Supply Chain Sustainability Placement at GSK

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Brentford Greater London
Review Date
£20,000 - £21,999
Design Environmental

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

Working in the Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability Team on projects involving engaging suppliers on topics surrounding sustainability. Assisting with the online platform "GSK Supplier Exchange" and helping to lead the GSK Supplier Environmental Sustainability Awards.

Tasks include writing content for the Supplier Exchange, contacting suppliers to encourage them to apply for the Awards and creating overview presentations for waste operations.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year working in the Environmental Sustainability team at GlaxoSmithKline. My team was supportive and helped me develop skills which I would not have been able to gain in university. I was given a high level of responsibility and enjoyed working on a wide range of projects.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

From the beginning, I have always felt like a key member of my team. As the only IP in quite a small team, I have been given a fair amount of responsibility and have been able to be involved in lots of different projects with a range of different team members. Colleagues trust me enough to come to me with questions and I feel able to speak my mind in team meetings.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I was very lucky with my line manager and felt completely supported by them. I've learnt so much from her about her career and her advice will stay with me even when I leave GSK. Throughout my placement, we had weekly catch-ups where we discussed my workload and how I was feeling with all of the projects. She was also completely supportive of me attending external events, site visits and conferences - if she thought it would help with my personal development she was happy for me to take the time out of the office to do it!


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

My workload was completely dependent on the projects I had on - some days I worked late and others I was fairly bored. Most of the time, however there was a good balance, and if I ever felt like I didn't have enough on, my line manager would help me find work within the team that would help me develop my skills.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

Again, I feel very lucky to have been given a large amount of responsibility throughout my placement year. From the very beginning of the placement, I was leading a whole project which was both scary and exciting. I also got to get involved with senior staff in different teams which has been a wonderful learning experience.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I have developed a wide range of key skills throughout my placement such as communication, corporate understanding, time management and professionalism. I believe these skills will help me with coursework in my final year of university and I know that the confidence I have gained in myself and my work will help me in applying for any future careers.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Atmosphere in my office is okay - the team isn't incredibly social, but it's very laid back and everyone is very supportive of one another. GSK House is an incredible building and it's been amazing working here.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The placement has been well organised by SRG. Paperwork prior to starting the placement was stressful, but everything has gone smoothly since I started.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I've been very lucky to get the opportunity to attend many external events, including a conference in the Netherlands. My team and line manager have supported and encouraged me to attend site visits at other GSK sites as well as take part in conferences and other events which will develop me personally.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Sports and Social Club
  • National Travel
  • International Travel
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Working from home

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

GSK has a very developed and highly sought-after graduate scheme, however it's not something that I am interested in. As someone interested in Environmental Sustainability, the EHS graduate placement is not focused enough for me, so I will not be applying for it. With that being said, I have heard great things about the "Future Leaders" scheme, and if you are interested there is lots of information provided during your placement year.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

I think there was, but I didn't really get involved that much, which is a bit of a shame. As the only IP in my team, I found it hard to make friends with other IP students and "IP Unite" didn't host that many events. The Christmas ball was alright, but it would have been nice if there had been more introductory events closer to GSK House for people to meet.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

London is expensive. Rent is very expensive, over double what I was paying at uni in Norwich. But the salary comfortably covered my London lifestyle, which included many trips into the city and to the theatre! I don't drink much, but going to the pub regularly can get pricey. Bringing your own lunches to work instead of buying can save you lots of money!


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

I assume the nightlife is good in London, but I haven't really gone out that much this year as getting into the city takes forever and clubs/drinks are often highly priced.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

This is completely up to the individual! I joined a community choir (London City Voices) which I absolutely loved! There are opportunities to play sports with GSK teams and I know may people who have joined local teams near their houses. There are so many things to do in London - if you want to do something, I'm sure you'll be able to find it!