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Valerie, Commercial (Consumer Healthcare), Singapore

Valerie Esprit programme

Commercial (Consumer Healthcare)


I’m Valerie, a third year Esprit associate, currently on a rotation in the UK as a global marketing manager in Oral Heath. I have an MBA, a degree in Psychology and a background in business and brand consulting. I wanted to work for GSK because I've always been very focused on helping others, and when I looked at GSK's mission and what the company does, it really struck a chord with me. Additionally, when I was interviewing for the Esprit programme, the whole experience, from hearing what the programme was all about and meeting the people who work here, really resonated and I found myself thinking; “Wow, I really want to work for this company!”

Learning to be a visionary leader

One of the things I'm doing in my current role is looking at new technology and business models. This is something that GSK has not really explored in-depth before and it's basically up to me to explore, to conceptualise, design, and then test things out. This has allowed us to be more innovative in how we do things, not just in terms of new products, but also new ways of working; new ways of selling; new technologies and so on. It's been exciting, we have made some strides and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be one of the pioneers in this.

Last year, I was doing a local marketing role based in the US. One of my projects entailed launching a new product in nine months, which is pretty tight considering new launches usually take a year and a half, but we did it. It was a cross-functional team, so I worked with project managers, demand, supply, medical, regulatory, legal etc. What was great was that the team flagged up issues early on and we would work as a team to find different solutions. Many times, the solution would come from a different function. Because we were so open and collaborative in that sense, we actually managed to launch two weeks early.

I think GSK has made a decision: whatever we work on, it has to be relevant to consumers and how we can enable them to do more, feel better, live longer. I’ve worked in respiratory, smoking cessation and now I’m working on denture care. Everything comes down to “How do we make people’s lives better?” If you want to quit smoking, how can we partner with you on that journey? How can we make sure that your dentures fit your gums properly? How do we make sure you can keep them clean to prevent further tooth loss? There's so much focus on making sure it’s all about the consumer and how we can make their lives better.

That’s the great thing about the Esprit programme, there's a lot of support. There's also a lot of exposure to the senior leadership team and their thinking.

What do I like most about working here?

I think it goes back to how people really live by our values. Values such as patient focus; integrity; respect for people; transparency. To me, that's very inspirational and motivational. It's the reason I get up and come into work every day; it drives me to do my best.

There’s one example that's always stuck with me. When I first joined GSK, I was sharing something with my line manager and he said, "It's a great idea but it is not patient-focused and that's why we're not going to consider it.” It just struck me how everybody is just so in tune with our values. It may seem like a small thing, but in other companies I've worked for, values are just something you see on the website.

I think the other thing I really like is the trust. Even though you only have one year in the role, your line manager or the senior leadership team trust you to handle a big project by yourself. They have faith that you are able to complete the task.

Looking ahead…

I want to be in a global business position, and at the forefront of driving GSK to the next level. Here at GSK, there’s a huge focus on people development, and conversations around ‘’What do I need to work on to reach my ambition.” It's all about you and identifying what you need to get to where you want to be, then looking for opportunities that will close that gap. What you will also find is that people here are very supportive and open to helping you achieve your goals. There's also a lot of exposure to the senior leadership team and their thinking. That, to me, is one of the great things about the Esprit Programme, the amount of support.