I really like to keep learning through new experiences. So for me, the best thing about the Future Leaders Programme (FLP) is the incredible amount of exposure it gave me in a very short space of time. During the three years on the programme, and two years since, I’ve had many different roles – each one of them unique and formative for my growth.
I started in Research and Development (Vaccines), but I quickly discovered that what excited me most was the commercial side of the business. I’ve had real freedom to develop my career in this direction, with subsequent roles in sales and communications, among others.
I’ve found that having a medical background gives you credibility wherever you work within the company. Understanding how doctors think and what patients ultimately need, really adds value to the work we do, for example, with healthcare professionals (HCPs). Not a lot of medical doctors make the move into the commercial side of the organisation, I have, but I feel the analytical, pragmatic and problem-solving skills I picked up during my medical training have really helped me.
A real highlight from my FLP experience was taking the option to add a third year onto my programme. I had the very fortunate opportunity to move to London and work in the Office of the CEO as part of the Corporate Strategy team. It really was the right place at the right time. GSK was going through its complex with Novartis – and our team was leading it! It was a priceless learning experience that gave me great insight into our company’s structure and operations.
My international FLP assignment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was another real growth experience. It was my first time living abroad – and in a very different culture from my own. But the company gives you the practical support to make this a smooth experience.
GSK has a reputation for being a ‘friendly’ company. This is something you can absolutely feel when you work here – and it’s consistent around the globe. Employees feel a high degree of attachment to our values and sense of purpose. GSK is quite unusual and unique in that.
As a medical doctor coming into the pharma industry, what I found pleasantly surprising is how this is not just talk but real action to transform the industry, like the way we no longer incentivise our sales representatives on sales targets but on achieving better patient outcomes. It’s important to me to work for a company where commercial success and positive social impact go hand in hand.
Ultimately, my career ambition is to become a well-rounded business leader. All these experiences on, and since, the FLP have given me a better foundation for this than I ever imagined. At GSK you manage your own career and you are the architect of that. Wherever you want to go, you have all the support you need to get there.
“At GSK you manage your own career. Wherever you want to go, you have all the support you need to get there.”