It was very enjoyable, we were made to feel like part of the team from the beginning. It was not an environment where you were afraid to ask questions or made to feel stupid. The work was varied and always interesting. We were able to learn from all members of the department.
Our opinions were always taken into account, there were frequent team meetings which we were involved in and were able to give our input. Team members often commented on the value of IPs. Time is taken to train everyone to the same standard. I feel I made a positive contribution to the team.
My supervisors were great in supporting me in the day to day role, giving guidance on reactions and conditions. They were very supportive with university work (report and exams etc). They encouraged me to explore options outside the lab so I could go back to university with an idea of what I wanted to do after my degree ended.
The lab skills gained while working in research will be invaluable when returning to university. However, although I was in a lab based placement, I did not just gain lab skills. Networking, communication, public speaking and commercial awareness skills were all developed and will be useful in any career in the future.
Great atmosphere, we were a very close team with frequent team building events like pub lunches to encourage socialisation. The other IPs in the department were very friendly and social. Everyone was willing to talk and help with any problems. Chemists and biologists worked closely together which was good for learning a new subject.
There were frequent opportunities for personal development such as lectures, talks and seminars on various topics. there were also opportunities to organise events from the department and for other IPs such as interview practise workshops, team building events, days of volunteering. We were encouraged to talk to employees in other departments and roles to gain their perspectives.
There are grad schemes and phd schemes that are advertised to IPs. As a large organisation, there are various roles in different parts of the company and you are encouraged to talk to people to explore these options before the IP year ends. You can sign up to an early talent mailing list to see job opportunities.
There is a Christmas ball and a summer boat party for all IPs at GSK sites which are fun. Socialising with other IPs is easy as there are a lot of IPs at GSK, although Stevenage does not have many options for clubbing, but there is mini golf/ trampolining / other activities.
Stevenage is quite cheap in terms of rent despite being 20 mins from London. Most of the restaurants around are chains so average price. There is a shuttle bus from the train station to work so commuting should be free, or there are good cycle paths if you want to cycle to work.
There is only 1 x club in Stevenage which is average. There are events throughout the year at local pubs like pub golf and beer festivals which are fun. London is only 20 mins on the train so you can go to events there without too much difficulty although they are more expensive.