My year at MSD has been absolutely fantastic. I've thoroughly enjoyed working for one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies in the External Affairs department as a Policy and Communications Executive. I have gained so much experience and learnt a lot not just about the company but about myself too. It's been great!
I felt really valued from colleagues both in and outside of my close team. I have been treated as a full time employee which is reflected in the amount of responsibility I have been given throughout the year, and by how much I have been trusted. I have made some great connections!
The support and guidance that I have been given has been excellent. I always feel I can go to my managers about anything, and regular check ins have ensured I have received a great amount of support, even during the current pandemic I've felt really connected. I have felt like they are always able to make time for me regardless of how busy they are.
I would say I've had a really good amount of work on a daily basis. Some periods have been busier/ quieter than others, and I've enjoyed this variation. I enjoy being busy and my team has given me the opportunity to get involved in various projects. At my regular check ins, my capacity is assessed to ensure I have a good level of work to get on with.
A lot!!! I've really enjoyed the level of responsibility I've been given as it's shown how much I've been trusted. It's enabled me to develop my skillset massively and get involved in lots of different projects. The level of responsibility has also allowed me to stretch myself and develop myself.
I not only received training on the job but had the opportunity to attend courses as well which have all been hugely useful. All my work projects have allowed me to develop my skillset which will be useful for life and have set me in a good place now coming to the end of my placement.
It was always a really positive atmosphere, from constant food treats brought in by the team, to Christmas jumper day, secret Santa, lunch breaks with the team and more. It's been a really uplifting place to work, with smiles and hellos to other employees who walk past which always brightens your day!
It was very well set up and my transition into starting with MSD was smooth. My team were excellent in ensuring I had a great induction and having a two week handover with the previous student was really useful. The handover pack I received at the start was really useful.
From both in-house training including a presentation skills session, agile training, and more, to external training including communications training days, parliamentary training days, and again more, MSD was always really flexible and supportive of ensuring I had opportunities to attend training to provide the full experience. I've learnt a lot from both internal and external training and have really appreciated being given these opportunities.
MSD offers a couple of graduate schemes, including Business Insights and Sales & Marketing, both of which are two years long and rotational. Unfortunately at the moment they don't offer any more grad schemes, but they do offer entry level jobs in most of the departments, which appeals to me.
Yes, the student cohort was always up for socialising at lunch time, after work and at weekends. There was also a good social scene amongst colleagues too, as everyone was so friendly and always up for having fun. I lived with another placement student from MSD which was really enjoyable.
Living close to London wasn't the cheapest however you can always find cheaper places to eat and drink so it wasn't too bad. Living costs weren't the cheapest either but again, that's what comes with living close to London. You're always able to look around and find cheaper alternatives too.
Hertford nightlife was quite good, there were lots of bars, pubs and a couple of clubs which, when you're with all your friends it doesn't matter too much where you are! Again, being close to London it's not the cheapest but there are cheaper places if you look around. It was really great being close to London as you didn't just have to stick to Hertford and could venture out!
We were able to visit one of the other MSD sites in Newcastle and there were plans to visit the other sites too however the pandemic prevented this. There was also the chance to spend a day volunteering with a local charity which again was sadly prevented by the pandemic. In terms of 'extra curricular' activities outside of the day job, there were plenty of opportunities to take on additional projects of interest which was really nice.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
8th June 2020