June 21, 2011

Summer at Unilever

It seemed like it was only yesterday when I was first introduced to Unilever. I was on my best corporate attire but I looked dumb. Yeah, dumb. I was surprised to know that Unilever did not follow a dress code. People were in their casual attire and everyone looked chill. From someone who's a first-timer in the corporate world, this put me in a shock. It was extraordinary to see bosses walk in their jeans, some even wore sleeveless tops. They were only obliged to wear their corporate attire in business meetings and presentations simply because it is but proper to do so.

My first week was relatively light. I was glad to be with fellow interns (see below) who have been with the company for more than 2 months. I was the only newbie back then but because of their help, I was able to adjust faster than I imagined. I memorized the offices and departments as if I was memorizing my classrooms; I remembered the names of everyone like it was the first day of school; and I worked as if I wanted to be a Dean's Lister. Yeah, it felt like school but harder and more fun.

Ange, Geor, Marty, Raina and me!
Actually, it's not hard, it's challenging. It shook my bones to do better, ordered my brain to work harder, trained my muscles to work faster and tugged my heart strings to love what I'm doing. I did all these while maintaing composure but inside, I was screaming. It was exhausting but with every challenge comes a lesson - a lesson that made me a better person.

My experience in Unilever was life-changing. It changed the way I viewed Marketing, Unilever and myself. I discovered my limits and aimed to overcome them. I found my boiling points and tried to stretch them even more. It was hard but it was definitely worth all the trouble.

At the same time, it was fun! It was fun working with people whom you know are responsible and smart. It feels good to be a follower of those whom you can really credit as leaders. At first, my bosses seemed intimidating because they were strict and uptight, but I'm glad that feeling eventually changed as soon as they started smiling, laughing and even, joking. What I liked about them is that they tell me, without any hesitations, that I did something stupid or wrong. They were blunt, upfront and frank. For someone who's like that, I understood where they're coming from and I loved it! I like how they take time to correct even my slightest mistakes. In fact, according to my boss, they do that because they want to push me even more. But of course, these corrections came with compliments. Hearing them say "good job" or "great" gave butterflies to my stomach. When they gave my stint a grade of 9/10, I got goosebumps.

It's one thing to satisfy their expectations and it's another to exceed them.

Vic and Sarah, Cream Silk's Brand Manager and Assistant Brand Manager respectively
They surprised me on my last day!
Cake with "Yvette, We'll Miss You"


Sarah and I teamed up to surprise Vic on his birthday
The ever charming, Sir Arbs
My bosses were the best teachers that I ever had. They showed me how it's like to be a real Marketeer. They showed me how they were able to make Cream Silk the number one conditioner in the Philippines. The lessons they taught me, from doing a great presentation to organizing an event, opened my eyes to new and better ideas. They made me feel like I've been living under a rock all these years.

The Glam Girls performed during our IBC Awards Night at GMA 7
Chris was one lucky intern!
Solenn Heusaff
Although it seems like a tough job, there were a lot of reasons to love it. Aside from the perks like meeting and working with agencies, suppliers and celebrities; having the chance to join events and launches; and being able to use products that haven't been released to the market, I have my fellow interns to thank. I would not have survived my stint without their help.

It was such an honor to meet some of Ateneo, DLSU, UP and UA&P's brightest students. Everyone was unique in their own way but all shared the same level of intelligence and leadership. We helped each other from ordering our lunch to juggling our tasks. They made work more tolerable and fun. True enough, our two-month stint established a life-long friendship.

Unilever Leadership Program Summer Interns 2011
Last summer, the farthest I've been to was Manila.
I soaked under the sun in a dress and I spent my weekdays at work.
No beach, no bikinis, no road trips, just WORK...
but it was my BEST SUMMER EVER!!


Brian said...

Congratulations for getting in at Unilever, Yvette!

Steph said...

Galing galing naman! So proud of you!!

Yvette Espiritu said...

Thank you Brian and Steph :)