Medicinal Chemistry IP at GSK

Top Employer
Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Stevenage South East
Review Date
Salary
£20,000 - £21,999
Roles
Science/Research

Connect with this company

GSK is a Top Employer

8.5/10

The Role
8.8
Organisation
9.2

Socialising

7.2

The Role

Role Description

Lab based role in synthetic chemistry.

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

I really enjoyed my placement in the medicinal chemistry department at GSK. I was treated as a respected member of the team doing valuable research. I was constantly learning whilst doing practical work, and my lab skills improved massively over the year. The company culture made the environment very enjoyable, and I got along really well with my team.

9/10

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

My colleagues accepted me into the team straight away and were approachable and friendly so I felt comfortable in asking any questions. They gave the most interesting pieces of chemistry to me to carry out and listened to my thoughts and ideas. They also taught me lots of theoretical chemistry to enhance my studies.

9/10

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

My supervisor supported me thoroughly throughout the whole year, especially when writing my uni project. He read through my report many times giving me lots of helpful suggestions. Other members of my team also supported me with my uni project. Members of the team gave me lots of information about the area of research which was very helpful.

10/10

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Due to the nature of the placement I could be as busy as I choose to be. At first I would synthesise one final compound at once, but when I got more used to the work and wanted more to do I was given more compound to make, so was undergoing 3 or 4 synthetic routes at once.

8/10

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

I was responsible for designing my own experiments and risk assessments, which my supervisor would check over before starting each experiment. I was then responsible for carrying out each experiment, and purifying and analysing the final compounds. If I required help my supervisor was happy to assist but as the placement went on I was given more independence.

8/10

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

My placement was invaluable for assisting me in my degree. I applied material taught at uni to my role and was taught more by my team, giving me an understanding beyond the scope of the university syllabus. The placement taught me about the industry and how organic chemistry is applied in industrial labs.

9/10

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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

My team were passionate about chemistry and open about sharing chemistry with the team, creating a dynamic environment of sharing new methods and techniques. The people at the company were a pleasure to work with and had the right balance of work and fun, making it a really enjoyable experience.

8/10

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

GSK have lots of placement students across a range of departments and the programme is run very well. The students in my department make up approximately a third of the workers, meaning we are respected as chemists and seen as valuable to the running of the department. There were also lots of opportunities for IP students to get involved across the company.

9/10

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

Not only did my direct supervisor invest lots of time in my development, but the whole team did. Team members often taught me chemistry and mechanisms in the lab, and interesting synthetic routes. The PhD students also ran problem sessions for us to aid our development. Our employing company also ran careers and cv building workshops.

10/10

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
10/10

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

As I have enjoyed my placement year so much I am thinking of returning to so a PhD at GSK. My manager has also written a recommendation for me to assist in my application for GSK grad schemes. There are lots of graduate employment opportunities, although they are very competitive.

9/10

Social

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

As GSK have so many placement students there was a great social life, with the evenings and weekends quite similar to university life. I lived with other placement students and made friends with students across a range of departments. There was also a good social scene with colleagues- the team got on really well so we had a bonus Christmas party in London on top of the department party.

10/10

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

Stevenage is quite close to London however things like rent were much cheaper than London prices. There are a few things to do staying in Stevenage which can make socialising cheaper but the train into London was only about £15, including unlimited use on the underground too. The train journey is only about half an hour.

7/10

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

There were a few pubs however were quite expensive, so students tended to go to Wetherspoons. There are a couple of bars/ clubs in Stevenage, but about a 20 minute taxi journey would allow us to go to Hitchin, with much nicer pubs and bars. There was also the option of going into London, however the last train was at half 12.

4/10

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

The on site gym had many activities including organised games and equipment so that you could go along with friends. The company gives everyone a day each year from work to be able to go and do charity work for a day. There was also a range of clubs and activities in the local area.

8/10

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