Monash students return to share insights from their GlaxoSmithKline internship

Last year, we announced that six of our pharmacology students successfully secured positions as part of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Industry Based Learning (IBL) Program and were set to embark on their 12-month internships. One year on, Emily Fuller, Matthew Narayen, Jasmin Nguyen, Alanna-Maree Kontaxis and Gabriella Longano have returned to Monash to pay it forward and share their insights with current pharmacology students at a recent careers symposium, organised by senior lecturer Barbara Kemp-Harper.

Despite all being based in different areas - from clinical trials, to medical information, to investigator-sponsored studies, all interns agree that the experience has been an unforgettable one.

Jasmin, who is based with the quality assurance team, said “the internship has exceeded her expectations” as she has formed lasting friendships with her fellow interns, sharing a common bond centred around learning, understanding and developing themselves within each of their roles.

For Emily, who is currently placed in the clinical trials division, the highlight of her time at GSK was being part of a global brand. “Getting the chance to work in global teams, having team members in other countries and from different time zones and cultures is challenging to navigate but it has been a fantastic learning opportunity.”

Monash graduate Kate Bresnan also shared her experience, having successfully gained a GSK IBL position early in 2018 as a Government and Corporate Affairs Associate. She shared the transferability of many of her pharmacology and research skills gained during her undergraduate degree.  Her advice to current students is “ask questions, seek advice and don’t underestimate what you have to offer.”

As our current group of interns reach the end of their internship program, Alanna adds that she hopes to continue her work in the industry saying, “I would love to continue on with GSK but we will wait and see!”

The students may have commenced the rigorous program with little expectations but now have a clear idea of the inner workings of a pharmaceutical giant, encouraging them to pursue diverse career paths and bring about positive change in the industry.