We recently caught up with Devika about securing an industrial placement with GlaxoSmithKline. She focused on what stood out to her about GSK, how she built up her commercial awareness before the interview and her top tips for members looking to follow in her footsteps.
What stood out to you about the firm you secured your role with?
GSK is at the forefront of the consumer healthcare industry; their core values such as patient focus represents a company with a clear commitment to consumer safety and the development of high-quality products. Personally, it is of great importance that a company promotes an inclusive culture, of which GSK is a prime example. As a woman currently studying for a STEM degree, I recognise the importance of breaking barriers to ensure that equal opportunities are provided; GSK presents a diverse and supportive environment which I looked forward to joining. My experience at the assessment centre reflected all of this, making me even more excited to be part of such an encouraging and motivating team.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
In general, I find podcasts to be such an effective way of building commercial awareness as the information is usually presented in a more interesting and digestible manner. A particular favourite of mine is the Financial Times News Briefing podcast which informs you of global business matters, in short, daily snippets. Bright Network also has a great podcast called Thinking Commercially which encourages you to think critically about various aspects of the economy.
Before my interview, I made sure that I researched the company and took note of any recent developments in my role that interested me. The company website will always have a ‘News’ or ‘Press releases’ section which you can browse through to find relevant articles that apply to your specific role. Doing this also helped me in preparing questions for my interviewer that were tailored specifically to the company.
What is your top tip for members going through the application process?
This very much sounds like a clichéd answer, but I would say my top tip is to be yourself! When completing specific types of assessments such as situational judgement or personality tests, it is important to answer in a way that is true to yourself. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you are part of a company that you share the same values with. If you are simply picking the answers that you think are “correct”, but you don’t resonate with, then there is a chance that you might not truly enjoy your role when the time comes.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
Bright Network is a great source of information for everything ranging from CV advice to free practice tests. I utilised various aspects of the platform before each stage of my application process. For example, when I got invited to complete the online assessment, I read through the advice that was provided on the ‘Aptitude and psychometric tests for graduates’ page. Also, don’t be hesitant to contact the team; after attending a CV and cover letter workshop hosted by Bright Network, I decided to email over my CV after taking the advice that was presented. I received great feedback and advice on how I could further improve the quality of my CV.
Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did it help you?
Bright Network Academy offers a range of great courses that I strongly recommend making the most of. Knowing that GSK focused on strengths-based questions for their interview style, I completed the ‘Learning about strengths’ course hosted by EY. This gave me valuable insight into how to recognise my own strengths and weaknesses. There are also industry-specific modules such as ‘How to get into Accountancy’ and ‘How to get into Marketing’ which allow you to recognise the specific skill sets required to succeed in applications.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Make the most of the resources around you: There is so much information available, but you need to be proactive and search for it. Identify what resources are made available by the Careers Network at your university - you may be able to book practice interviews which are a great way of receiving tailored feedback.
- Be organised: Juggling applications alongside the workload of university can get very stressful, so make sure you have a clear idea of when your deadlines are and work accordingly.
- Establish relationships: At assessment centres and interviews, a smile goes a long way! Presenting yourself as an approachable person is always a positive attribute.