15 Sep 2016 15:58 IST

Learning and growing at GSK

This two-month internship shaped me personally as well as professionally

They say it is important for anything you undertake to have a good beginning. So it was great that my internship at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had an amazing start.

The memories of my first day are still fresh in my mind. Despite being an excited fresher, I was apprehensive of what was to come. But all my anxieties disappeared when I entered the simple yet spacious office. The walls, painted a GSK orange, added to the warm and welcoming atmosphere — I fell in love with the office instantly.

Soon, I was guided to the meeting room, where I met interns from other IIMs, XLRI and NITIE, waiting excitedly for the introductory session to begin. It started with a quick overview of the industry and the recent trends. Then, we got the opportunity to interact with several top management executives, who shared with us their insights.

The fact that the company’s top management took time out to meet us, showed that the company too was looking forward to working with us. Throughout the internship, they were always willing to guide us in every possible way. I could not have asked for a better introduction to the corporate world.

Personal project

Following the session, I met my mentor and we discussed the project that had been assigned to me. My initial days were mostly spent understanding the industry and its regulations. Then, I started working on my project which dealt with the evaluation of the MCM communication strategy and execution. I had to look for challenges in the existing structure, find gaps, and come up with alternative solutions.

There were times when I would feel fatigued, that I was running out of ideas but I would have refreshing conversations with my mentor, colleagues, and others in the company and gain new ideas of going about the project.

It was challenging as our final recommendations had to be given keeping in mind the regulated industry structure. But overall, clearing the roadblocks was pretty easy because of the constant help that was available. It is amazing how much knowledge one can gain in just two months.

The buddy programme

One of the interesting things I was exposed to during my time at GSK was the Buddy programme. We were all assigned a ‘buddy’, who was to be our mentor as well as our friend. They helped us ease our transition into the corporate world and industry, and also assisted us in getting acquainted with the work culture. Coincidentally, my buddy was from IIM Indore too, so we had a lot in common from the get go.

During the internship, we were given a conference room, which soon became our second home. Work was never boring, as our minds were constantly tickled over the challenging aspects of the project; there was the fun side too which included never-ending conversations about everything ranging from college life and Indian politics to the US elections, coffee breaks, and post-lunch strolls.

The time I spent at GSK, is surely among the best chapters of my life.

Exploring the city

One of the best parts of my internship was its location — Mumbai. The city of dreams never ceased to fascinate me. You have to definitely be there to experience the energy of the city. Everyday after work, my friends from GSK and I would explore a new corner of the city.

During my time here, I also learned something new every day. I worked closely with some of the brightest people in the industry. It helped me apply the knowledge I gained in IIM Indore, and gave me a lot of exposure, which boosted my self-confidence. These two months shaped my life in a way I can never explain and I took back with me so much more than I had expected — I grew both personally and professionally.