How other people at GSK have helped me develop my career
05 December 2016
By Amber Matthews
Your career journey with GSK is what you make of it
A little about me: I began my journey with GSK as a college student through a summer internship in the Global Ethics & Compliance department, in Philadelphia, PA. It was through this internship I learnt how important personal and professional development is to GSK and I knew that this was a company I could see myself working for when I graduated.
During the internship I was fortunate to have a manager that let me take on a lot of different roles and responsibilities to expand my breadth of knowledge and experiences. When I ultimately joined the US Pharma Sales and Marketing Future Leaders Programme, she was extremely supportive.
Fast forward to today: I have been in the Future Leaders Programme for two and a half years. In that time I completed a two year rotation in field sales in New York before transitioning into my current rotation in Audit and Assurance. Each manager I’ve had the opportunity to work with has supported my development and listened to me about what skills and experiences I want to gain in each rotation.
These positive experiences with my past and current managers have shown me how important it is to be able to enter your rotations knowing what you hope to get out of it. That way you can efficiently communicate with your manager and align your expectations with theirs.
The focus on development is not simply limited to what we learn in our day jobs, but also what we get out of the many developmental opportunities offered through the programme. Once a year, all of the cohorts of the US Pharma Sales & Marketing Future Leaders Programme come together to participate in ‘Development Week’. During this week, we take courses to help us better understand our personality types and working styles and how they may affect the way we work with others.
Networking isn’t as scary as you think
We’re also given the opportunity to network with senior leaders within GSK, to meet and learn from their career experiences. Following these sessions, it’s down to us to follow up and invest time in building relationships with these individuals, who are role models and the leaders we all aspire to be.
Although sometimes networking can feel awkward, it’s my experience that when people hear that you’re a member of the Future Leaders Programme they want to hear more about you, your future goals and how they can help you achieve them. My biggest mistake early on was not believing that people genuinely wanted to talk to me about my career goals. “Why would they want to help me?” I would ask myself.
Through conversations with people, you learn about who they are and what they do. I have been finding that people genuinely do have an interest in me and my development. As I am preparing to off-board from the program next year I’ve been using these conversations to learn as much as I can about different areas of the company where I may be interested in working. Not only do people offer their support, but they’re usually more than happy to put you in contact with colleagues who can help you reach the levels you’re trying to get to. That is how you build your network.
Being on the Future Leaders Programme has given me the tools to be successful at GSK, but I’ve learnt that it is up to me to use those tools for my personal and professional growth.