Cell and Gene Therapy IP at GSK

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Stevenage Greater London
Review Date
£20,000 - £21,999

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

Cell and Gene Therapy Industrial Placement student

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

I enjoyed the new experience and seeing what the world of work was actually like. It gave me a hands on experience to what it is like to work in an industry lab and that was rewarding and insightful and I will take what I have learnt with me on to the next phase of my career. Although due to COVID-19 it wasn't the full 12 months hands on experience, but it was interesting to see how working from home is and adapting to all online has also been an insightful experience.


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

My colleagues made me feel welcome immediately and as I was tasked to help on certain projects, that made me feel more involved within the team. The work I did was valued by my colleagues and as a result made me feel less like just an IP student and more like any other colleague. To add to this being able to speak up in meetings/presentations made me feel listened to and more a part of the team.


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

My manager was very supportive and I knew she was always on hand if I needed to ask a question about certain lab based activities/project work. She gave me guidance which I think was credit to the weekly 1:1's we had - I found these very useful and enabled me to be aware of the tasks for the week and they kept me on track. To add to this, she also introduced me to other colleagues and created this support network which helped me further.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

This varied from week to week as some days were very lab heavy, hence very busy, whilst other days would be less so, if I needed to wait a for a certain incubation period. My busier days were those when I was in the lab or if I was doing write ups of my lab work. So, overall on days where I was less busy, it would have been better to get assigned more office work to keep me occupied.


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

I was given responsibility in terms of my project work as I was allowed to go off and perform my experiments on my own and could influence what I wanted to do. In terms of routine work I would say that required less responsibility. So overall there was a balance depending on the task being carried out. I would say that as the placement progresses and my skills got better, I was given more opportunities to carry at solo work.


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

I was given lots of training and development opportunities and most notably feel the lab work I carried out enhanced my basic skill knowledge but also introduced me to high level technology that will be useful in the future as a transferrable skill for when working with other high level technology. This will be useful going back to uni when it comes to new techniques in the lab I will be able to transfer what I have learnt across.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

It was quiet in my office as everyone was hard at work and as it was located right next to the node social areas, that is where everyone would go to talk out loud. So it wasn't very lively but did mean you could be productive as no one was talking or being distracting. Although it would have been nice to sometimes have a bit more liveliness and bring a bit of positivity into the day.


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

The introduction days were very useful to meet my supervisor and other IPs and I feel that set me up quite nicely to begin my placement. Then, with regards to talks throughout the year for us IPs, these were informative and useful and added structure to our placement as a means of checking in. In terms of the communication between SRG and GSK, however, I thought this was very poor and could have been improved.


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

There were always talks and lectures that we could attend to learn more about the field and beyond the field of biology. These were really good for personal development. To add to this, we were given the opportunity to go to conferences to further our learning. We weren't, however, able to attend as many as our colleagues, so less investment there but still, any opportunity was still useful for personal development. Overall, it was a nice balance of everyday work tasks and personal development opportunities.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Company Parties/Events

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

In terms of future employment prospects, the future leaders programme is a great opportunity to re join GSK after graduation, however, this programme was not offered for the research and development field which means if I wanted to continue to work in the science part of the organisation, it would have to be via direct entry and not through the FLP programme, so less prospects if you're science based and wanting to pursue science post graduation.



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

IP unite organised multiple site based get togethers with other IPs which was nice to meet new people within site. Also, bigger events such as the New Years ball for all GSK IPs was a great event and was nice to celebrate all as a big group at the half way mark of our placement. A summer ball was planned however due to COVID-19 this has to be cancelled, but that would have also been a great event i'm sure.


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

The cost of living was pretty low which was nice because enabled me to save some of my earnings. However there was little options for socialising other than one pub, we really had to go into London if we wanted to go out which made it more expensive, but one good thing is it was less than 30mins on the train to get there. Stevenage isn't really a student area so that is why they don't really cater for students and nights out.


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

The nightlife was pretty poor, there was nowhere to really go out and definitely no student nights as it was not a student area. However, there was a pub that we would meet friends at, but that was all that was on offer. Unless we got a train into London for the nightlife there as there is so many more options in London. But nightlife was something that Stevenage definitely lacked which was annoying on the weekends.


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

I personally joined a hockey club outside of the area I worked so that kept me busy and in terms of activities outside of work, there were gym classes/sports clubs to join in the area that a couple of friends recommended. Again, not a great deal on offer in Stevenage, but there was a gym that a lot of us joined which was nice and almost a social thing seeing all the other IPs there.


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