This month, year 10 student Benji Lewis took part in a week-long virtual work experience programme at GSK. As part of the online programme, Benji had insight into different roles at GSK and learnt how his school subjects are relevant to the word of work. Benji is also part of the Industrial Cadets and his work experience enabled him to earn the bronze award, a great achievement!
Below we hear from Benji himself on how he found the 4-day work experience - the highlights, challenges and his top tips for others just like him.
Tell us more about work experience at GSK – what sort of things did you get up to?
It was a varied week. We learnt about the different GSK sites and what goes on at them, they do so many different things. The work experience taught us how they discover drugs and invent medicine and healthcare products, how they are made and how important it is to make sure that all of the products are safe for people to take. We also got to hear about what people do in their jobs and how it relates to the patients.
What did you enjoy most about your work experience at GSK?
The work experience was a great opportunity to find out more about working for GSK and understand what having a job there would be like. It was good see people from different cultures and backgrounds on the course. We were from different school year groups but were all treated the same and everyone had the chance to be involved in all of the modules. I liked the fact that we were all treated equally.
I enjoyed doing some of the experiments at home like extracting DNA from strawberries and growing mould on bread. It was also good to listen to an interview and learn about how to apply for a job.
Is there anything you found challenging and how did you overcome it?
We all had to do a presentation and it was the first time I have ever done this. It is good to listen to other people presenting and learn from them. I had the chance to do mine twice and felt more confident the second time around.
During the modules, there was a chat function which you could use to ask questions. I asked some of the other people on the course a couple of things, as some of them had more experience than me.
What did you learn about that surprised you?
Finding out how toothpaste is made and put into tubes was really interesting. Overall, I liked the way the GSK staff shared information with us, everyone wanted to help us learn more and share their knowledge and experience. I didn’t feel judged for asking questions which was nice.
What top tip would you give to another student who is thinking about applying for work experience at GSK?
It’s worth applying for work experience at GSK as you learn about how many different roles there are and you can see how the subjects you are studying at school relate to a real world context. It is also a good way to find out more about apprenticeships which could be interesting to do as you can study and work at the same time. This is something I would definitely want to explore. Watching people being interviewed was also helpful and hearing the types of questions that they are asked is useful to know – I can remember them for when I get interviewed in future!
Would you enjoy work experience at GSK? Register your interest here and we'll be in touch about future opportunities.