1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an Lab analyst apprentice. My day to day role involves running various different samples such as drug substances and excipients on several different pieces of laboratory equipment. My department characterises the physical properties of these substances. I have to work with the people on my team to produce data needed to report back to the project teams.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many new skills since starting my apprenticeship. Having only just come out of school when I started I had no experience working in a laboratory in the pharma industry. When I started I was trained on all of the kit that I needed to perform my job. I am also working towards a foundation degree in chemical science so I am developing my scientific knowledge at the same time.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have really enjoyed the apprenticeship programme so far. The work that I undertake is different every day, always presenting new challenges that I can learn from. My team have offered me a lot of support since I have started. The programme so far has been far better than I ever expected.
4. How valued do you feel by GSK?
I feel very valued at GSK. I feel like I am an important part of the team. People often come to me to ask me to help them with a work package that needs analysis performed. I have been rewarded for work that I have completed with a Bronze Award. I have been involved with several projects and my manager and mentor are always looking out for new opportunities for me.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well structured at GSK everything was appropriately set up when I arrived on my first day so that I could get started straight away. I was given an induction to the lab and started my training in the first week. I am also given one day a week to study for my university course which I think is excellent as it allows me to get my uni work done without any distraction.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The university that I attend do offer support when it is needed. As the course is distance learning it can sometimes be hard to get all of the necessary support as you cannot talk with your tutor face to face. However the apprentices at GSK use eachother for support when stuck on any work. The university tutors are able to help with any problems over email or if it is a problem that a lot of people on the course are experiencing they will hold a webinar.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employers offers a lot of support. I am supported not only by my manager and mentor but also by my fellow team members and other members of my department. My mentor arranges once monthly 1:1 so that we can discuss anything issues that I have and decide what work packages I can undertake. My manager gives me bi monthly 1:1's to discuss the work that I am currently doing and what I have upcoming. The HR team has arranged meetings also to gain some insight into how we feel about the GSK apprenticeship programme so that they can see where they can improve etc.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary that I am on at the moment meets my living costs well. I am lucky enough that I don't have to travel far into work therefore I do not have to sacrifice my salary for travel costs. I am very satisfied with the salary that I am on for a second year apprentice.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are lots of opportunities outside of work. When I first started I attended an event at GSK house in London with the other 1st year apprentices and we were given an insight into GSK so that we had a better idea of how the company worked and their values. There has also been networking events arranged every year such as team building. The site that I am currently working on has a sports and social club that the apprentices sometimes meet in and can use the facilities for various sports.
9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend the GSK lab apprenticeship to a friend because it offers you valuable work experience whilst you're training. It offers you all the support that you need to strive in your career. GSK are always looking for opportunities for their apprentices that will help build their knowledge and skills.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *
Always say yes to any opportunities that are put forward to you as they will always help to build your knowledge and confidence. On the assessment day remember to be yourself as GSK are looking more at you as a person and how you interact with others and work in a team.
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