One year in RB and over 5000 miles across the globe

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Who would have thought that in less that one year since my MSc graduation I would be based on the opposite side of the world working for one of the leading FMCG companies?

Well that’s exactly what I’m doing! Following a one year placement in the RB R&D Centre of Excellence in the UK, I am now based in the Incheon, S.Korea office for six months. This amazing opportunity is allowing me to not only gain experience in the challenging ‘scientific services’ function of RB, but also learn about completely new culture and lifestyle to the one I’m used to in Europe. So you may ask how it is possible to arrange such a diverse placement? With RB you simply have to ask!

The culture we have actively encourages international movements therefore when I communicated to my new director that I was eager to explore a placement in Korea he gave me all the positive backing I required to make my dream a real opportunity.

I’ve been based in Korea for a couple of weeks now and I’m enjoying every moment of the experience. The role I am currently working in is to support the launch of new products and relaunch of existing products in the East Asia market. All the timescales are very short (the product will generally be launched in less than 6 months) therefore the work is enjoyably fast paced and challenging. I’m mainly working on local fabric care products, and to assist in my knowledge of this field RB supported a training trip where I visited our main fabric care R&D site just outside of Venice, Italy.

If you are interested in working in research and development and want a job which is dynamic, constantly evolving and excitingly challenging then I would strongly suggest considering applying to RB’s graduate scheme. Then who knows, it could be you sat in the Korean office in a couple of years time!

If you have any broad or specific questions about the RB R&D graduate programme please feel free to post questions below this blog and I’ll aim to share my knowledge and experiences in more detail.

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12 Responses to “One year in RB and over 5000 miles across the globe”

  1. Michael says:

    Hi Verity !!

    What an interesting article !

    Could you give us more details about what type of operations RB has in S. Korea ? What type of fabrics are there ? What are the key products, the particularities of this market ?

    As you say, in RB, we only have to ask, so I’d really like to know this other developping market you’re discovering.

    BR
    Michaël

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  2. Verity says:

    Hi Michaël,

    Thanks – glad you enjoyed reading!

    To answer your questions – In S.Korea we are slightly different to the rest of the world as RB has a sister company called Oxy (hence OxyRB brand on our Korean products). There are a large number products specific to the Korean and E.Asia market. These include Oxyclean – the countries leading fabric treatment brand (similar type of product to Vanish) and Hippo – a wide and market leading range of dehumidifier and deodorising products. This link to the local site shows our whole portfolio:

    http://www.oxy.co.kr/eng/product/washing/wa_main.asp

    The Korean market is very mature when it comes to cleaning products, therefore consumers are sophisticated in their shopping habits and expect the absolute best from everything they buy. I think this partly why RB is so successful here, because the best is absolutely what we deliver!

    When it comes to fabric care specifically, the norm in this region is to wash clothes in cool/cold water and lots of it (e.g around 100 litres vs 45L in Europe!) and the majority of clothing is still cotton based. This means we have to tweak our local products to perform best in these conditions – an interesting challenge.

    I will keep you posted as I spend time here and learn about this region and it’s consumer behaviour. As you will have found with Brazil, every day in a new country is a new learning experience!

    best regards,
    Verity

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  3. Sangeeta says:

    Hi Verity,
    First of all, I must say its nice article.
    Can you please throw light on R&D control in India.

    Thank you,
    Sangeeta

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  4. Verity says:

    Hi Sangeeta,

    Thanks for your comment, glad you liked the post. We have an R&D facility in Gurgaon in India that covers products for India and parts of South Asia. The major brands they focus on include Dettol, Airwick, Vanish, Veet, Clearasil and others. There is also the global R&D pest control facility based at this location. If you want some more information about Graduate development scheme and other career opportunities in India please have a look at: http://www.rb.com/careers/india

    Best Regards,
    Verity

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  5. Andrea says:

    Hi Verity!

    I am going through the management scheme this year for R&D!!! What I have to expect?? Can we really become true leaders before 30′s ?

    Say hi to korea!!

    Ciao! Andrea

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  6. Verity says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Great to hear you will also be on the RB R&D scheme! Which country will you be based in? The broad answer to your first question is you will have lots of opportunities to develop both technical and business experience. Also due to the encouragement of international placements if you want to move abroad there is a definate reality that you will be able to experience working in a market completely different to your home country. As to whether you can become a true leader before the age of 30 – In RB you are given ownership and responsibility for your projects right from the beginnning of your career, therefore you will be able to take lead on the development of new products. if you lead a project which results in a product being sold to millions of consumers the next year then this can be classed as a true leader! In terms of career progression, being on the graduate project allows you to develop a wide range of skills far quicker than in a traditional career route therefore it should really give you a kick start which will allow you to hold a senior role by the time your in your 30′s!

    hope this answers your questions and feel free to ask if you want to know anything else.

    Best regards,
    Verity

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  7. Andrea says:

    Verity

    Thank u so much !!! I am in Leeds for an assessment centre tomorrow with external recruiter… if he goes well, on january second one inR&B! How many stages you went through before starting? I will be given a managerial (no lab based) position in Hull , R&D. But i am Italian so do not know if In Italy there is smth as well.

    Ciao !!! and Congratulations!!!

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  8. verity says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Hope you’re assessment day went well! On the graduate scheme you would have a role split between office and lab, as the aim of the programme is to develop both technical and managerial skills. I completed the standard assessment scheme which included assessment with external recruiters, internal recruiters and finally a day of interviews with the R&D catagory directors. If you are applying through the UK graduate recruitment process then you will be given a role in the UK initially, then the opportunity to complete one placement in a developing market. After completing the scheme you could apply to work in Italy, however we are encouraged to work outside of our home country therefore you may prefer to live and work in a country that’s new to you.

    best regards, Verity

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  9. Pamela says:

    Hi Verity i must say reading ur article whets my interest in R&D.Can u be able to shed more light on R&D in South Africa by any chance and could u brieflt explain the interview process u went through.

    Thanks

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  10. admin says:

    Hi Pamela,

    The standard assessment schedule which most of our graduate schemes use involved testing a rest of your technical and interpersonal skills. For the assessment process I completed I had group exercises and individual interviews with external recruiters, the same again with internal recruiters focusing more on my personality and values to ensure these aligned with the companies core values. Finally I had a day of interviews with the R&D category directors in Hull. The S.Africa graduate scheme is fairly similar to the UK scheme, however you would complete a greater number of shorter placements (as opposed to 3 placements over 2 years in the UK scheme). There is currently a S.African R&D graduate completing a placement in the UK, therefore your could potentially complete a role outside of South Africa during the scheme. For more info on specifically the South Africa R&D scheme please look at: https://www.rb.com/careers/africa-middle-east

    best regards,
    Verity

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  11. Moataz says:

    Hello Varity,
    Truly wonderful article. I feel inspired by your exceptional experience and I hope that my career at RB would take me somewhere beyond my expectations just like what happened with you.
    I’m a graduate Chemical Engineer, I live in Alexandria, Egypt and I was offered a position as an R&D SSG technical trainee, a part of the RB management trainee program based in Dubai. I will be joining the team by next month.
    well, I gotta say that I have alot going on my mind. too much expectations and too much plans. I really wish if you can give me some guidance based on what you experienced with RB.
    And thanks again for the wonderful article.
    Moataz

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  12. Verity says:

    Hi Moataz,

    firstly congratulations on joining the RB training scheme, especially in SSG – thats my department! And secondly thanks for the feedback :) I understand the excitement you’re feeling right now, knowing that anything is possible over the next few years. For example at this moment I’m visiting the Porto Alto factory in Portugal, I visited a factory in Poland just before Christmas and I’m returning to Korea at the weekend, so I hope you enjoy travelling too?!

    In terms of advice, the main think is to try and get as much broad ranging experience as possible and take advantage of the privileged opportunity you have on the trainee programme. Hopefully you will get the opportunity to have an international placement, and if you aren’t offered this directly, then make the opportunity happen for yourself! You will receive a phenomonal amount of information in the next few months so try to absorb as much as possible, but also remember you are training so you won’t be expected to know everything immeadiately.

    When you begin your role please feel free to find my email on the global address list and let me know how you find everything and if you have any questions.
    Best of luck with the new career!
    Verity

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