My first position at Unilever was within the Technology Research and Development department. Here I worked with a team of people developing IT solutions for the research scientists distributed around the world. In this time, I developed a fantastic set of skills, not only with the new technologies I had to work with and develop but also skills in systems modelling and requirements elicitation.
I had joined Unilever on what was originally a twelve-month industrial placement between the second and final year of my University course. My performance and potential impressed my management and towards the end of this first year, I was asked if I would like to stay at Unilever and work on a project that I had suggested the company should undertake. I returned to University a few months later but continued to work at Unilever for another ten months part-time, followed by another three months full-time. The project I had suggested was for an enterprise-wide social business platform that enabled colleagues to collaborate and share their learning between continents and between functions. This system is now in place and in use following the roll-out to Unilever’s c120,000 employees worldwide.