My name is Kimberley Hargreaves, and I am studying a BA Hons Human Resource Management here at MMU. I have recently completed a 12 month industrial placement within the HR function at Unilever– a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) organisation. I was based at their UK head office in Leatherhead, Surrey.
I undertook a project based role where I got to lead projects across the spectrum of HR, from designing and delivering events for the attraction and selection of Unilever’s future graduates and placement students, to working with a local charity in delivering mock interviews to people with disabilities to enhance their interview skills and support them in gaining employment. I also supported Unilevers’ HR reps across all UK and Ireland sites to deliver inductions to their new employees. These are just a few main examples of the variety of projects I was able to get involved in.
Unilever has a fantastic placement scheme which gives you real responsibility. I was treated like an integral part of the team from day one and got to work closely with senior leaders within the business. The facilities at the office weren’t too shabby, either! Being an FMCG you were surrounded by exciting brands such as Dove, Lynx, Toni&Guy and Ben&Jerry’s ice cream…which was free to employees! Thankfully the office also had a gym to work off all the free ice cream.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed every project I was involved in. I think the thing that excited me the most was the huge level of collaboration involved in my projects with stakeholders across the business.
My year at Unilever has given me invaluable experience to take forward with me when I enter the graduate market. I have never been a particularly confident person, but my placement has helped me break down my confidence barriers and made me realise that I have great capability. I was able to put my skills into practice in a real work setting- something which I now know more than ever that employees are desperate to see on CV’s. The network I have developed over the past year is fantastic, and I continue to be in touch with some very skilled and supportive working professionals who I can reach out to in my future career journey.