"To see the work you do go into real life products that you can see on the shelf is really rewarding."
Working in R&D has given me a great insight into how science really comes into play in industry, and the importance of it in fast moving consumer goods. I have had the opportunity to work with fantastic brands including Persil and Surf in Laundry, and Dove and TRESemmé in Hair.
To see the work you do go into real life products that you can see on the shelf is really rewarding. In my first role, I led a project involving the launch of the new Persil Powercaps laundry capsule, and I was actually able to buy the product and show my family and friends. Seeing people looking up and down the laundry aisle and then pick your product off the shelf and put it in their trolley is a fantastic feeling; it tells you that you’ve done a good job. Seeing the impact good science and innovation can have in the market is amazing.
You realise very quickly coming into Unilever that innovation is essential to stay ahead of the competition, and R&D is at the heart of this. Whether it be exploring new molecules that can make a laundry liquid clean clothes even better, or developing new packaging that is more attractive, easy to use, and sustainable, R&D is both a key player in the process and such an exciting place to work. The wide variety of expertise within R&D means that you can be constantly learning, experiencing new and exciting challenges, and meeting new people, whether that be in Formulation, Processing, Packaging, Consumer Insights, and even in speciality areas such as biotechnology.
However, the greatest thing about working in R&D at Unilever is the people. R&D has a real community feel, and everyone is happy to help you out when you need it. R&D is full of experts who take pride in sharing their knowledge with you, and they do this most frequently in the lab or over a cup of tea; it’s a great atmosphere to work in, you learn so much and you can have fun doing it. It makes it really quite hard to leave the team when you move onto your next R&D role; fortunately, everyone is up for a catch up over lunch or a cup of tea so its easy to stay in touch!