace. Finally, be yourself and have confidence that you are good enough, because you are!