Monash students get career head start with GlaxoSmithKline internships

From left to right: Alanna-Maree Kontaxis, Gabriella Longano, Jasmine Nguyen, Matthew Narayan and Emily Fuller. Absent - Isaac Chizik

Six third-year Monash Pharmacology students have been offered positions in an industry-based learning (IBL) program with global healthcare company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Building on Monash’s success in the competitive GSK IBL program in 2017, where two Pharmacology Honours students gained internships, Monash students secured six of the 69 places offered for 2018, working in areas including clinical trials, medical information, quality assurance and investigator-sponsored studies.

GSK develop innovative products across pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare, with the aim of helping people “do more, feel better and live longer”.

The IBL program is a unique opportunity for our students to gain invaluable, hands-on industry experience and build their professional networks, giving them a competitive edge for future career prospects.

“We are positioning our students to be aware of a range of career opportunities, and our excellent mentorship through undergraduate pharmacology training is reflected in their success,” said Head of Pharmacology Department, Professor Robert Widdop.

Pharmacology senior lecturer Dr Barbara Kemp-Harper, together with Dr Eva Patak, convene the Modern Drug Development unit, and encouraged students Emily Fuller, Matthew Narayan, Jasmine Nguyen, Alanna-Maree Kontaxis, Gabriella Longano and Isaac Chizik to apply for the program.

“It’s a fantastic achievement and the program will offer our students a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in the pharmaceutical industry. We are thrilled that their pharmacology training has provided a great foundation for the next stage of their career,” Dr Kemp-Harper said.

A strong interest in commercialisation made the decision to apply for the program easy for Matthew. He hopes the experience he gains as part of the investigator-sponsored studies group will prepare him for future roles, with scope to work overseas.

Emily, who will be based in the clinical trials team, said she recognised what a unique opportunity she had secured in working for an internationally-renowned organisation.

“It will be really nice to be surrounded by some familiar faces, too”, she said.

“I’m excited to learn about how medicines are trialled and bought to market, and be at the forefront of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Congratulations Emily, Matthew, Jasmine, Alanna-Maree, Gabriella and Isaac - we look forward to following your success in the GSK IBL Program over the next year.