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Andrew, Research & Development apprentice

Andrew, Research Development apprentice, on a Magnum

Before I heard about the apprenticeship, I thought university was the only way to gain the qualifications I wanted. But when Unilever representatives came to my sixth form I realised the apprenticeship was a unique opportunity to gain real insight into a top consumer goods company, while still obtaining a degree!

I think the most interesting thing I’ve discovered whilst at Unilever is just how much research goes into understanding what consumers in different regions of the world expect and demand from their products so we can design products which meet their needs. There’s a lot of variation from region to region, for example, you have to consider factors such as cultural washing habits and water quality and hardness.

Every day the challenges of designing new products are different. There’s always new formulations or ingredients that need to be created or tested to meet the needs of the consumer. My highlight was being given real responsibility from the start and knowing that I could make a difference.

I always wanted a career in science and this apprenticeship has made my career progress so much quicker. That’s because it actively encourages me to develop new workplace skills while giving me new experiences through different placements.

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