Physical Chemistry Higher Apprentice at Pfizer

Start Date:
Sandwich South East
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£22,820 annually
Review Date:
May 2018

Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I'm situated within a small physical chemistry group that support early phase drug development processes with analytical and biorelevant data. Daily tasks vary from carrying out analytical methods to support project teams, writing business documents and laboratory report, to meeting with colleagues for various reasons. I've gained a high level of responsibility for my role, with regards to becoming system owner of our HPLC instruments, qualified trainer of various analytical techniques and designing & maintaining a sharepoint site to help our team communicate and record findings.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Over the years, i have learnt and become very experienced with various routine techniques, largely developed my understanding and knowledge around drug development and bioperformance, and have became very confident communicating with people inside and outside our team. I have been on a few training courses, some pertaining towards my role and others being general. I've gained an NVQ and working towards a degree with a partner University. I have also had the amazing oppportunity to be given inventorship by working on a package of work to support a patent claim.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I thoroughly enjoy coming to work and doing my day job. I could not ask for a better team to work in because the people are really easy and fun to work with. We tackle challenges together and help each other when struggling times occur. I've become well-known with my department and collaborate very well with them and external members.

Although i may not allign with the company's culture whole-heartedly, i prevent it from affecting my performance and attitude.

I didn't really have any expectations coming into my apprenticeship but i'm rather happy with how it's going.

4. How valued do you feel by Pfizer?


I value i get from direct contacts (line manager, team member, project lead) is incredible and it's very encouraging to continue to work at a high standard. I feel the value decreases the further you go outside of our department and into management but it may just not be verbalised for me to know if it exists.

I'm always getting involved with projects that come through our team and even advising on external projects.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


I believe the framework for our programme is well designed, i also feel that everyone involved as the best intentions. I think the issue with certain aspects (enrollment, induction, etc..) is that it's within a large organisation and everyone plays their part. It's difficult to oversee everything and make sure things go to 100%

There's changes occurring at the moment within the company to help facilitate the organisation of the apprenticeship programme in the future.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


I'm currently swtiching training provider and who i am currently with is not being continued with. Overall, the support from tutors wasn't great at the beginning of the course but has improved over the years with the enrollment of more staff to handle the large amount of students recruited.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


I recieve amazing and copious amounts of support from my line manager, mentor and other colleagues whenever i need it. I'm not always sure on how much support the company can give me directly as i think it's my agency's responsibility in some cases. This isn't always clear.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


No quarrels with salary, especially with it increasing on a yearly basis.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There's always opportunities to get involved with community events in the local area to help young students with science. I prefer to present my story rather than a practical demonstration but for me, work will come first and therefore there isn't always time for these opportunities.

9. Would you recommend Pfizer to a friend?


9b. Why?

Overall, i really enjoy working for Pfizer, and the opportunity is very rare. I would always encourage a friend to atleast try.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pfizer?

To be dedicated, professional and honest. The usual fear of not-knowning people scares people off an amazing opportunity but i would say that it's quite impossible to work here and not bond really well with someone within your area.

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