Updating Results

Unilever

  • #8 in Retail, sales and consumer goods
  • 50,000 - 100,000 employees

Michael Houston

If you are open-minded, positive and willing to learn, then you will be successful in this company, no matter what educational background you have.

How did you get your graduate got the job and why chose Unilever?
I initially applied for the Unilever Future Leaders Programme in 2012 (for the 2013 intake). Unfortunately my application wasn't successful. However, I knew this was a graduate program that I really wanted to be in due to Unilever's commitment to developing their graduates, as well as the opportunity to undertake an international rotation. So instead of finding other full-time employment in 2012, I decided to take some time to go travelling and reapply the following year. On that application, I was successful and joined Unilever as a Customer Development UFLP Management Trainee in February, 2014.

What the graduate's role involves: typical activities and key responsibilities

I have undertaken three different roles since I joined Unilever:

  • Initially I was working as a Category Assistant for our Continental brand, where I would provide our sales team with category insights and plans to ensure our food products are easily found and are sought after by our consumers in supermarkets across Australia.
  • I then moved into a marketing role, as Assistant Brand Manager for our LYNX brand. This was a really fun role, where I was involved in launching new fragrances, as well being involved in a number of events that sought to connect our brand with our target audience. A highlight was attending the 'GQ Man of The Year' award evening, where LYNX was the official 'Male Grooming' sponsor for the evening. Not every day I get to rub shoulders with celebrities
  • I am currently undertaking my international rotation in Bangkok, Thailand. Here I am focussing on creating a strategy to ensure the Thailand Customer Development function is ready for the year 2020. This is a really interesting piece of work, as the Thailand economy and shopper is changing rapidly. Oh… and also the fact that I am working and living in Thailand isn't too shabby either! 

Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely. I believe the amount of training and nurturing received on this program will be allow anyone to have the 'knowledge' to undertake the job.
I think the main thing applicants need is a good attitude. If you are open-minded, positive and willing to learn, then you will be successful in this company, no matter what educational background you have.

3 pieces of advice for your teenage self...

  1. Do the best you can at uni – grades aren't everything but they do help getting a foot in the door for an interview for the highly competitive graduate programs.
  2. Travel and have fun – Don't get me wrong, I love my job and where I am, but the reality is you are only young once, and when full time work starts, you become a little more limited in your ability to recreationally travel. My best life experiences have been whilst travelling, and I honestly believe that my travel experiences helped me land a job at Unilever. It makes you a more interesting person, and therefore more employable!
  3. Don't be dismayed if your grad applications aren't successful – it took me 2 years to be accepted into the grad program that I wanted. Best thing you can do is listen to the feedback that is provided, reflect, and try again! If you really want it, and can keep motivated, you will be successful.