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Meet Luke - Supply Chain Industrial Placement Student at GSK

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Luke joined GSK’s Industrial Placement in July 2022. He’s currently working as a Global Supply Chain Planner and has outlined his experience below.


What is your role and how long have you been at GSK? 

Since joining GSK in July, I have been working as a Global Supply Chain Planner in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Supranationals team. This falls within the General Medicines Therapy area of the Global Supply Chain Team. General Medicines is a product area comprising all of GSK's classic and established products, bringing together a portfolio of more than 150 products.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? 

I am studying for a master’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Bath. My 12-month industrial placement at GSK is the penultimate year of my degree. I have always had a passion for STEM subjects and studied Maths, Chemistry and Physics at A-level. I am highly motivated, hard working and have a passion for detail. I am a team-leader and team-player. In my spare time

I am a keen golfer. I enjoy swimming, walking/hiking and fitness training. I have also developed a passion for cooking and baking.

What inspired you to apply for this role/this company? 

I have always had the desire to work within the pharmaceuticals industry. Working in business and supply chain was at the front of my mind. I always aspired to experience business from both an end-to-end and global perspective. To be able to have a direct and positive impact on peoples’ lives every day is something that is extremely important and motivating for me.

What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your job? 

From the day I started my industrial placement, I've been learning new things. Some of the most important skills include the importance of having an enthusiastic and proactive approach to work; having a clear understanding of expectations; time management; prioritization; organisation and networking. I have also learnt the importance of transparency, being honest and never guessing the answer to a question.

What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role? 

I have found that no two days are the same. Every day I learn something new that I can apply to my role. Having a flexible and adaptable approach have proven to be two key skills which I have found to be of real benefit. I start everyday by reviewing the list of tasks that I need to get done during the day. I use a matrix of “Impact” (importance) vs “Focus” (urgency) to help me prioritize. The day then consists of completing these tasks; making progress with multiple projects; following-up on emails throughout the day and attending regular meetings, where I meet the key stakeholders of the projects that I am involved in.

What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in? 

One of the most interesting things about working in supply chain is that you get an end-to-end overview of the process, from manufacture to supply. You also get the opportunity to interact with and learn from the key stakeholders of each part of the process. Supply chain forms the backbone of the organisation. The communication and way in which supply chain interacts with various functions of the organisation are key to ensuring the company stays alive and keeps moving forward.

What is the company culture like? 

From the moment I arrived, I was made to feel welcome, part of the team and the GSK family. GSK’s culture is about being ambitious for patients, accountable for impact and always doing the right thing with integrity and care. I relate to these goals on both a professional and personal level. I have found that every person I have met in the company has the desire to take responsibility for the ownership of this culture. This makes GSK a place where everyone can thrive.

How important is diversity to you and what is GSK doing in this space at the moment? 

Diversity is critically important to me. It is essential to have views from different backgrounds and cultures when discussing and making decisions that have both a local and global impact. Views from different backgrounds, allowing diversity of thought, result in the presentation of not only the best ideas, but also the best decisions. Everybody at GSK must be allowed to be the best versions of themselves. They cannot be hindered or held-back by backward thinking views or out-dated beliefs. From cultural diversity to sexual orientation, gender, ethnic background, religion and capability, everybody at GSK has a responsibility to create an environment where people are made to feel both welcome and embraced. It is a given that this will allow everybody to make the best decisions for patients. GSK is doing many things in this space at the moment. Diversity targets enable the company to keep diversity front-of-mind. They also monitor progress towards achieving not only today’s but also tomorrow’s diversity beliefs and expectations. Regular talks and presentations are made across the company, all of which help create and maintain an environment where diversity is embraced and celebrated. We each hold ourselves accountable for ensuring that respect and inclusivity are at the very heart of everything that we do.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at GSK? 

GSK is a global company with a proven track-record and clear strategy for future success. Before applying to GSK, it is essential that any future employee thinks carefully and asks themselves some important questions. Do you want to work with a ground-breaking, blue chip pharmaceutical organisation? Do you have a passion for working in an organisation where cultural diversity is embraced? Do you have the ability to be enthusiastic, positive, flexible, adaptable, tenacious, a team-player and leader? Are you an excellent communicator who is prepared to go the extra mile? If you answer yes to these questions, then I cannot recommend a better place to build a career.

– Learn more about GSK here, and find out what opportunities they have available.