When I finished my doctoral studies in bio-engineering, my next step wasn’t clear to me. I felt I had achieved my goals within academia and I knew I wanted to transition into a corporate environment. But how? Where would my skills fit? What opportunities were out there for people like me?
When I heard that GSK offered a rotational programme in R&D, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity – and it was. Challenges and development are the foundation of the Future Leaders Programme (FLP), which was exactly what I was looking for. It’s given me the structure to find where my skills can make a difference, while discovering other skills I never even knew I had.
During my PhD I had to give lots of presentations. So when I came to give a presentation early on at GSK, it felt very natural to me. My PhD also involved managing a project, but I never thought of this as ‘project management’. It’s only now I’m realising how transferable my skills are for the business world.
I've found GSK to be a diverse and multicultural workplace in which people are very open minded, respecting each other's differences and beliefs.
My first rotation here has been in the safety and pharmacovigilance team. It’s our job to guarantee the safety of our products and minimise the risks of using the millions of vaccines we deliver worldwide. A real highlight project for me so far was designing a new, improved training process for new employees who join our department.
As they come onboard, it’s critical that people receive the right training to do their job to the high required standard. But there are many challenges to achieving this in a large organisation. The volume of training required can seem overwhelming for employees, while it can be a logistical difficulty to track and manage this process efficiently.
After lots of conversations and hard work, I developed a method to greatly simplify this process. Best of all, it was selected as one of the top ideas, which means it’s being implemented across our R&D department. It’s an achievement I’m very proud of.
The other thing that stands out most to me from my FLP experience is the supportive culture and community. I’ve found GSK to be a diverse and multicultural workplace in which people are very open minded, respecting each other’s differences and beliefs. Right from the beginning, my manager made it clear there’s nothing I can’t say or ask, so it’s validating to know that my opinion is always valued.
On the FLP programme, we’ve built strong relationships inside and outside of work, and we regularly share experiences to support each other. It feels like a family – something I never expected to find in a big, global company, but I’m glad I have.
It feels like a family – something I never expected to find in a big, global company, but I’m glad I have.
More on Future Leaders Programme
Aslihan, Commercial management, Turkey
Aslihan is on our Commerical Management FLP in Turkey. She explains why rotating across marketing and sales has helped her understand how decisions in the office translate into the field.
Summer, Commercial Management, China
"Honestly, this path took me a little by surprise. Throughout my undergraduate and master’s degree in biochemistry, I had accumulated a lot of lab experience – it’s what I knew."
Olanrewaju, Commercial Management, Nigeria
"Before I joined GSK, I practised as a community pharmacist and a medical representative."
Rehanul, Commercial management, Bangladesh
"When I was making decisions about my career, what I wanted most was to do meaningful work that would help to improve people’s lives."