Merve, Human resources, Turkey

Photo of Merve, FLP

Human resources


I’m Merve and I studied Business Administration at university. Before joining the Future Leaders Programme I’d done a lot of research into pharmaceutical companies and did an internship at another large pharma company.

There were two main reasons why I chose GSK. The first was because of the quality of the Future Leaders programme. The whole cycle seemed like it was stretching and would be great for my development. The second reason was because, having looked into a lot of other companies, I felt GSK had the best cultural fit with my own values.

Becoming a future leader

I’m just coming to the end of the programme now and I’m about to start my off-boarding role as a Regional HR investigator. This is an employee relations type role and I will be leading HR investigation cases in the Middle East, Africa & Russia-CIS region.

During my rotations I experienced a range of roles. What’s been similar about each of them is the way I’ve been given an end goal and have had the freedom to reach out to people and get there in my own way.

If I had to pick my number one experience it would be working on the re-design of our leadership curriculum. It was a project that happened following the appointment of our new CEO. There was a lot of change around that time, new approaches to many things were being introduced, and we designed the new leadership curriculum following the launch of our new values and expectations. It was really beneficial in terms of supporting our culture shift starting with our leaders.

GSK is definitely a place where you can see yourself grow every day. And at the end of three years you can look back and say “Did I do all of this? How did all that happen?” The truth is, you just grow all the time, and you move out of your comfort zone in a very nice way.

I think when you’re in HR, it’s sometimes hard to see the direct connection you have to helping patients. But I know the work I’m doing definitely helps our employees perform better, which enables them to do their best for our patients and deliver for our consumers.

What do I like most about working here?

What I found most surprising was that, even though we are at a very early stage in our careers, we get to work with lots of experienced senior leaders and they’re always very open and inclusive. They listen to us, our ideas and suggestions so you never feel like you’re very junior, like you’re not supposed to speak up and share your thoughts. You find yourself being given the room to grow and take on more and more responsibility.

For me, I find that means I never lose my energy and my motivation because everyone around me is always very positive and supportive – and I can really see that the work I do ultimately leads to something good.

I think when you’re in HR, sometimes it’s hard to see the connection you have with how you’re actually helping patients. But I know the work I’m doing, and have done, definitely helps our employees perform better, which translates as being there for our patients, delivering for our consumers and helping everyone do more, feel better and live longer.

Looking ahead…

As the world keeps changing its evident that we’re making greater use of technology – and using it in a vast number of ways. I would want to be a part of the projects that change the HR way of working at GSK, one of those ways that creates a real cultural shift. I really hope that one day I can be a part of one of those projects and maybe even take a lead role on one.