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Sarah McPherson

Having only just started in my role within the Primary Care Marketing team, I’m currently doing A LOT of learning.

Why did you want to work for GSK?

GSK presented the perfect opportunity to me, an opportunity to combine my passion for Science & Technology with the new skills I had recently developed through a post-graduate business degree. The patient focus and business values of GSK stood out to me as I waded through what sometimes feels like a sea of graduate programs.

This was absolutely consolidated for me throughout the application and assessment process, and after my first face to face interaction with GSK, I knew that this was a company that I wanted (and needed) to be a part of.

What degree and university are you a graduate from?

Bachelor of Science (Human Structure & Function) from the University of Melbourne and Masters of Business (Science & Technology) from Monash University, Melbourne.

What type of work do you do?

Having only just started in my role within the Primary Care Marketing team, I’m currently doing A LOT of learning. Learning about how marketing works in a commercial pharmaceutical setting but also learning about how GSK runs as a global entity and how each team fits into that. This year I will be focusing on the distribution of information to Health Care Professionals and influencing the market share and growth of GSK certain products.

What was your pathway into the business?

During my final semester of uni I began to search through graduate programs, looking for something that really captured my interest. I applied for the GSK Future Leaders Program online and went through the assessment process. I was introduced to so many key business personnel through this process which only secured for me that this was a business that I wanted to be a part of and gave me confidence walking through the front doors on my first day.

What are the best aspects of being part of the Future Leaders program at GSK?

From the moment I walked in the door I have consistently felt such a high level of support (both professionally and personally). It really does feel like everyone in the business is rooting for you.

Another key draw card for me was the breadth of opportunity in the program. Being presented with three different opportunities to challenge myself and learn is exactly what I was looking for at such an early stage of my professional career. 

What are some of the challenges of being part of the Future Leaders program at GSK?

The initial challenge I have faced is purely transitioning into the professional life. I’m learning rapidly and adapting to the business. I foresee that the Future Leaders Program will place me outside of my comfort zone and push me to develop leadership and interpersonal skills I may not have the opportunity to develop otherwise.

What advice would you give to students and graduates considering an internship or graduate role at GSK?

I think the most important thing is to just be yourself and give each opportunity your best shot. Being able to reflect on where your current strengths lie and which attributes you may like to develop further will hold you in great stead for any internship or graduate role. Back yourself and your passions, and have a think about how you would like to fit into an organisation like GSK.

How would you describe the impact of being part of the Future Leaders program at GSK, on your career so far?

The Future Leaders Program is an opportunity like no other. So far the program has encouraged me to think about my interpersonal skills, how these skills can be further developed and how they will help me to make a meaningful impact throughout my career. I can only foresee more experiences that push me to adapt, change and develop as a both a leader and an individual.

It is now 2020, what other roles have you completed since the above questions were answered in 2016?

I was lucky enough to have my FLP journey extended by adding in an international assignment to work in ViiV Healthcare in the US. The role I held as the Innovation Program Manager for Implementation Science in HIV was incredibly rewarding and invigorating. At the end of that year I officially rolled off the FLP into a role back in GSK Australia as a Sales & Brand Manager in Respiratory (Secondary Care).