An office-based role which helps with the execution and oversight of clinical trials (phase I-IV).
I really enjoyed my placement - the knowledge and skills that I have gained are beyond that I could have ever developed at university. GSK is a great place to do a placement as the people are really supportive and willing to give responsibilities that will support your own personal development.
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For the majority I felt very valued by my colleagues - I was given responsibility for my tasks on studies and they gave me recognition for the work I was doing. They saw my own development as equally important to theirs and were willing to support me in anyway they could.
I was given a lot of support by my manager and supervisors throughout my work placement. My manager was willing to support me in all aspects of my placement, whether this was related to work or not. We discussed my objectives on a quarterly basis and then I was given work which would enable me to achieve these. If I had a question/was stuck with anything, I know that my manager/supervisors would always be willing to help me.
For the most part of my placement, my workload was managed effectively and my manager was very proactive in monitoring this. At times, my workload was quite limited but after speaking with my manager, I was asked to support another study in order to give me more work to do.
I was given the correct level of responsibility on my placement. I was given actual work that would contribute to a study which would help to develop my skills and knowledge but my supervisors maintained a level of oversight and gave me guidance so that I never felt out of my depth.
The skills that I have gained this year will definitely support me going back to University and in my future career. I have developed communication skills within a corporate environment which are hard to acquire prior to graduating from University. I also believe the time-management skills, and creating a good work-life balance, will help me in my final year of University.
The office atmosphere was very laid-back and relaxed. However, at times it could be quiet as a lot of people tend to work from home.
It was well-organised by GSK as they have placement students every year so they know how ensure the on-boarding is a smooth process. My work load/assignments had already been discussed and put into place prior to me starting at GSK which enabled me to learn on the job. However, as placement students we are not directly employed by GSK (but through SRG) and there can be some discrepancies between their policies.
GSK invested a lot of time and money into our own personal training and development. As placement students, we were able to attend development days, visits to other sites, visits to Careers Fairs etc to help enable our own personal development. My manager also spent a lot of time discussing my development objectives and seeking out the correct opportunities for me to be able to support these.
As a general rule, GSK do not offer their placement students graduate positions upon their completion of their placement scheme. However, there is an opportunity to apply to the GSK Future Leaders Programme (Graduate Scheme) through an internal route, this means you can skip the application stage upon your managers recommendation. Also, it is a great opportunity to build up your network in an industry you are interested in.
There is a good social scene amongst the placement students at our site and we regularly organise socials within our group outside of work. There is also a good opportunity to socialise with placement students at other GSK sites as every year a group of placement students organise a Christmas Ball and Summer Boat Party. Outside of the placement student community however, there was not a strong social scene.
As this placement is based in West London it was as expensive as I was expecting and a lot of the salary I received goes on rent (and we don't get paid more compared to other GSK placement students at other sites where it is cheaper to live). However, you can still socialise a lot so long as you are careful with money!
There was very limited nightlife around directly where the office is located, however it has good transport links to the centre of London (and most placement students live closer to central London). Within London itself the nightlife is great - lots of pubs, bars and clubs and something for everyone (but expensive!).
There was a chance to get involved with a lot of opportunities for development by being able to visit other GSK sites, the Crick Institute (GSK is a partner with), the Big Bang STEM Fair in Birmingham and Careers Fairs at external schools. However, there wasn't a lot of opportunities to get involved with other clubs/activities outside of working hours.