Chloe, R&D Chemistry Degree Apprentice
What do you love about working in Research & Development?
My function, R&D, is the only function that allows you to be involved in designing new products for consumers by putting your science knowledge and creativity into practice. You get to take part in various stages of the product development rather than being focused on only one section.
In my role I work on a product from the initial idea being created, to the product going off to the factory to be made for the shops. R&D has allowed me to tackle issues that matter to the consumer such as concerns surrounding the environment and hygiene in the home. Tackling these issues means you get to create amazing, brand new products that you know the consumer will love.
What has the Unilever apprenticeship offered you?
So far, my R&D apprenticeship in one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies has offered me a great amount of experience in a wide array of areas. I have gained a good awareness of the differences between working in a lab academically and industrially. It has also been very interesting to see how chemistry is applied in real life, rather than theoretically, to make and analyse common household products.
I am on a level 6 apprenticeship, which means that I will receive a bachelor’s degree at the end of my apprenticeship, but there are other schemes available starting from Level 3, right through to graduate. Depending on the role that you are interested in you may only need GCSEs, whilst other roles require you to have A-Levels.
Top Tips for Applying to the R&D Apprenticeship
As the R&D apprenticeship is a degree level apprenticeship, good A-Levels in two science subjects are a must, but they are not the only thing you need to have. Unilever looks for individuals with lots of self-motivation that can bring a new perspective to their role. To achieve this you will need to show that you have great communication and teamwork skills and can manage a varied workload.
It is important to demonstrate that you have these qualities when you answer the application questions in clear simple language. Research the company and learn about their mission, as well as learning a few key facts about a couple of brands that you like and issues that matter to you.