A little bit about me
Hi, my name is Ella! I’m a medical science undergraduate at Exeter University who’s just about to start my third and final year. I’m half American and half Kiwi although I was born in the UK and I’ve lived in 15 different countries so “where are you from?” is always a tricky one for me! I love my course and really enjoy the science but found myself naturally leaning towards parts of my course that mix the science with some more corporate elements. This led me to discover the Commercial management internship at GSK.
Since starting I’ve been looking after internal communications for our Relvar Asthma brand, which basically means being a point of contact in-between the brand team here at Stockley park and our amazing Relvar sales representatives. Work around this includes working to creating any content and responding to requests from the field that helps them to effectively drive sales for Relvar. As the second part of my internship grew nearer I was given a stretch project helping our senior brand manager create a Webinar for health care professionals about some of our molecules used in Relvar.
There have definitely been ups and downs and certain parts of the internship can be challenging. I would say a highlight for me and something that sets GSK apart from other internship programs is the level of responsibility you are given right from the start and the trust that your team puts in your ability to deliver work. This is a highlight because it gives you such real-life experience of a big Pharma company but can also be daunting, especially if you have no marketing experience like myself!
On my first day I really had no idea what to expect and once security and admin were out of the way we were thrown into our teams. This was very overwhelming and felt like you had no idea what you were doing, however, you quickly learn that everyone around you is so willing to support and guide you there’s really nothing to worry about as long as you ask for help. Now looking back at the start of the process I have learnt so much without even realising it and used regular development meetings with my supervisor to identify areas where I have good skills but also areas that I needed to work on and being given the freedom to evolve as a part of GSK has been an enjoyable experience.
My top tips for a new summer placement student
My three biggest tips for any new summer placement students would be:
- Ask ALL the questions you possibly can, they are not annoying or stupid!
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who are much more senior than you, everyone is lovely and happy to help
- Make the most of your time here: do field visits, go to see other GSK sites and talk to people about other areas of the business
Socially the internship is great because you get placed with other interns and given a graduate buddy to help guide you. As well as this most of us have had a chance to participate in team off-site days doing things like escape rooms and yoga.
As for the future I’m not sure yet! I definitely have enjoyed working in Pharma and plan to pursue a career in the field, but I’m focused on my degree for at least the next year.