Drug Delivery Labs Apprentice at GSK

Start Date:
South East
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
£18,500 annually
Review Date:
March 2019

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Review Score

8.8 /10

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


I am a formulator looking at different ways to deliver drug to the body. My role can change quite a bit depending on what part of a process we are in but in general I am usually in the laboratory making different formulations and creating different products from them. We then perform different tests on these formulations, trying to find the optimum one that best delivers the drug with the end goal of going into in-vivo studies with these formulations.

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


Yes I have learnt many new skills. Mostly lab based, such as, operating complicated analytical equipment like the HPLC or the Digisizer. Also I have greatly improved my basic laboratory skills just through training and working in the lab every day. My transferable skills have also improved such as communication skills through speaking and meeting with colleagues and through presenting my work at team meetings.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I greatly enjoy the programme I am on. It combines working in a great pharmaceutical company and getting my degree. I really enjoy the university course I am on as I am always learning something new and it's the same in the workplace. I love the group I work in, my work is new, challenging and exciting and I have the opportunity to test new things and do exploratory experiments which is amazing as I am only an apprentice and I feel like I am actually making a difference and I get to learn from experts in the field along the way.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


My programme is very well organised and structured. Everything is done online and so we have easy access to all the materials available to us separated into the different modules. Additionally we can clearly see any deadlines for pieces of work that we have upcoming. Also, the tutors from the institution email us often to offer advice, updates and to help us organise things and stay on top of deadlines. Even in the workplace aspect, onboarding into the organisation was a long procedure but it was planned out well and we had support every step of the way.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


We receive as much support as we need/desire. I have never had any issue with lack of support in any aspect of my working life and they are even very considerate when it comes to the university work as well. The employer is very focused on us having a good balance of work to keep us challenged and busy but not stressed along with having enough time to complete uni work and if we ever have any issues there are many different places we can go to get support depending on what it relates to. Even if we don't need support we are reminded that it is there should we ever need it.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


I receive as much support as I need. The tutors have always been very helpful and supportive. They email us often and are quick at replying to emails when we have questions. It can be difficult to have good support as we are distance learning but they are good with feedback and host webinars to chat with us and explain things and answer any questions we have. Also, they are very supportive when I comes to exceptional circumstances and problems that aren't necessairly to do with uni work.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


It helps me quite a lot in some cases. We have had modules on health and safety and business improvement that are very useful as they have provided me with knowledge and skills that are transferrable to many areas of the organisation. Also, we have learnt how to use Microsoft excel which is very useful for me as I use a lot of spreadsheets in my work. Additionally the chemistry modules I do aren't directly helpful as the chemistry we learn is not what I do in the lab but it does provide me with a good base knowledge and understanding that I can build on and use to understand more complicated science that I need for my job.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


Absolutely yes, there always seems to be at least one networking event a week at GSK which is a great opportunity to meet people. Also, as apprentices we have a network and social leads that organise events for all the apprentices to attend. Also, I attend a 6 a side football game every week that was organised by former apprentices so there is always something to do.

9a. Would you recommend GSK to a friend?


9b. Why?

GSK has provided me with all the opportunities they promised and more. The ideals of the company are second to none and I have greatly enjoyed my time here. I am learning from experts and getting opportunities to work on things that you wouldn't think possible for someone that doesn't have a degree yet. They are incredibly supportive and they are a great company to work for.

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

Be yourself. It sounds like a cliché but GSK, even though they do want smart people, they also want good, motivated, hard-working team players. They look for how you interact with others and if you match their values. So if you think your values and GSK's match up, you are in with a very good chance.

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