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Unilever Future Leaders Programme - Commercial

Job Rotterdam, NL
Posted 1 Apr 2021

Degree level


Job function


Required language

English (Fluent)

Work experience

0 to 2 years

Start date

1 September 2021


23 Apr 2021 00:00

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Our Future Leaders Programme will ignite the leader in you. This unique programme is designed to develop Unilever’s Future Leaders (UFL) by providing challenging and purposeful opportunities that accelerate their readiness to take on business leadership roles.


Unilever is one of the largest global fast-moving consumer goods companies that owns some of the world’s much-loved brands such as Dove, Robijn, Ben & Jerrys, Lipton and Unox. Our products sold under our many brands are used 2 billion times a day and in over half the households on the planet.

We want our business to flourish, and we know that our success depends on others flourishing around us. That's why our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, and why sustainable, long-term growth is at the heart of our business model.


By joining the Unilever Future Leaders Commercial Programme, we want to show you the full range of our commercial departments, which can vary from rotations in all parts of marketing (Brand Engagement, Innovations, Digital Marketing, etc.) and Customer Development (Key Account Management and Category Management.) You will learn and build experience in multiple aspects from the commercial part of our organization, such as the full process from consumer insight to impactful innovation and building true customer relationships. The limitless opportunities at Unilever allow you to broadly develop yourself as a (business) leader.

For example, in one rotation you could be working on the launch of a new ice cream, improving brand communication, or creating a digital campaign for one of our brands together with our partners. You would collaborate with global marketing teams and agencies to make sure consumers choose our brands over competitors and would work on creating the right assets for brand activations in supermarkets to capture the consumer.

In another rotation, you could be building partnerships with a wide range of our customers, which may include supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, discounters, online retailers, ice cream parlors and even theme parks. You would work together closely with your customer to maximize a new product launch, recommending the right range of products, negotiating an annual business plan, or looking for new business opportunities.


It might come as a surprise, but you don’t need a specific degree background – this is a program in which your personality will set you apart. It takes a special blend of ambition, people skills and commercial acumen. You will need creative business thinking to succeed.

You’ll need to be credible and confident in front of people and have a passion for growing businesses, coupled with the power to influence and negotiate.


Creative flair and consumer love will get your far, but it takes commercial talent and strong business skills to actually make things happen. It takes logic, ambition, strong organizational skills and an understanding of how businesses operate to succeed within this program. You bring a digital mindset and will be tackling business challenges in an agile and disruptive manner.  You have an affinity with digital and business intelligence and you can expand your mind to think as a consumer. You have a passion for sustainability and you believe that businesses with purpose last, people with purpose thrive and brands with purpose grow.


The program is designed to grow you into a commercial manager, within 3 years, through hands-on learning alongside world-class experts. You'll develop your individual leadership skills by working on real jobs from the start. You will have at least three rotations within the program; these will give you a wide range of experiences in a broad range of dynamic and exciting areas of the business:

  • The UFLP Commercial traineeship is a combination of rotations within our commercial teams, which will mainly consist of marketing and customer development (sales) elements.
  • During the program, you receive on-going development through a learning roadmap to build your skills and leadership but also functional learning opportunities through our marketing and sales academies. Next to this, each UFLP is assigned a mentor to guide you through the 3 year program.
  • We sell millions of products to consumers everyday. That is why every UFLP will start their career joining our Field Force team for two months. You will learn all about our consumers and customers, both in retail (Supermarkets) as in Food Solutions (Chefs in Restaurants) and in Out of Home (all other outlets like gas stations & themeparks). It’s a great opportunity to really get to know the other “Future Leaders”.Please note that for Unilever the safety and health of our employees is top priority – therefore the continuation of the two-month Field Force rotation will depend on the Covid-19 situation at that time and the policy we have on travels. Either way we will make sure to create an exciting onboarding!
  • During the three years of the program, you will have real responsibilities and will be able to make an impact. Your development is supported with a learning roadmap full of internal and external training focused on developing your leadership, marketing and sales skills.

This program will push you to achieve your potential and make a real business impact. Firsthand experience – it's the fastest way to learn


  • Work with exciting brands that give you a chance to make a genuine impact on people’s lives.
  • A real job from day one that continuously tests and develops your skills.
  • Local & international exposure to stay close to local consumers and harness global expertise.
  • Work with cross-functional teams to see the big picture
  • Support along the way with great (learning) development opportunities
  • Competitive primary and secondary benefits such as salary and company pension  


  • Eligibility to work in the Netherlands at the start of the program. Search year / orientation year visa is accepted as well. ;
  • Minimum  of a Masters degree at the start date of the UFLP (1 September 2021)
  • Intermediate level of Dutch is preferred but not required for our commercial track.


Our online application period runs from Thursday 1 April till Friday 23 April 2021. You need to have finished up till stage 3 (the digital interview) at the end of the online application period to be eligible for the Unilever Future Leaders Programme. We work on a first come, first serve base so finish all stages as soon as possible. In case of many good candidates, we may decide to close earlier. In that case, we will communicate this. 

The entire selection process consists of  

    Stage 1: Online Application*

    Stage 2: Profile Assessment

    Stage 3: Digital Interview

    Stage 4: Discovery Center Day**

    Stage 5: Job Offer.

*In the application form there is a possibility to upload your CV to fill out your personal details. This is not part of the selection process.

**Our Discovery Center days will be held between 25 May and 18 June 2021. 

Logo Unilever
About Unilever
to company page

- A better world. A better business. A better you -
We’ve been pioneers, innovators and future-makers for over 120 years. The success we’ve achieved means that, today, 2.5 billion people will use our products to feel good, look good and get more out of life.
Our brands (such as Ben & Jerry’s, Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Domestos/Glorix & Robijn)...

- A better world. A better business. A better you -

We’ve been pioneers, innovators and future-makers for over 120 years. The success we’ve achieved means that, today, 2.5 billion people will use our products to feel good, look good and get more out of life.

Our brands (such as Ben & Jerry’s, Lipton, Knorr, Dove, Domestos/Glorix & Robijn) give us a unique opportunity to create positive change, to grow our business, and to achieve our purpose of making sustainable living commonplace.

Active in 190 countries
155,000 employees
50% men - 50% women
Average age is 30 years

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