Over the course of the year, I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at GSK. From the office atmosphere at GSK House, to my brilliant colleagues, my time here has been very enjoyable. There are loads to do as well as your day time job and a lot of experiences to... well... experience!
As I was in charge of a system that is widely used in my business area, I felt very much valued by my colleagues. It didn't take long for me to fit right in and now I feel extremely comfortable in this office environment on a personal and business level.
I was given fantastic support and guidance. As my manager was a former placement student, he already knew the process and what was in store for me. He paced me so that I developed at a good pace and was very supportive of any actions I wanted to pursue and any personal objectives I wanted to fulfil.
Obviously there are busy periods and not so busy periods but overall you earn your money's worth. If you find yourself free, you can proactively seek out your own relevant work that'll benefit the company - this can go a long way in terms of building a positive reputation in your business area.
As mentioned previously, I was in charge of a system used by the entire business area. It was a massive responsibility that I enjoyed. It proved challenging at times but I've come out of the other end as a stronger person with a much larger skillset. This is a company that gives you meaningful tasks.
My skills were massively developed. From personal assistance from my manager, to professional courses that I was put onto. The tasks that I deal with on a daily basis have also stretched me and increased my skills. My role is very similar to my course so I can say that this job has prepared me for final year and the working life thereafter.
The office is finely balanced. You can have a laugh with your colleagues and also be wary of people in meetings so you don't disrupt. With SMART working you don't have an allocated seat so you can sit next to someone new on a daily basis which is very handy for networking.
It was well setup. With a good induction at the beginning and a transition period with my role's previous placement student. I was given enough time to find my feet and I have always felt challenged with continued interaction with my uni. Everything went as smoothly as I could've wished.
I went on two professional training courses. With both costing a lot of money!! My company trusted me to complete these course and bring that experience back to improve my performance in my day job. If you give them a reason to believe in you then they will invest.
They are very appealing however still quite difficult to pursue. Unlike other companies that can invite you back immediately, you still need to go via an application process. The grad scheme looks very good and you do skip a few of the application steps should you pursue this route which I highly recommend.
There was. The Globe pub is the place to be. Whether socials between other placement students, colleagues in your business area or within GSK House, Thursdays and Fridays were rarely boring this year. If there is something you want to do, mention it to the right people and you can develop your own event.
I lived at home so I wouldn't be in a position to say. But it is London prices in terms of living and socialising so I need not say any more. What I do say, is as the office is located in zone 4 it is a lot cheaper to live than it could be if you were more central.
I never went out around the office and preferred to go into London to enjoy the nightlife. A half hour train can get you to waterloo and you'll already be in the heart of London to explore the many, many bars, pubs and clubs. Just try and not be hungover for work.
GSK is great with external events. There are multiple opportunities to volunteer for charity events during the year, awards ceremonies to attend, other sites to visit and orange days to be a part of. There are always things happening so just keep an eye on your inbox or be proactive in organising something.