1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Laboratory Analyst Apprentice. Regularly working with Mass Spec and Glycan analysis of antibodies in a lab and writing up these experiments results. I am responsible for my own results and work produced. I usually work with other teams within the department to get the work done. I am also doing assignments and other work for the University degree.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot of new skills specifically on the practical side, as I came straight from Sixth Form to this course we did not get a chance to do very much practical work. I feel I have come a long way and learnt a lot of techniques since starting in September. For example Mass Spec and interpreting the data. Also I feel I have developed my report writing skills in my time here.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy working for GlaxoSmithKline, it is an enjoyable place to work and everyone I have met has been extremely friendly and helpful. My team is very knowledgeable and are approachable if I need any help. I did a lot more practical straight away than I expected to. Also the environment is very relaxed so this is another thing that makes it a nice place to work.
4. How valued do you feel by GSK?
I feel that I am a part of my team and that we work together on projects. I have regular meetings with my manager to discuss work and performance.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel like the programme is fairly well organised the training is clear and given by people that are experts in their field. Also I have support from other members of the department and from people from the university for that work. There is a buddy system so that I am able to talk to someone other than my manager if I need help.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have regular contact with the degree leader who is available to talk whenever it is needed, it is easy to contact him and he is approachable with any problems we may have.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager and I meet regularly to discuss progress and what I would like to do next if there are any opportunities to gain more experience in different areas. There are multiple contacts in regards to apprenticeship and early talent HR representatives. I believe that there are lots of people that are available if I were to have a problem.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
At the moment I live at home and travel to Stevenage every day, as I live quite far away petrol is expensive. However the salary covers these costs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In our department there are lots of different social events run regularly which you can choose to go to and we often go out for lunches to local restaurants. There is a gym on site and also a lot of activities happening between the apprentices
9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The experience gained from this programme is something that I feel you cannot gain from university alone. You gain a degree and get work experience and don't come out with the debt of university.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to GSK? *
I would recommend really thinking about the answers on the application and not worrying too much about the online tests because everyone thought they did badly. Also if you want to do the Biology apprenticeship you do not need to do chemistry at A-Level.
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