I really enjoyed my placement at GSK and Iwould definitely recommend that anyone should apply. I learned a lot during my year at GSK, and loved that I was able to mould the experience to what suited me and to what I wanted to get from my year at GSK.
I felt like although my job wasn't an essential role (although I know others who had important job roles that really were like fully formed, proper positions) I was given enough responsibility that my team would miss my absence. I also have been made very aware that my team are appreciative of what I've been doing.
From the beginning of my placement my manager has been very supportive and guiding of me, which was great. Together we worked to define what I wanted to improve in by the end of my year here and what opportunities I wanted to take up, which led to me being able to use work hours to go visit another site, speak to people in different areas, etc. for development reasons.
My workflow was definitely highly variable. Sometimes I was incredibly busy, but more often I had some spare time, which I came to love and hate. It's nice because it gives me time to experience other parts of GSK like Womens Leadership Initiative workshops and to complete uni work, but it also meant that I wasn't being stretched as much as other placement students.
I wasn't given that much responsibility, but this is more to do with how my team works than because of the nature of industrial placements at GSK. My team all work individually and own projects, and the projects are very large and involve a lot of money and some senior customers, so I am not able to lead them. However have taken part, and in smaller roles within the project, and have owned projects myself that are internal facing to GSK and therefore lower stakes.
I did a degree in a completely different area to where my placement was. This is a good and bad thing as I definitely will go back to uni having a much broader knowledge of IT (the info I learned at placement I definitely wouldn't have learned at uni) but I would have liked to learn more technical stuff and less business oriented stuff.
GSK House in Brentford is huge, so each floor is so different. You literally walk through the doors and there's a different atmosphere.
I liked my floor because there were always people chatting which means you don't feel bad for having the occasional conversation with your colleague about the weekend (which means it's not always about sitting down trying to look busy even if you're not)
There were never moments when I felt like my placement was poorly planned, or something has been forgotten/not accounted for. This is I'm sure because GSK has been having placement students for years and has a pretty robust system in place for them.
My onboarding was completed quickly, handover from previous placement student was good etc.
Not too much, but this is because my department doesn't have as much free cash as others. I took part in two trainings, one in person and one online, and unfortunately don't see too much use for them going ahead.
There are lots of opportunities to form your own development though, from ERGs to development plans.
Your completion of a placement with GSK doesn't guarantee you a grad scheme with them in the future, and only means you don't have to complete the same application form external applicants need to complete. (You still need to fill a form with details that they definitely should already have though).
In the application stage your previous year makes absolutely no difference, and they only review you based on what you have submitted.
Direct entry is a lot easier.
Depends on the department. Some are very very social and others (mine) less so.
Placement students are all friends with each other so its basically down to you to make plans to go out. IP Unite weren't very active in my year, and we only had to big events, the christmas party and summer boat party, organised.