Alexandra

Why did you choose an apprenticeship at GSK?

I chose GSK not only because it has a good reputation and company values, but also because of the way the programme is run. The idea of rotations and being able to see and learn different skills in different areas of the business was something that really appealed to me.

Is this an area of work you always wanted to go into? 

Engineering has always been something I've been interested in – previously I have done placements in the civil and aeronautical engineering sectors. What really drew me to work at GSK is the fact we get the opportunity to work within multi-disciplinary teams to create products that ultimately can save people’s lives.

Describe a normal day.

A normal day as an apprentice involves shadowing my mentor, where we attend line breakdowns and carry out routine maintenance orders and calibrations on the MK2 and MK3 Filling Lines in RSC Engineering. With breakdown work especially, the array of issues we contend with is vast. Some problems occur daily and we see some that have never appeared in the fifteen years my mentor has worked at GSK. It’s definitely true that no two days are the same.

Some days might involve going to meetings regarding Engineering Change Control (ECC) processes and investigations, or completing compliance training. Being a highly regulated and audited industry, compliance is always of the highest priority. Often, as part of the NVQ qualification that we complete alongside the practical part of the apprenticeship, I also use my time on site to liaise with different departments or individuals who can help me with some of my write-ups.

What are you most proud of achieving?

The apprenticeship at GSK is set up in a way that means it’s extremely flexible and caters for everyone individually – this has really pushed me to try new things and develop new skills. I was extremely pleased to come out of my first year of the apprenticeship with Distinction level across all my assignments, something I hope to continue throughout my apprenticeship. 

Not only this but I was also given the opportunity to speak at the Stevenage Apprentice Open Evening last year. Although I was nervous to speak in front of so many people, I loved the experience and it really built my confidence. It also led to me being asked to speak again this year at both Ware and Stevenage Open Evenings, something I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot from.