Martine Abraham, Regional Executive at Unilever France, talks about EM Normandie and the virtues of Cooperative Education.
What assignments do you give EM Normandie cooperative scheme students?
"As regards our operations towards supermarkets, we expect them to be responsible for getting our range of products on shelves in various distribution chain outlets in order to ensure their visibility. We also entrust them with the development of our merchandising actions, such as getting involved on the positioning of our products on shelves. This is a critical aspect of mass distribution where being nearer to the customer plays a key role. In this context, they may achieve a certain number of promotional drives as regards POS advertising or end of aisle displays. Lastly, their mission includes a reporting dimension in order to monitor their activity precisely and evaluate their performance".
Is your objective to recruit them afterwards on a long-term contract (CDI)?
"Naturally. Once recruited their missions could be of two types: Senior Head of Sales in charge of hypermarkets in particular, or in a marketing-oriented function at our Head Office in Rueil Malmaison".
What are the virtues of this company-school type of training?
"We are very satisfied with our cooperative programme students. This is indeed a beneficial scheme for the firm as well as for the students. We make every effort to support them on a daily basis in their missions. As they are thus linked to a firm and a team, they really have a foot in the company. This gives them undoubtedly a practical view of the theoretical knowledge acquired. Unilever is determined to continue in this way, as we can thus draw from a reserve of young graduates who know us well. That is essential for a large group such as ours".