Strategic Capabilities Placement Student at MSD

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Placement Year (10 Months+)
Review Date

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The Role
The Company
The Culture

The Role

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

My Placement year with MSD has been extremely enjoyable as I have had the opportunity to get involved with a variety of projects which have really interested and resonated with myself. Having the opportunity to work on such a wide range of projects has meant I have been able to understand different business units and the Pharmaceutical industry. In addition, I have also really enjoyed working with different people across the company. I have had the opportunity to attend a variety of different events and training sessions. Lastly, I have also enjoyed having the opportunity to visit our other sites such as, Kings Cross and Milton Keynes.
5 /5

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

MSD has a very welcoming and friendly culture. All colleagues are approachable and more than happy to help answer any questions and get you involved in projects that interest you. In all the projects I worked on I was really supported and I felt my ideas were valued. In meetings I had the opportunity to contribute my thoughts and my colleagues were always genuinely interested in my perspectives. Feedback from colleagues highlighted my positive contribution ad made me feel really appreciated.
5 /5

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

My manager was brilliant at being encouraging, empowering and supportive. Myself and my manager have regular 1:1's to catch up. Then every quarter we had a longer meeting to reflect on my successes, progress against my current objectives and see what I would like to focus on in the future. My manager went above and beyond to get me involved in projects that genuinely interested me and to ensure I had as much help as I needed to deliver work. My team were also fantastic at being supportive and helping me to achieve project and personal goals.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

At the beginning of my placement I had more capacity however, as my placement progressed I began getting involved with more projects and had more responsibility which meant my days became busier. This workload particularly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic however, I always had the support of my manager and team to help me manage my workload. I had regular check in's with my manager to ensure my workload was suitable and kept at a manageable level.
5 /5

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

As my placement progressed my responsibility level also increased. From the beginning of my placement I was given the responsibility of dealing with a variety of different platforms in order to handle our purchase orders and our internal document verification platform. By regularly delivering on projects, I was given the opportunity to lead on projects and get involved in new projects.
5 /5

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

Over my placement I developed numerous skills such as: proactivity, confidence in decision making, attention to detail, prioritisation, project management and presentation skills. I was also trained up on numerous platforms. This will be highly beneficial during final year of my degree where I can apply these skills in order to inform study plans, anticipate opportunities and decrease stress levels. Ultimately leading to the best degree I can achieve. My placement year has also inspired me on my dissertation question. Additionally, it will also be beneficial post University when applying for future roles.
5 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Our head office was always full of smiling and positive colleagues, this added to a nice upbeat office space. As the office was quite big it was often quiet but this meant it was easy to concentrate.
5 /5

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

The responsibilities were clearly set out from the start. The company set up a visit day a few months prior to the start for us to get to know our fellow students. At the beginning of placement the company organised a two week handover with the previous students to onboard us. Throughout my placement the company have stayed true to the job description and I have had the support of my team, manager and HR throughout.
5 /5

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

The company were always very happy to invest in me and enable me to participate in training that interested me. Examples of this were the company investing in face to face Presentation training and the opportunity to complete a psychometric test and participate in an evaluation session.
5 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Working from home
5 /5

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

I would love to be considered for any future role at MSD. I have really enjoyed working in Learning and Development and having the opportunity to be part of such a great company and culture. Their core purpose resonates strongly with my own values and the work they deliver is key which makes any future prospects with the company very appealing.
5 /5

The Culture

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

Being a student enables you to not only be part of a large student cohort but also we part of an Early Talent group which includes Graduates too. My team had several socials and as I was lucky enough to live in London so I had a strong social scene with those also living in central London.
5 /5

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

As I lived in Finsbury Park in Central London the cost of living was high along with the socialising cost. If you budget well then it is absolutely fine and I loved the opportunity to live in London! Even though the costs were high I would move back in a heartbeat.
3 /5

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

As I lived in central London the nightlife was brilliant. There were lots of different places to organise meeting friends across the whole of central London. I always felt safe and the atmosphere in the city is great.
5 /5

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

Except for the gym, I wasn't part of any activities outside of work. In London there is plenty of opportunity to get involved in different activities, one of my friends was part of a netball group in Finsbury Park.
2 /5