Aslihan, Commercial Management, Turkey

Aslihan
Commercial Management,
Turkey

When I was studying Chemical Engineering, I never imagined I’d be interested in sales. But working as a sales representative in Turkey gave me the opportunity to observe the real ‘kitchen’ of the business.

My favourite aspect of GSK is that senior leaders are so open to hearing what people of my generation think. I once gave a presentation on a skincare business model to Emma Walmsley, now our CEO, and was delighted when she took the time to discuss our approach with me.

I’ve also really enjoyed the rotations: they’re the best way to try out different roles in a short period of time. You take on as much responsibility as a regular employee in the role, which gives you a real in-depth understanding of the business.

In my consumer marketing rotation, I worked as Assistant Brand Manager on the Otrivin portfolio and was involved in launching a new consumer campaign. Meanwhile, the finance rotation taught me how important financial know-how is in the business.

FLP is not an ordinary start to a career; it’s a lot more than that. Make sure you’re ready for the challenge!

When I was studying Chemical Engineering, I never imagined I’d be interested in sales. But when I first started in Trade Marketing, I realised that sales people drive our business and wanted to know if I could do that too. So I requested a field sales rotation immediately.

Working as a sales representative in Turkey gave me the opportunity to observe the real ‘kitchen’ of the business. I understood how decisions made in the office translate into actions in the field. I also really enjoyed connecting with pharmacists and other customers and discussing our products’ benefits. It gave me insights that I would never have gained from sitting in an office.

One day I was chatting with a pharmacist in Istanbul about a competitor’s cold and flu product. He said he wished there was a sugar-free version available, as he knew that sugar was bad for patients. When I came back to the marketing department, we were working on this category, so I suggested launching a sugar-free product. GSK is now working towards launching just such a product. I can’t say it’s because of my insight, but maybe it helped.

Overall, FLP is not an ordinary start to a career; it’s a lot more than that. Make sure you’re ready for the challenge! 

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