Formulation Scientist at GSK

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Weybridge Greater London
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Chemistry Human Science Medical/Health

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

To be able to work independently and manage their own workload after completing onboarding process. Taking the lead role for their own project Using scientific knowledge to develop and run experiments and analyse data. Network efficiently to make use of the knowledge of staff members around them. Develop confidence in their abilities and build on soft skills Be proactive in expanding their network outside of NPD To ensure supervisor is made aware of any difficulties that could impact the student’s welfare. To have Regular check ins with supervisor and technical lead.To ensure the students works in a safe compliant manner according GSK’s and industry standard safety procedures.Take part in development opportunities outside of NP

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

Thorough understanding of innovative formulations has allowed me to greatly enjoy my placement. I had a chance to show my integrity, accountability, scientific knowledge and agility during my placement. I had an opportunity to push the boundaries of science, learn from my failures and understand myself professionally. I cross-functioned with many teams and gained project management experience. I have obtained many transferable skills such as good laboratory practice, good manufacturing practice, data integrity and formulation processing. These skills will aid me further in my career and having a vast range of experience has allowed me to pave my career path.


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

I feel like an integral part of the team, I am often asked to present formulations and my work to wider teams. My colleagues give supportive feedback and they value how I challenge formulations, interactions and product performance. My ideas are always welcomed and I drive these ideas from data that I have collected. I can directly challenge a theory and my colleagues admire my resilience and tenacity to understand all that I can about the formulation. This has lead to many incentives from the team and ultimately a contract extension.


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

Outstanding guidance was provided by my technical and project managers. Any issues that raised were dealt with immediately. If I was unsure about technical problems I was provided with the contact details of the next best person. I was allowed to run my own project whilst working on an active formulation at the time. I had fantastic guidance from my project manager whom listened to what I wanted to achieve though my placement year and allowed me to push scientific innovation.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

I was busy with personal and active project work. I was the representative for a key charity that works closely with the company. Alongside my project work I was also planning charity events, giving speeches, making posters and raising awareness. I spent a lot of time in the laboratory formulating miniature experiments in parallel so I had many tasks but my efficiency and time management allowed me to complete them all to a high standard.


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

I was given the responsibility as the only formulation lead during much of my placement. I was formulating batches, reviewing manufacturing records, optimising formulation and process parameters. I was solely responsible for my method development which greatly aided the project. I also took the responsibility to be a GSK charity ambassador and planned many charity events, this included budgeting, cross-functioning with companies to raise for charity. I was responsible for my own developmental plan which was reviewed monthly to see my progress.


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

The technical skills I have gained in this placement include, health and safety awareness, formulation understanding, stability understanding, good laboratory and manufacturing practice, project management leadership, auditing, integrity and agility. I can apply these skills to my degree and my medical career as I have built up my resilience and tenacity to defend my work and understand my role fully. I have not been waivered by tough conversations, this fuels me to understand my project more and this persistence will aid me will in my career.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Positive workplace where I greeted warmly. It was very easy to build a rapport with everyone in the office and when any issues arose, the wider team was always willing to assist and help me. It was a place for open conversation, full of laughter and honesty. All conversations were shared and there was a wonderful team synergy. The office was bright and airy, treats were always brought in that signified a birthday, milestone or want-of-something-sweet.


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

The organisation had a good structure, I was aware of who my immediate contacts were. There is a push for personal organisation too, where I could plan my own work and structure my own time. I worked with my managers and had weekly reviews on my thoughts about my work, amendments or general changes I wanted to imply. There could have been more knowledge sharing between the managers so that all students knew about events that were being run.


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

My personal development was always taken seriously. I had open, honest conversations about my career and if I wanted to explore an area, I was given the chance to shadow other disciplines and learn about their roles. The company were very proud of my work-ethic and often gave gifts to show their appreciation. My training was given top priority as my work had to comply with many rules. I had to be aware of these rules and abide accordingly.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop

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

The graduation schemes are very appealing as it is designed to push to further in the company. The work-ethic across the site is desired along with the work atmosphere. This makes the company very appealing as they strive to be innovative, respectful, accountable and agile in their work. They take employee development seriously and will reward hard-workers. IPs are free to cross-function and learn more about other roles. This makes them a desired company that many will want to work for.



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

The beginning of the year was very sociable and many students got together at the end of the work day. This faded out as the months progressed. There were strong IP groups that regularly met and over time the social flare was split among the IPs. Many individual groups met regularly after work however all IPs sat together for lunch. This was the time to socialise and talk to others not in your specific faculty.


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

The site is based in Weybridge. This is very expensive and the cost of living is very high. There is not a great variety of shops in the area so those with specific diary needs many have to travel to get the food they require. There are no socialising places other than local pubs and combined with the cost of expenses, this is not a favourable place for students to reside in. The area has very good views and the river Thames so will be ideal for those that do not enjoy a hectic social life.


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

There are a few pubs that remain open in the evening. Much of the night life occurred in town closer to London Central. This area has good views and day time activities along the river that people can engage in. There are treatment spas and sessions to relax in. The area is generally quiet with many people playing in parks or going to local restaurants. The night life will be more apparent in other areas than Weybridge.


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

There was good relations with the Weybridge hub and GSK house. There were opportunities for the two sites to interact. There were many river sports to engage with; wakeboarding, paddle boarding, kayaking, cannoning, swimming. There are places to practice tennis and the site hold badminton sessions. The IP groups have previously gone to central London for a meal or other social activities after work and on the weekends where a large group could meet and talk.


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