1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
If you want to gain insight into the pharmaceutical industry, I would highly recommend a placement year at MSD! I really enjoyed working in a big organisation learning how the industry works. The people were very friendly and really encouraged my personal development. Placement students at MSD are given guidance as well as responsibility.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that my colleagues really valued my work and help on projects. Once I had learnt the processes and duties of my role, I was given more and more responsibility. Colleagues were grateful for my help and encouraged me to take responsibility. Hard work was recognised and colleagues did not treat placements students in a different way.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor was very supportive. We had regular reviews and check ins where I was able to feedback projects I was working on, what was going well or when I needed some more guidance. The placement team is well established so all students get guidance and managers
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At the start of my placement when I was learning new processes the job wasn't initially too busy, but this was good as it meant I was able to settle into the role. Once settled, this changed as I took on more responsibilities and got involved with different projects. I was very rarely bored at work, I was often too busy than not.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given quite a lot of responsibility in my role. As I worked with many brand teams they often relied on me to organised logistics and sponsorship for exhibitions. I felt that my work was highly valued by the teams and sales representatives. There were many opportunities to get involved in projects so you could choose how much to take on.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My placement year at MSD taught me a lot about working in a large global pharmaceutical company. I learnt how to effectively work in a team and liaise with internal and external stakeholders. Although this might not directly relate to my science degree, my experience at MSD will help me greatly applying to and working in future roles.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office environment was very friendly. It was open plan and parts of the office also turned into hot desking throughout my year. There were plenty of areas for collaboration so there was a positive collaborative atmosphere. On Fridays many people worked from home which resulted in the the office being a little quiet.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement year was really well set up. In my office there were 16 students and 7 graduates, so there were many other young people. As the placement scheme is well established our introductions into the company and handovers were well organised. We also received good training early on in our roles to ensure we had to right tools to go ahead.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
MSD offers lots of personal training to all students as well as other employees. This meant that whenever there was a personal development course going on, as a student I was often encouraged to get involved.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
You don't directly receive a job offer from MSD but do offer a graduate scheme that you would have to reapply for. There are 7 places on the graduate schemes.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As there were 16 other students there is plenty of opportunity to socialize with other students. I also made good friends with colleagues I sat with so always went for lunch together. The office was located out of London so the town was a little quiet at times but if you wanted to be social there was the opportunity to.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home during my placement year so I am unsure of the cost of living. As the office is located out of London I'm sure it would be considerably cheaper than living there compared to in the city.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As the office was located in a small town the night life was not very extensive (there is one club in the nearby town). However the train to London only takes 20 mins from a nearly station so if you wanted to go out in the city this wouldn't be too difficult.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?