Innovation Scientist at GSK

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Weybridge South West
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999

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The Role



The Role

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

It was a great insight into the world of work, the team I worked within was very supportive and helped guide my development. I was lucky that the project I was doing was something I was interested in but had the opportunity to work on other projects as well when work was slightly slower.
The only thing that was negative was the training and the first few months were quite slow to get going because lots of people were on their summer holidays.


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

So supportive, really helped with my project and developing. Helped me create my professional network in and out of GSK by giving me oportunities to travel to different Universities.

Could have had more team events but the Joint Venture meant it was a strange time to be working at GSK.


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

When you ask for help and support they give it to you, they give you enough tools to go out and do most of it yourself but they are there and experts in the field and very friendly so it feels more like a conversation that asking for help.
Could have had slightly more guidance from direct manager bt the natuer of my project meant that I fit into a slightly different workstream.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Sometimes I felt like I had nothing to do and other times I felt like I had a lot to do, it depended in the lab work and project deadlines. During COVID I was lucky enough to have networked enough with collegues to be assigned a new project that I could do at home. Some other IPs didn't have much to do other than write up their project for three months.


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

A lot of the time left to my own devices on my project. I organised a mixture of site-wide and team events and could travel to different sites if I felt like it. I was given a lot of freedom to develop how I felt was best for me. This was because I was trusted because the work I produced was good and always produced within the deadlines.


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

A lot of the lab skills were brand new and I wouldn't be able to do them at university. The write up I had to do was assigned by my university but I got advice from my team members who all have many published papers, which I will take back with me to university.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Mostly fun though it was a weird time (Joint Venture) which meant that sometimes the atmosphere was not great. The Weybridge site itself has a great community atmosphere and there were often charity bake sales or smoothie carts. I will miss my collegues.


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

Not very well organised, I expected better as they have had placement students for many years. The training was out of date (had training for systems they no longer used, or training for roles that IPs would never have the responsibility to do) and it took a long time to complete.
The first few months were very slow to start as people were on holiday or busy and there was no handover period from my previous IP so I was in the deep end a little bit at the begining.


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

If you sought out the opportunities they were there. It helped having a mentor from the graduate programme as she helped with my development and set up calls with people on different sites for me. I feel like the development opportunities for IPs on bigger sites were better than they were at Weybridge due to the small size.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • National Travel
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Working from home

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

The graduate programme did not have many R&D roles, none of which were in a similar area that I had worked in so that was dissapointing as I would love to go back to GSK, the community and culture there is excellent. There are direct entry roles but that will depend on applying as I graduate.



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

At the begining it was good but as the year went on, it became quite separated. The IP unite ambasador on site, who was meant to organise events for the IPs didn't organise many, only right at the begining. It didn't help that people lived very spread out, lots of people lived at home and commuted in. Weybridge is also quite suburban and expensive, so after work activities were limited because of this.


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

Very expensive and there is hardly anything to do in Weybridge. Trains finish early so not easy to go to other towns nearby or into London for afterwork events. The weekends were ok but many IPs would go home or visit university friends so not many people were around. Also as many people commuted into work by car or train it meant that people would leave as soon as possible after work to miss traffic or to avoid train delays.


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

There is no nightlife in Weybridge and other towns near by are too far for taxis to be affordable and the trains don't run late enough.


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

Not really, there was a site badminton team but that was all I was aware of.


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