This role within Global Clinical Science and Delivery (GCSD) combines end-to-end design, execution, and reporting of clinical trials (phase I - IV), including clinical pharmacology, patient, and Proof Concept / Proof Mechanism studies with leadership in project teams and across matrix teams.
This role may contribute to individual studies in addition to project level activities, as appropriate. This includes responsibility and accountability for the set-up, coordination, execution and delivery of one or more studies, programs, or groups of programs from one or more therapy areas.
I really enjoyed my placement. GSK had great learning and development opportunities not only within my role, but also outside. I enjoyed the steep learning at the beginning; although I all the training was difficult for me to understand without any previous experience in the field. After around 4 months, I started to be given more and more responsibilities, which I really enjoyed and after that I started to feel more dependable and helpful.
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I felt very valued by my colleagues even when all I did was small tasks. Even when I didn't know anything at the start and only did small checks, graphs etc, I was thanked for them and appreciated. The small gestures of appreciation made me feel better about my work especially at the beginning, more confident and being closer to the team. It might be that my team was quite under resource, so they valued any support I could give them.
The support I was given was fantastic. As my line manager was not the study manager I was supporting in my daily role, his role kept evolving. At the beginning, we worked much closer and he gave me tasks related to his clinical trials, as well as helped me get familiar with different processes and systems. As we were in the same office, I felt welcomed to ask questions any time. The study manager I was closely supporting was based in Canada, but we had twice weekly meetings planned, and met ad hoc when needed. So I always felt supported and could ask many questions.
In general, I had a good work-life balance, so I gave it a score of 7. However, my study went through an extremely busy period of two inspections and COVID-19, so during these times, probably 2/3 of the times, I was extremely busy, having to work super quick or work longer hours. I didn't mind it, as it was a 12 months placement and I have learnt a lot from the busy periods, but would struggle long-term.
At the beginning I had to do a lot of training and joined meetings to try to understand all the relationships and processes. However, slowly I was given more and more responsibilities including leading meetings, writing meetings minutes, updating documents, managing vendors and more. I believe I was very valued and was given the perfect amount I could handle. Although some of the tasks were out of my comfort zone, they were the ones that helped me develop most.
The role itself is not related to the course I am doing at university at all. However, I believe I gained many transferable skills, such as communication, time-management, leadership and confidence that I wouldn't gain at university. I have chosen to work in clinical operations, as I have done a summer placement in this department in another company before, and this placement has really showed me that this is something that I truly enjoy and should consider it as a future career.
I was only in the office for 6 months because of COVID-19 pandemic. I think the atmosphere in the office was normal. Everyone was friendly, but also extremely busy, so although I could come up to people I know to have a chat, I would have only done it with people I'm closer with. There were also different site events organised, which were a nice change to normal days. While working from home, there were also virtual coffees organised, but often cancelled due to workload.
I believe it was very well organised with enough workload for me at all times. Although requesting access to systems was slow with all the required training and forms, after that everything was ok. The other thing that could have been better was explanation of how holidays work and there was a change in holidays policy in the middle, but I believe it was well organised on case by case basis. If possible, it would be good if rolling off holidays would be possible or borrowing from next year to travel/go back home for Christmas, which was very expensive for me to fly because I couldn't fly earlier, as I only had 7 days of holidays by December. I was also not allowed to work from home, as IPs were not allowed. Hopefully now it will change.
I had a lot of resources and training available for free within GSK and company. I was also able to access pluralsight and data academy for free, which was a good opportunity to learn. I was also given access to LinkedIn learning for free, which I found really useful. However, I didn't do any paid trainings/events/conferences. What was good as well, was that I could study, attend outside or univeristy training during working hours if needed.
There are many different opportunities at GSK. They include Future Leaders Programme for fresh graduates, phd programmes and master schemes. They also introduced us to many entry role positions, which I'm more likely to apply for. What I found very useful this year was presentations and meetings with people in different roles to learn about their responsibilities, departments and if other roles might be of my interest in the future. Many caught my eye, but clinical operations is still one of those that I'm most likely to come back to.
None, as it was in Stockley Park, so there was no night life there and everyone drive back home straight after work. Many people lived at home and drove to work, and those who didn't live at home, commuted from more central London (mostly Ealing), where nightlife was richer. For social life we would often go someone's house and then go out in London.
Yes, many. I worked on Quality Tolerance Limit Implementation team where I learnt about above study areas and the structure of the industry. I was also part of the Site Events team and organised the Lunar New Years Event in January. We also had a Journal Club where we analysed research papers around clinical trials, I was a member of WLI and attended many workshops. Additionally, I also became a STEM ambassador and supported many STEM Outreach events.