Anna H.

Research & Development Graduate
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Anna H.
Chemistry MChem
United Kingdom

My employment

Research & Development Graduate
United Kingdom
Science and research
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Research & Development Graduate in the United Kingdom

I am currently on the Unilever R&D Graduate Scheme, meaning that I change roles every few months to gain experience across the business

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Unilever is a global FMCG company, designing & manufacturing consumer products in the Foods, Personal Care & Home Care sectors. In the UK, Unilever is responsible for many of our favourite household brands including Dove, Tresemme, PG Tips & Marmite.

What do you do?

I am currently on the Unilever R&D Graduate Scheme, meaning that I change roles every few months to gain experience across the business. Within R&D, my roles have largely involved Project Management, Data Analysis & Consumer Research.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I completed a Year in Industry during the final year of my MChem in a similar FMCG company. I really enjoyed the nature of the work & therefore decided to apply to a number of FMCG R&D graduate schemes.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes! I always envisaged myself working in a more business-facing role, perhaps in finance or project management. One thing I have realised since starting my role is that R&D in a marketing-led company requires significant interaction with the business. I certainly don't feel like a scientist the majority of the time.

Describe your most memorable day at work

I love being able to look back on my last day of each placement to realise how much I've learnt. I'm thrown in the deep end at the start of each placement, but there are so many opportunities & resources to learn from at Unilever that you're always able to get up to speed quickly.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I participated in sports & acted as treasurer for a year for my sports club. This definitely gave me a better understanding of managing both my team and my budget, which are key elements of project management in R&D.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Don't stress about securing a graduate scheme. I see many colleagues who started in a direct entry role who are just as successful in their careers in the same time frame as others who were part of a scheme. Look for jobs that you WANT to do over those that you THINK you should do - that's the secret to being successful in your role.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Job Applications, Project Management, Consumer/Market Research, Sustainability, Research & Development.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Anna’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Anna a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Anna to be your mentor.

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